Stretching an astonishing four-day show packed with 22 designers, Paris Fashion Week’s Fall/Winter Couture collections celebrate individuality, glamour and going back to their design DNAs. Today, we rounded up 10 of the best collections that brought all of our fantasies to life.
Closing couture week was immensely talented designer Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino and he unsurprisingly ended with much applaud. His collection was a stunning display of gravity-defying construction, color-mixing, and proportion play, patchwork and embroidery. The collection was beautiful and moving, it left the house’s very own founder Valentino Garavani to tears (according to the reported accounts of Sally Singer & Laura Brown).
2. GIAMBATTISTA VALLI
Taking cues from artist Francis Picabia’s paintings, Giambattista Valli continues its love affair with painterly florals and feminine frocks. The show was rich in ruffled mini dresses, oversized bows, faux fur, silk chiffon, and of course, his signature layers and layers of tulle.
After a long line of male head designers, Claire Waight Keller is the first female to spearhead Givenchy after inheriting the house last year. She’s undoubtedly one of the biggest and most-anticipated designers of the year, not only creating Meghan Markle’s iconic wedding frock, but also being the first to pay tribute to Hubert Givenchy himself and his muse, the eternally chic Audrey Hepburn. Waight Keller brought back the capes, the purity of the silhouettes from the 50s and 70s and infused it with her contemporary touch.
4. ARMANI PRIVÉ
In contrast with the primary muted looks from half of the show, Armani Privé pervaded the runways with blush, hot pink, electric blue and gilded confections with nearly 100 red carpet-ready looks. The Italian house also touches on the surrealist movement, with folded arms embroidered onto the front of one black velvet gown. The Armani Privé show celebrated understated elegance and high-intensity drama.
Maria Grazia Churi’s Dior woman is one that exudes a quiet elegance, one that murmurs beauty and grace, an anti-thesis to her feminist-charged show in the past. Remember that iconic ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ statement tee that every street style star was spotted wearing? Churi’s collection for this season was a myriad of feminine hues with a palette abundant in blush, navy, celery, and nude in diaphanous fabrics that matched the models’ skin tones.
“High fashion is about Paris, huh?” says Karl Lagerfeld. He paid homage to his Parisian roots, recounting the moment when he moved to Paris at 18 years old. During that time, the city of love was still suffering from the remnants of the war and its dark unrestored buildings. Despite the danger of the unknown and fear of getting lost, Lagerfeld grew to love the city as evidenced in his couture collection for Chanel.
7. ALEXANDRE VAUTHIER
Conjuring a young Inès de La Fressange famously known for her flawless style and aristocracy was Alexandre Vauthier for his recent couture collection. It was a riotous mix of intricate pleating and embroidery, shocking animal prints and delicate dresses. Vauthier’s muse was reminiscent of an 80s antagonist, breaking the nostalgic glamour with baggy boots.
8. ELIE SAAB
A recent trip to Barcelona and Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi’s (known for his work, the still-incomplete Sagrada Familia) masterpieces were all it took to impact Lebanese designer Elie Saab and push him to produce a 63-piece collection charged with unapologetic femininity. Show-stopping, red carpet-worthy looks became the couturier’s signature, presenting looks ranging from cocktail dresses, tailored coats, and larger-than-life gowns.
9. ZUHAIR MURAD
“It’s a little bit heavy,” Murad admitted. “You need to be a strong woman to wear it.” The designer looked to the czars and czarinas for their famously luxurious taste evidently, sending models down the runway in embellished velvet, chiffon and satin in feminine silhouettes with a military kick.
Following the announcement of countless fashion houses going fur-free, all eyes were on Karl Lagerfeld (head designer of Fendi) who established the brand’s affiliation with fur. Their Fall/Winter collection boasted of iridescence, feathers, a mix of crayola brights and pastel hues, and fabrics that mirrored the same effect of real fur. Now, the next challenge for Fendi is to come up with alternatives for fur whether it be man-made or lab-grown.
Photos courtesy of vogue.com