Twice a year a select group of designers gather in Paris to show the world’s most exclusive, expensive, and beautifully crafted fashion: Haute Couture. Couture may be but a far-off fantasy for most of us (i.e. only Russian billionaires need apply), yet we can’t help but gawk at and dream about the recently debuted Parisian fashions for this fall.
Monsieur Lagerfeld found some irony in couture this season – perhaps he’s catching on to the hipster craze. After all, last season he featured couture sneakers (that could be purchased for a cool 4k). “Couture” literally means cutting and seaming in French, yet this mastermind did everything but. The fabrics were twisted, molded, bonded, and delivered with a big wink from Lagerfeld. But what really made Chanel such a buzz this year? It had to be the Kardashian walking the runway. First they take Versailles, and now Chanel couture – what’s next? No, actually, we want to know. The north pole? Outer space?
This Giambattista Valli collection oozed a vibrant eccentricity coupled with an old hollywood vibe. These are looks you could imagine Southern California fashionistas of yesteryears (or today) sporting for a Palm Springs getaway. He painted a quirky picture for this season’s couture: a girl waking up from a beauty nap, wrapping herself in her striped bed sheet (or her boyfriend’s shirt) and tying her hair with a nearby hand towel. Voila! Couture perfection. The only other person who could rival Valli’s girls in their “I woke up like this” style has to be Beyoncé herself.
Donatella Versace said she was inspired by the 50’s for this couture collection. It’s ok, we did a double take at the images after we read that too. While there are some traces of the era like the big-skirted ball gowns — or rather, skintight bodysuits with gown-like skirts; let’s face it: this collection was much more 50 Shades of Grey than the good old 50’s. From chokers, to binding straps, to metal clasps and harnesses, the bare skin galore traipsing down the runway seemed more suited to a scandalous underground club than a sock hop.
Valentino took on the “classic” look this season. And by “classic” – we mean ancient rome; not a little black dress with pearls. Although the iconic Italian house is known for its overtly feminine and intricately embellished frocks, which were still present aplenty – the wrapped sheer silk gowns which mimicked the simply draped tunics of millennia past came out on top in this parade of gladiator sandal clad beauties.
While many designers looked back in time for this season’s latest inspiration, no one did it quite like Raf Simons at Dior. Simons tossed aside the the idea of a single concept collection, and instead hopped throughout history to provide something for everyone. Simons is a modern designer through and through, and that rung true no matter what century he set his gaze on. There were gowns for a modern Marie Antoinette, seamlessly followed with jumpsuits suited for the space age- a transition most could not pull off. On a side note, how exciting is the thought of Jennifer Lawrence in a couture spacesuit?