Cluc Couture - fall/winter 2007

Cluc Couture shows the common ground between couture and ready-to-wear, in one of the best collections in the Canadian fashion calendar for fall/winter 2007.

Wrapping plays an enormous role here, structure-based looks tendered with the finest wools and silk crêpes. It need not be complicated. The silk brocade dress falls effortlessly into place, and sari techniques often mean that only one piece of fabric is needed to whip up a little Cluc dream.

Cluc, this one-named wonder that has couture circles talking, weighed in by telephone on his obvious strengths.

“I want to be remembered for my technique, one which I developed myself. I’m a very body-conscious person. I like to design for all body types.”

I asked him about the gender blurring that he uses to the collection’s advantage.

“Women have been going into men’s wardrobes for years now, and I didn’t want to do formal evening wear for men. It’s only in North America where it’s not in the culture for men to wear skirts.”

Here, here. This theme is explored in the form of a sarong, asymmetrically-hung from a single shoulder strap, dress-shirt closed at the neck with a peculiar belt strap. When de- and then re-contextualized, it’s amazing how feminine a tuxedo really is.

Despite this thread, Cluc presents some undeniably iconic, gender-specific looks: the flapper coquette, in a high-waisted, pinstriped pencil skirt and a silver blouse with french cuffs. And I don’t know if throwing an apron on a nearly naked he-man is fooling anybody, not that we’re complaining about nudity (give us more!).

There are also currents of colonial India throughout the collection. A pair of pink-tinged riding pants, sari fabrics, the profusion of gold; we are situated culturally yet unobtrusively each and every time.

In the unbridled fantasy land of a couture designer’s imagination, all things are possible, and let’s thank our lucky charms that they are. What to make of the sweeping black vinyl empress coat and the brown knit muu muu?

“I can’t do just one thing, because I think it would be boring for me.”

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer