These Brands Prove That Runway Shows Are Back, And They’re Better Than Ever

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From Chanel to Dior to Off-White, here are all the brands who went all out for their recent runway shows.

Now that more and more people are getting vaccinated, events are coming back in full swing—in other parts of the world, anyway. Much to the delight of fashion lovers everywhere, this means that runway shows are back, and not just virtually.

After having to resort to only video presentations and livestreams in 2020, luxury brands are going all out for Paris Couture Week. From their collections to locations, down to their star-studded guests, fashion shows are back—and they are better than ever.

While there are still some that opted to present their collections virtually, we’ve rounded up the fashion houses that launched their collections with an audience, for the first time in more than a year.

Alaïa

Debut collection under Pieter Mulier, Alaïa’s Spring 2022 Ready-To-Wear collection served as a tribute to Azzedine Alaïa, who passed in 2017. Held at Rue de Mossy—the street where the first Alaïa boutique was opened—the collection was Mulier’s way of introducing Alaïa’s house codes to the new generation. The collection showcased classy pieces such as little black dresses, coats, and suits, as well as fun pieces made of fur and in vibrant hues.

Armani Privé

Held at the Italian Embassy in Paris, Giorgio Armani makes a come back to the runway with an iridescent collection. “I think that, during this period, we have discovered a feeling of something true, something powerful, something enriching, and something energizing,” Giorgio Armani shares. “and I want all this to come true, also through my work.” Aptly called “Shine,” the collection was full of colors, florals, and focused on the use of silk organza that just flowed and shined beautifully on the runway.

Balenciaga

A first for the fashion house’s creative director Demna Gvasalia, Balenciaga’s 50th couture collection comes in 53 years after the brand’s last couture collection. This will also be the first time the fashion house has included men’s couture. Following the lead of Cristobal Balenciaga, the show started with all black numbers, featuring house codes such as oversized silhouettes and double-breasted coats. As well as showcasing casual looks (a nod to the brand’s streetwear aesthetic), the collection also featured long gowns.

Chanel

Held at the Palais Galliera in Paris, the Chanel haute couture collection was inspired by optimism for a post-pandemic future. Designed by Virginie Viard, the couture collection featured vibrant colors, feathers, florals, and tweed suits which are a Chanel staple. To end the show, actress Margaret Qualley strutted the runway in a retro Chanel wedding dress, and threw the bouquet into the hands of editor Laura Brown.

Christian Dior

After not having a real-life audience for three seasons, Dior’s collection is all about “being present.” In response to a pandemic free future, Maria Grazia Churi focused on daywear, making use of tweed, embroidery and silk. A celebration of the handwork in fashion, Dior’s haute couture featured tweed coats, flow dresses, fun prints, and must-have accessories.

Jacquemus

The label’s first fashion show in more than a year, Jacquemus made headlines with their Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear Collection. “For me, the show can’t be replaced by any good video,” Simon Porte Jacquemus shared. “It’s the emotion, and the feeling of people sharing their own vision of the show that makes the difference, I think.” What started as frustration with the pandemic, turned into a playful collection for the fashion house. Jacquemus’ fall 2021 ready-to-wear collection featured neutral tones and bright colors. Apart from that, the collection also showcased sexy silhouettes, casual wear, and other eye-catching pieces.

Off-White

Only in its 8th year since its inception, Off-White has become a favorite among celebrities and fashion fanatics. For the brand’s Spring 2021 Ready-to-Wear collection, Virgil Abloh is all about fun and evolution for the brand. Named “Laboratory of Fun,” the collection, as well as the presentation was playful and full of brights—but still following the streetwear aesthetic Off-White is known for. “I’ve already said that it’s a youth brand adjacent to streetwear—and I get frustrated if I don’t feel an evolution,” Virgil Abloh said. “and the message becomes monotonous. I feel the world’s changed.”