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Christian Lacroix Spring 1994 Couture collection


Editor’s note: Vogue Runway celebrates “the most wonderful time of the year” by adding six magical—and newly digitized—90s haute couture shows to our archive. The Christian Lacroix Spring 1994 collection was originally presented on January 16, 1996 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Paris.

“Spring ’94 was a mix and match of French Revolution and Directoire styles with the fashions of 1940 – my favorite period in fashion history – in ’90s proportions.” – Christian Lacroix

“Today, femininity is a weapon; it is a strength.” So said Christian Lacroix of his Spring 1994 show for Vogue. Despite a few nautical items borrowed from the boys, and a look at androgynous and clean-shaven supermodel Yves Salville, the ensemble wasn’t hard-edged. In fact, it was a short respite from the disaster. An earthquake in Los Angeles and an attack on snowboarder Nancy Kerrigan were among the events in the lead-up to the season, prompting Lacroix to include the following lines, reported by The Associated Press, in his program notes: “In these times of violence and desperation, lies The only salvation is in devotion and total loyalty to one’s passions. Haute couture is my passion.”

Lacroix channeled his passion in a number of directions here, discovering, according to Vogue, “three stylistically liberated times in history—the 1800s, the mid-1940s, and the 1980s.” You really have to look for references to the “decade of greed”, in which Lacroix first appeared, but the 1940s clearly influenced hair and makeup.

“The bride was inspired by an 18th-century engraving of the Virgin Mary, embroidered with real fabrics and stones given to me by François Lesage, my godfather, which are still in my bedroom.” – Lacroix

Lacroix’s enthusiasm for historical references equals, if not tops, his passion for haute couture, as evidenced by his penultimate wedding look featuring floral stripes and a beaded corset worn with a metallic lace petticoat topped with another pale plaid skirt. Lace embellishment embroidered with songbirds. He called it cut-and-paste assembly, the haute couture method. Another setting fancy was the more modern and still dreamy lingerie look that transcends the slip dress of the ’90s.





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