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Haute couture goes glow-in-the-dark

Jan 23, 2014, 3:48 AM EST
Looks from On Aura Tout Vu's Spring 2014 Couture collection.
(Kristy Sparow/Getty Images; Jean-Louis Coulombel)

Glow-in-the-dark couture? Only On Aura Tout Vu could come up with such a zany concept, rigging a range of looks from their collection, “Light & Shadow,” with battery operated LED systems to illuminate shoulders or horizontal strips across dresses for the show’s finale. Not forgetting the glowing crystal-bedecked body harnesses sported by the show’s opening act, two sailor types clad in white captain’s hats and bodysuits studded with faceted plaques of Plexiglas, with an added tutu for the lady, who reappeared to take a stage bow. It was camp, it was entertaining, it was typical OATV.

The young couture house, which also specializes in accessories and crystal-bedecked accessories, is not the only one to have caught the monochrome bug this season, flitting between ebony and ivory to graphic effect on strong, sculpted silhouettes. A dark edge permeated the collection, with white fur skirts in jagged geometric lines holding stiff, faceted shapes reminiscent of a gemstone that jarred with the material’s nature. Even peplums and lapels carried 3D faceted effects, with Art Deco-style arrangements of geometric beads creating armor-like plaques. Here, an long black evening gown with a plunging V at the front and a thigh-high split prickled with spiky formations of jet beads at the shoulders. There, the full skirts of dramatic off-the-shoulder gowns were cut away to reveal beaded leggings.

Impressive handiwork aside, the line at times got a tad carried away with the surface décor, however, pulling a hard attitude that in a season of lightness felt a bit off.