"Ten years? It's nothing," Anne Valérie Hash said before her couture show this morning. And perhaps she had a point on a day when a more venerable house like Dior was on the schedule. Still, the designer celebrated her brand's anniversary in her own unflashy way, presenting a concise group of ten looks on models and ten more mirror images on mannequins.
Couture has been enjoying a bit of a rebirth lately, with houses old and new looking with some success to the Far East for customers. Hash has made-to-measure clients spread out around the world, from Switzerland and Belgium to the Middle East and Asia. What distinguishes them, other than their disposable incomes, she said, is how well they know their bodies. "They tell me, 'I need sleeves,' or 'I don't want my stomach to show.'" Hers isn't a couture collection built upon fantasy. Instead, today's outing focused on Hash's understated, feminine, yet minimal signatures: "smoking" all-in-ones and trompe l'oeil dresses that look like a blouse and skirt but are in fact one piece.
But just because her clothes are reality-based doesn't mean they aren't dreamy. Hash has always had a sublime eye for color, and she used it to good effect here on a peachy pleat-front silk mousseline shirt dress with a smooth fall of a skirt in crepe a shade or two pinker. The designer has a similarly light touch when it comes to drape, for the most part at least. An asymmetric, nearly backless slipdress with a belt-loop neckline made it look as if the model had simply decided to wear her long black skirt as a frock; unfortunately, it fit about as well. If subtlety eluded Hash there, though, a one-sleeve jacket over a bustier dress had a seductive swagger. That outfit could appeal to women who like to cover up and those who like to show off in equal number.