One collection, one guitarist, one baritone, one actress and two thoroughbreds – Fuego and Caïman – mounted by two outstanding riders, celebrated equestrian Clémence Faivre and her son Marco Lurasci. Franck Sorbier brought all of these ingredients together on Wednesday for an unforgettable Haute Couture show.
For his wardrobe for next summer, the couturier took his inspiration from Mexican actress María Félix, the iconic femme fatale, man-eater and star of Latin American cinema, who notably featured in Jean Renoir’s French Cancan alongside Jean Gabin. Her fiery personality and status as a latina icon provided two key elements which ran through both the collection and the show.
In their high-heeled boots and billowing skirts, the women on Sorbier’s runway all channelled a Mediterranean temperament and spirit as they marched about in sombreros. A number of models wore black floor-length dresses in taffeta, paired with embroidered pelerines or poncho-like shawls.
Flared skirts which swirled at every step were cinched at the waist with long ribbon belts, tone on tone, and decorated with ikat patterns or braids. Silk or organza wrap skirts with long trains were hand painted, while bodices were made from transparent organza in red or black.
“These are women that make you do a double take when you see them,” said the designer, who wanted to mix “a folkloric feel with elements of the great era of couture.” “In this collection, the hat becomes the major accessory of the season, along with the jewellery, which has come back stronger than ever through a collaboration with Harpo. It is Navajo jewellery in silver and stones. They are unique pieces created by American Indians,” explained Sorbier.
“I am not a myth, I am a reality,” proclaimed Félix, as played by Italian actress Antonella Recchia, at the start of the show, as Faivre arrived on the runway at a slow trot, sporting a long coat with a lace hood. The pace was set by the flamenco rhythms being played by a guitarist, as the rider alternated her appearances with her son, changing outfit each time. This equestrian choreography was calculated down to the millimetre, with the horses practically brushing the audience’s knees.
At one point baritone Marc Scoffoni began to sing the famous song “María Bonita,” written by one of Félix’s numerous husbands. At this moment, a model dressed in red stepped out onto the runway to represent the actress, combining a top with a striped, embroidered skirt decorated with geometric designs and ribbons. The customary final bridal look saw Luraschi, still on horseback, accompany the bride down the catwalk, holding her hand with a gentle elegance.
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