The Spring 2012 collection from Claire Pettibone captured the refined lifestyle and relaxed luxuries of the 18th century Beau Monde, the society set of Paris. Pettibone’s collections are always a delightful romp in the most exquisite laces, toiles and embroideries. This season she added a bit of gilding to her already elaborate style. Golden laces, platinum silk and Guipure ribbons, bows and flowers decorated the prettiest empire style gowns.
Rose and French-country blue toiles gave a welcome surprise. The Amelie, a hi-low bubble skirted dress, is lined in ivory and red toile and sashed in a matching toile ribbon, the charming print peeking through the bare legs of the short to long skirt. Pettibone’s finale gown was incredible in the most delicate shade of ‘something blue’ toile print cotton. This hybrid Victorian/chic farm girl gown, Toile Français, has a modern mermaid silhouette with high lacy collar and long sheer sleeves. Completely covered, yet unmistakably sexy.
Pettibone has a unique sensibility that marries the ease and sensuality of lingerie with old-world charm. Silk charmeuse gowns are covered in unusual Chantilly and Guipure laces, some with streaming ribbons, cameo-inset scalloped lace tiers, sheer low-cut backs covered in floral laces and crochet trims and overlays. The Marcelle gown was one of our favorites. Another hi-low gown completely embroidered with textured ivory ribbon flowers, its high neck and delightful cap sleeves a perfect accompaniment to the simple silky underslip.
The Versailles gown has a gilded touch, with antique golden Guipure lace circling the waist of this incredible floral-embroidered tulle V-neck gown. If you’re looking for a sweet dress for a garden wedding, look no further than the La Fontaine, a bubble-skirted empire ball gown with oversized golden fan print and delicate slip top with lacy straps.
Each of Pettibone’s dresses are incredible, a veritable work of art designed to make its wearer beautiful and refined that feels evocative of the past, present and future.