The last days of January mark fashion Haute Couture week in Paris. Though this year’s shows were presented in different formats due to the pandemic, designers and their collections still managed to impress and to stir up conversation (like any Haute Couture show should). Below are the week’s top shows and their most noteworthy looks.
In a YouTube video published in their official account, Schiaparelli showcased their Haute Couture collection in exactly 231 seconds. The collection was strong and to the point: molded breastplates with clear-cut six-packs were adorned with hot pinks and gold drip details, creating a landscape for androgyny. A pink cocktail dress was filled to the brim with padding to look like a bulky, muscular body. By mixing the idea of this perfect male physique with delicate beading, Daniel Roseberry creates a beautiful juxtaposition. Accessories were grand: from mile-long gold nails to a breast-feeding baby attached to a black dress, Roseberry once again explores the realm of possibility with bodily adornments.
What is Haute Couture without Chanel? In the absence of the beloved Karl Lagerfeld, Virginie Viard has composed a couture collection inspired by one of life’s biggest celebrations: weddings. In Viard’s mind, her strutting models served as the guests, dressed appropriately for a nuptial event: the likes of tulle, sequin, dresses with a certain flounce and exquisite two piece skirt and pant suits were all part of the show. Of course, being couture, the focus is the genius detailing.
Valentino‘s Summer/Spring 2021 collection felt like a more realistic and down-to-earth version of what is usually seen strutting down the couture runways. Pierpaolo Piccioli presented a major trend: baggier silhouettes. From roomy wool sweaters to overcoats with floor-length sleeves, this collection showed that elegance can be achieved through nonchalance.
Whether an ankle-length neon green dress or a bright pink sneaking from beneath jackets, a bright color palette was in sight. And by using a juxtaposition of neutral colors such as white, creme and browns, Valentino hints a sense of hope and happiness that is emerging in 2021.
From Maria Grazia herself, this haute couture Dior collection was inspired by tarot and the journey it can provide. “We decided to film a story about this girl who goes inside a castle. It’s a labyrinth which represents an interior trip. When she meets each of (the tarot) figures, she has to reach a decision about her life,” she says. In regards to the collection’s best moments, the modern interpretations of the pant suit comes to mind. Seen in only three looks in the collection, Maria Grazia, Dior’s creative director, gives a crop-top twist to a two-piece suit. Sheerness is a recurrent motif; from a light peach sheer top under a jacquard dress to a full-length blue gown, the translucence provides elegance and modesty.
The celebrity-filled runway at the Fendi couture show had the likes of Demi Moore, Kate and Lila Moss, Bella Hadid, Cara Delevigne, Christy Turlington, and none other than Naomi (with the closing look). Even though the familiar faces were distracting, they didn’t take away from the grandiosity of the collection. Impeccable tailoring and draping where seen in textured fabrics. Gowns were regal: sleeves adorned with beads hanging from the shoulders, translucent draped gowns, and Naomi’s number had a golden integrated cape. More than street style, this collection is an elegant nod to the operas and galas that have been on hold for the past year.