Paris Couture Week is one of my favourite fashion events, gowns intricate and with ethereal folds of fabric trail and flow as the models sashay down the catwalk. This year was no exception as beautiful gowns, many which we are sure to see at upcoming awards ceremonies were presented in the French Capital.
Here we look at the best from our favourite designers…
Romance was the theme for designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino this season. Taking inspiration from Dante and Chagall’s painting and using Shakespearean quotes, the rich fabrics and prints reflect a decadent yet carefree time.
It was Raf Simon’s third Spring/Summer couture collection for Christian Dior and he seemed to be taking inspiration from both the Dior classic New Look of the late 40s as well as the 60s and 70s mini dresses in his choice of silhouettes. Indeed Simons himself said after the show: “My first Couture shows were exercises in understanding the history. The more you understand, the more you see what it can become.” Fabrics were varied from plastics and lace to floral patterns, tulle and sequins with femininity being the winner.
Chanel classics black white and soft pink with some added rose red for good measure saw Karl Lagerfeld take Chanel back to its roots this season. Ladylike silhouettes and floral applique were tempered with comfortable flat shoes giving the collection a modern and wearable look.
Muted colours, soft flowing gowns in simple yet beautifully cut shapes were the backbone of Saab’s collection. Decorated with beading, ostrich feathers, lace and applique, these are gowns that we are sure to see on a number of celebrities this awards season Feminine, wearable and flattering, it is easy to see why celebrities (and brides) turn to Elie Saab time and time again.
Jean Paul Gaultier
Jean Paul Gaultier continues to push the boundaries of couture fashion and this show was no exception with his hybrid dresses (two in one as seen on the far right) and even half suit, half dress outfits. He also sent down the catwalk very wearable pieces with shapes from the 20s and 50s being updated with snakeskin print, striking colours, asymmetrical necklines and mixed fabrics.
Soft ice cream shades and delicate beading were de rigueur at Zahair Murad. Long flowing capes and capelets that were heavily bejewelled and created a point of interest, Another designer that is a firm favourite with the A-list, it is easy to see why he is so popular.
Entitled Impossible Conversations, Valli himself said the inspiration for this collection was an imagined conversation between Coco Chanel and Janis Joplin. The result is the classic Chanel palette of pale pink and black mixed with bohemian layering, florals and individualism that Joplin represented.
Giorgio Armani took inspiration from the Orient with bamboo prints, gold shot silk and Obi belts a prominent feature in his looks. Colours were from nature with taupes, blues and greens, all accented with strong deep black.
Donatella Versace once again showcased bold, brazen designs with cutaway panels and lace inserts accentuating womanly curves. Her palette was simple – red, black and white – and no doubt the wearers of these dresses will not only need perfect bodies but also a whole lot of balls to wear some of these stunning designs.