By definition, the term “couture” refers to clothing that is elegant and made for specific clients which also gives the term an air of luxury, uniqueness and exclusivity. Almost the same can be said about Paris, which is best known for the glittering Eiffel Tower and the city’s fashionable inhabitants. This year, the city of lights hosted some of the world’s biggest fashion events during Haute Couture Week, where designers showcased Fall and Winter couture looks in front of an international audience. Valentino, Chanel, Armani Privé, Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad were among the designers who hosted unique shows during the week. Although choosing favorites from the exquisite couture collections was admittedly a very tough task, we’ve narrowed it down to a couple of amazing designers and looks to compile this list of our favorites from Haute Couture Week.
The Armani Privé collection featured radiant colors such as pink and sapphire blue that were paired with darker shades of black. The collection included dresses that brought these colors together; however, what was most astounding was the chaotic harmony created between fabrics like chiffon and velvet. Finely-tailored blazers were paired with wide pants were featured in the collection, but Armani kept to the luxury of couture by also including Swarovski crystals and beads on other dresses and looks.
Coco Chanel became a fashion icon by creating a distinctive style and encouraging women in fashion to ignore gender norms that dictated what a woman should wear and look like. This year’s collection was no different — and no less extraordinary — than the legacy of Coco Chanel. During the Chanel show, models were styled with identical hair and makeup, shifting all of the focus on the immaculately tailored looks. The collection featured the iconic straight skirt but did not limit itself to what has been typical for Chanel. Flared dresses, like the one seen on the left, and fitted slacks, like the ones seen on the second to right photo, introduced contemporary designs in a traditional Chanel fashion.
Previous collections from Elie Saab have made the brand synonymous with elegance. In this collection, Maison Saab created gorgeous lace gowns embroidered with crystals of colors ranging from a glimmering gold to a lustrous emerald. While the silk and lace gowns were the focal point of the show, the collection also included pantsuits that were similar to ones seen in other collections like that of Zuhair Murad and Chanel, but of course Saab embellished the pantsuit with lace and a dazzling cape to make the look extravagant in a way that only a Elie Saab piece can.
Valentino presented mostly monochrome looks that brought a certain simplicity and minimalism to couture week. In Valentino’s case, though, simplicity and minimalism must not be read as boring. While the collection featured solid-colored gowns and looks with only a couple of designs, the simplicity was accentuated by intricate sleeves and cuts that were absolutely stunning. Creative Director of Valentino, Pierpaolo Piccioli said the looks were greatly inspired by Rome, which Piccioli says is “just a little bit noir, a little sinister.” The “noir and sinister” component was evident throughout Valentino’s show where models wore black and velvet accented by gold necklaces and pendants from Alessandro Gaggio.
Donatella Versace was quoted as saying that this collection showed “the softer side of Versace” and we think she did more than merely meet this objective. This year’s collection was filled with flowers and light colors like purple, yellow and pink. The collection also evoked styles from the ‘70s as models walked in platform heels and gogo boots, but those were not the only component reminiscent of times past. Flower crowns and asymmetrical flared gowns practically glided down the runway and added to the retro softness Versace that the collection aimed for. Atelier Versace joined loose chiffon with form-fitting corset outlines that remarkably shaped the dresses and kept the provocativeness that Versace is known for.
By: Lauren Romero (The Dia Diaries, Fashion Contributor)
Images from Indigitalimages.com
Chandia Brennen is a Certified Image Consultant and CEO of ItsGood2bME Fashion Consulting and Image Management based in Los Angeles CA, Chandia has been in the Fashion industry for over four years. She has worked for dozens of publications and holds the title of Senior Fashion Editor in both LA and NY. Chandia is a fashion scout for a Design Agency in NY and Brand Ambassador for HairEverywhere Luxury.