There’s something about Haute Couture that brings the magic of fashion to life with confectionary like froth, peony and rose style layers and rich tapestry of fabrics to take any belle back to a time when dreams of being a princess were at the forefront of her mind. For fashion lovers it provides a look at what the best of the best can do and sets trends for the season ahead.
Rich deep velvets saw a return in midnight black, rich burgundy, cobalt and emerald. Floral patterns and embelishments remain strong with art deco style patterns also making an impact. Monchrome was punctuated with metallics and muted nude shades were also prominent.
Here we look at our favourite shows from Paris last week…
Ralph & Russo
When British duo Ralph & Russo were elected to the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, former president, Didier Grumbach said: “We expect savoir faire, which is being lost, and they Ralph & Russo have it”. And so they do, overtaking the old guard to present a stunning array of gorgeous gowns.
It was the golden age in The Big Apple when prohibition was in full swing as were the parties and glamour that the era is remembered for. Elie Saab took inspiration from the New York of the roaring 20s with the Chrysler Building and the Statue of Liberty reflected in the gorgeous gowns.
Lace, intricate beading and fedoras gave this collection a boho feel, via the flamenco stylings of Spain with the stunning layers and full-length black and red gowns the glided down the catwalk. Daring and revealing, it was clear to see the hours of work that had gone into these dresses.
Versace’s couture collection was some what subdued compared to Donatella’s usual Ready-to-Wear offerings and benefited from it with asymmetrical necklines, delicate ruffles and flashes of colour. Despite being handmade, it was effortlessly wearable and timelessly classic.
The monochrome tonings, Swarovski crystal embellishments and simple long lines of Armani Privé collection took us back to the glamorous eras of both the 30s and 80s as the shapes reflected both. Strapless sheaths, oversized bows and squared off shoulders provided uncomplicated but powerful silhouettes.
Frothy, fun and feminine best describes Giambattista Valli’s couture collection which saw dresses in silk chiffon, tulle and organza, pants suits with puffy sleeved crop tops and intricate beading create organic patterns across gowns. Colours were muted and soft only punctuated with rich scarlets and burgundies.
Karl Lagerfeld provides beautifully cut dresses and separates that reflected the style narrative of typical Chanel. From suiting and tweed to heavily embroidered fabric and relaxed silhouettes, it was couture in it’s purest, if somewhat tame, form.
Elizabethan reigned supreme at Valentino as neck ruffs, masculine riding trousers and starched gowns lead the way on the catwalk. These softened into sheer chiffon with floral adornments in what may well be the final couture collection designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli as a creative partnership for the fashion house.
Black and white were once again the unifying choice at Dior as the ‘bar jacket’ pulled the collection together to present a modern take on Dior’s ‘New Look’. Cinched in waists, long skirts and detailed sleeves certainly provided a feminine form that was both classic, modern and ultimately wearable.