Haute Couture Week in Paris gives us the chance to marvel at the latest eye-wateringly expensive, jaw-dropping runway looks from top fashion house creative directors and their talented teams.
As is the norm, only top clients, certain high-profile celebs and fashion industry bods were invited to attend this recent event which ran from 4–7 July 2022. But no matter – as all the autumn/winter 2022–2023 shows were filmed and released online via the FHCM website. We’ve highlighted eight you’ll want to check out first:
The first half of Balenciaga’s 51st couture collection by Demna Gvasalia was dominated by stark, sobering silhouettes. Models were wholly encased in futuristic black neoprene with their faces hidden by full, reflective face shields. The show’s second half was a star-studded, extravagant shebang with the inclusion of long and sleek, train-trailing dresses and huge, glamorous ballgowns sported by the likes of Naomi Campbell, Nicole Kidman and Dua Lipa.
Kim Jones delivered his fourth collection for Fendi. Except for a few bold and bright looks (such as a neon yellow long belted dress), the overall colour palette was pretty subtle. There were slightly oversized trouser suits in a distinctive shade of brown, sleek, flowing dresses in the most delicate of nudes, barely there shimmery dresses that leave little to the imagination and a stunning set of Japanese silk kimono patchworks.
Daniel Roseberry’s resplendent Schiaparelli show kicked off Haute Couture Week with a surreal, fantastical theme that embraced the beauty and ‘silliness’ of fashion’. There were wide-shouldered silhouettes with nipped, corseted waists. A sleek, velvet gown paired with waist-length pearl earrings. A dress made almost entirely from a fringe of beads. Larger-than-life hats and several looks that sported floral displays.
Jean Paul Gaultier
Described as an ‘open letter of love to Jean Paul’, Oliver Rousteing’s Gaultier show was all about diversity, inclusivity and breaking boundaries. He paid homage to the 1994 Les Tatouages collection with his menswear looks, then delivered statement piece after statement piece with womenswear, complete with themes of corsetry, conical bras, feather-sprouting denim and platform heels.
From French designer Alexandre Vauthier came a series of forward-thinking, technical designs consisting of oversized power-dress suits, sharply tailored shoulders and showstopping slinky dresses in a minimal colour palette of black, beige, Yves Klein blue and silver. Standout looks included a long, black mesh dress covered in shiny black spindles, a hulking blue croc-look fur jacket, and a glittery, silver textured dress and jacket combo complete with matching shoes and handbag.
Giambattista Valli’s show was an extravagant affair with a procession of beautiful party frocks and gowns. It started with white, crystal-edged dresses, paired with delicate heels and chandelier earrings, followed by a flowing, ostrich print dress with a train covered in feathers. Later came a sea of tulle, with fishtail and full-skirt dresses in an abundance of dazzling colours.
Elegant tailoring, flowing pleats and beautiful fabrics evoked a sense of laid-back luxury at Virginie Viard’s show for Chanel. The collection included a range of mid-length tweed suits, sophisticated military style and dress coats, plus chic gowns made from chiffon and lace. Intricate embellishments, sequins and beading added eye-catching detail to several looks.
Maria Grazia Chiuri’s collection for Christian Dior was symbolic of religion and renewal with its ‘Tree of Life’ theme. Many of the looks focused on long silhouettes that were understated yet intricate, with puffed sleeves, delicate smocking, lace patchworks and bead embroidery. A gentle colour palette was used, mainly comprising whites and beiges but also featuring muted reds, blues and blacks.
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