the source family

finding couture's irl inspirations in rubik's cubes and sugary sweets.

What do airplane stewardesses, Versailles punks, and Scottish clans all have in common?

You may be surprised to learn that the thread tying these fashion gangs together is that they've all served as inspiration for Karl Lagerfeld's couture collections for Chanel. Turns out haute couture isn't just about pleasing the jet-setting ladies who lunch, it's also about taking kooky inspirations and making them French, fancy, and fantastic.

The fall '13 haute couture collections proved that point with looks that seemed inspired from the most day-to-day things, like Rubik's Cubes or braided rugs. Christian Dior's crafty collection had plenty of pieces that looked like they were made of pipe cleaners or shower curtains, while Jean Paul Gaultier's sparkly head-to-toe looks were like wearable embodiments of our favorite glitter polishes. (Maybe he can't stop watching that Miley Cyrus video either.)

While we can't say for sure that Ulyana Sergeenko also loves Giles Deacon's cartoon mascot "Eek" or that Giambattista Valli was jonesing for a fondant cake while designing his line, we sort of hope that those couture craftspeople are looking to things universally loved for inspiration. Even if I can't afford a fancy dress, it's nice to know that I could go home and buy a rug that looks like one. Isn't keeping the dream alive what the runways are all about?

To make our case clear, we paired up the coolest couture looks with what we think are their IRL inspirations. We're thinking a couture costume party is in order for this weekend, but we just have to figure out how to make that Rubik's Cube Chanel dress first...