Fashion/Beauty  •  Moments in Fashion

Moments in Fashion: The Haute Couture Report

Haute Couture Week in Paris is a chance for everyone to dream. We take a momentary escape from the great French capital of fashion to visit the inspirations for the fantastical designs of this years’ couture spectacles.

July 07, 2017
Haute Couture is a very special week in Paris where Couture clients, influencers, celebrities, and the press gather to gawk at the most beautiful clothes in the world. Without the commercial pressure of ready-to-wear, Haute Couture is an anomaly, mainly a branding exercise but also one that is necessary to safeguard the savoir faire associated with making the most exquisite made-to-order garments in the world. Everything is done by hand, everything is customized and though the looks of the runway are for show and to help us escape, in real life the couture clients make altered versions of the dramatic runway looks.

Traditionally, only the fashion houses that were approved by the Federation Francaise de la Haute Couture would show their collections during this sacred week of cocktails and dinners but today other brands have joined them, and we see the next collections of ready-to-wear now too so a little bit of that is sprinkled into the mix. Bear in mind too, that going for multiple fittings to customize a designers vision with your own ideas and your own body is part of the couture experience.

Candy Fluffing at Giambattista Valli
The king of tulle and drama, Giambattista’s haute couture collection (and everything else that he does) reminds us of the sweet, fluffy, and deliciousness colorful world of cotton candy. What can we say, we like our dresses as well as candies: sweet, voluminous, and plentiful. There was a playfulness in the collection, and something new in the air, perhaps it was the new investor Francois Pinault; nonetheless, those clouds of tulle, organza, and the most ornate flowers remain a firm favorite with his Euro Glam and Asia heiresses clientele. Who doesn’t love cotton candy?

Racing days with  Miu Miu 
Tokyo drifting with Miu Miu through the streets of Paris, stopping for no one, bagging the latest fashions, fulfilling our childhood dreams of becoming race car drivers, in style. Everything from the chic mechanic’s jumpsuit to the colorful racing stripes featured throughout the collection, you can almost hear the roar of the engines. Not technically a couture collection but a presentation of their SS18. We especially loved Adwoah Aboah in those racing stripes on digitally printed flowers.

Peter Dundas x Dhammakaya
The very first outing for Peter Dundas’ Haute Couture collection felt like taking a spiritual escape to Wat Dhammakaya. Both Buddhist and Eastern, the colors of the tropics combined with voluminous shapes and just the right amount of skin. Perhaps he saw one of Korakrit Arunanondchai’s videos and his depiction of the great Buddhist temple: that is one spiritual escape.

Mummying it with Versace
The recent reboot of the Hollywood blockbuster, The Mummy, seems to have inspired Donnatella for this season, which showcased head-to-toe gold bodysuits and fitted silhouettes a lá Versace. Bonded and wrapped, futuristic and somehow ancient: That is what the mummy has become, and that outfit would not be lost in a nightclub or wedding after party.

Proenza Schouler: The Shell Life
For its first time showing at Haute Couture Week, Proenza Schouler’s Spring/Summer collection drew inspiration from a mystical underwater world or more precisely, it’s beautiful seashells. Powder puff pinks and other pastel colors alongside salty breezed slick backs and wave-like ruffles reminiscent of the sea. Ariel would be a customer, for sure, as she also fits the bill: Couture is made for princesses, both mermaids and humans.

Corpse Brides of Rodarte
The bucolic bride with baby's breath in braided hair, reminding us of sweet girls dancing around a maypole, but also the rebellious it-girl of days past. Though the world of Rodarte is not so simple and we escape to something that is as much corpse bride as it is rock-n-roll future, as those flowers on beautifully draped gowns sit comfortably next to studs, see-through everything and leather ensembles were all outfits to make any rebel debutante swoon.

Fly away in Christian Dior
Christian Dior, under the helm of Maria Grazia Chiuri, presented an aviation-heavy collection going beyond the iconic Top Gun aviator sunglasses with leather pilot-esque jumpsuits, fitted jackets, and flowy maxi skirts perfect for in-battle action of the skies. The sky was the limit in the early 1900’s, inspired frocks that we’ll probably see Rihanna put her spin to fairly soon.

Iris Van Herpen meets Yayoi Kusama
The queen of the future, submerging us with crystal-studded gowns that could easily take us into Yayoi Kusama’s room of lights: an infinity room where all you see are little speckles of light, like the infinite stars in the sky, or souls that never leave the Earth.

Queen of Schiaparelli
Sparking another Tim Burton resemblance this Couture Week was Elsa Schiaparelli’s couture collection featuring red flowing-in-the-wind capes, Alice in Wonderland-esque dresses, and cut-out hearts. Happily sported by the Queen of Hearts, we suspect, the collection was both fitting for a fiery queen as well as the daydreamers looking for Wonderland. The only thing missing was a mad hatter.

Popping it with Chanel
All of Chanel’s runways show never cease to amaze and this couture week we couldn’t help but think that Mary Poppins would appear from the clouds of Chanel Tower (the to-scale Eiffel Tower in the midst of Grand Palais!!!!) to set the tone for a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious show. The tweed-heavy collection seemed to capture the spirit of Poppins, in particular the bowler hats, though sadly minus the umbrella. Maybe Karl got inspired by the recent news of the Mary Poppins Returns film that has been in the works.

Alexandre Vauthier at Studio 54
The newly crowned prince of glamor and all things risque is Alexandre Vauthier, who can lift one’s imaginationation higher than those slits that he does. That aside, the dresses mold the body and gently drape as a Vauthier girl moves through the dance floor. Seeing those sequin slithery gowns transport us right to the Studio 54, entering the club on a white horse a la Bianca Jagger and dancing the night away as any fabulous girl of that era would. That is a Vauthier girl and that is where she would be.