What do you do when you cannot book the most exclusive models and actresses in the world to feature in your fashion show? The answer, according to Brazilian designer Fause Haten, is to turn those personalities into marionettes and have them parade on a stage wearing miniatures of your collection’s dresses. It was with this inventive runway show format in mind that a team of puppeteers literally manipulated the steps and poses of Gisele Bündchen, Thana Kuhnen, Paola Ludtke, Stella Tennant, Aline Weber, Alícia Kuczman, Shalom Harlow, Kate Moss, Carol Trentini, Raquel Zimmermann, Kristen McMenamy, Karen Elson, Alek Wek, Natalia Vodianova, Amber Valletta, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Julianne Moore.
Entitled ‘The Wondrous World of Dr F’, fashion label FH by Fause Haten’s womenswear collection for Spring/Summer 2014 was displayed as a puppet show in the setting of the FAAP theatre, away from the main venue of the latest edition of São Paulo Fashion Week. If the intention was to create an enchanting sartorial world that relied on magical realist undertones, in truth the display of the dresses on the marionettes raised some concerns in terms of scale and form that did not mirror the final garments, which were displayed hanging on the theatre stage at the end of the show for a few minutes only.
There is no doubt that Haten’s intention was to produce a range of very feminine and majestic dresses that could be regarded as examples of haute couture. However, and despite the appealing presentation that garnered an effusive standing ovation at the end, the collection’s looks did not bring much originality to the sartorial world, with an abundance of overused designs such as mermaid shapes, ruffles, bows and layered chiffon with vinyl or fabric floral applications. In the end, I left feeling that even if Haten’s intentions might have been seductively wondrous, the marionettes presentation only managed to hide the collection’s lack of sartorial creative. This perception might have been avoided if the actual garments (and not the doll dresses versions) had been displayed in more detail and for longer. Because that did not happen, I am left only with magical memories and no necessary confirmation of Fause Haten’s real talent.