Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week autumn/winter 2017-2018 just wrapped up, and as expected, the runways abounded with many magical looks. Obviously, we can’t talk about the highlights of one of Paris's most extravagant fashion weeks without mentioning the Chanel show. As well as the luxury brand’s customary tweed, pearl-dotted pieces, there were some audacious, experimental silhouettes. "It's a vision of a revived Parisian woman, it is all about cut, shapes, silhouettes," Creative Designer Karl Lagerfeld said. There was a nostalgic vibe at Dior, another French heavyweight, spearheaded by Maria Grazia Chiuri. However there were some very contemporary pieces as well. Including the haute suits, there were some gorgeous trend-setting black tulle ballgowns.
The fashion world is full of wonders, and there are always some shows that command attention, whether that’s due to ground-breaking ingenuity, bold designs or quirkiness. Alexandre Vauthier featured two ultra daring looks, worn by none other than Bella Hadid. One was an entirely sheer top with high-waisted culottes and pink boots and the other a shimmering silver wrap dress with plunging neckline and serious slit. The Vicktor & Rolf show also caused a stir. The Dutch designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, who are known for their avant-garde designs, decided to open the show with rag dolls. Their collection featured oversized khaki puffer jackets. Models at the Maison Margiela show also had us in a spin while walking down the catwalk looking futuristically chic in decadent gold accents, including boots, and upgraded trench coats. The models sported golden and white foam hair while modelling John Galliano’s “Arisinal” collection. For Atelier Versace, Donatella Versace presented lots of originality and pizzazz. Colours like white, bronze, gold and pink dominated and the pieces featured exquisite crafted embroideries. What’s more, there was 3-D printed belt and a necklace that actually holds a dress together.
Bella Hadid during the Alexandre Vauthier show
Lots of beautiful gowns and skirts were also displayed during the shows in the French capital. For her fourth time at Paris Haute Couture Week, Chinese couturier Guo Pei turned to the golden era of haute couture for ideas. Her ballgowns were accentuated with the embroidery and beading she is known for. Talking about signature styles, Giambattista Valli’s gorgeous tulle gowns were well and truly dreamlike. His show featured his iconic puffballs. Rodarte, the fashion label known for its ethereal frocks, didn’t let fans of the style down either, coming up with exquisite tulle, leather, lace and chiffon designs. Sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy took romantic to the next level with their floral motif. Ralph & Russo's couture offering was also fairytale like, featuring the feather-embellished trend. In Armani Privé’s “Mystery” collection, accompanying all the veils were full ball skirts with layers of tulle and organza featuring big roses, and hemlines with lace (that travelled up) and beading.
Ralph & Russo
When it came to décor, attendees were treated to fantastic settings. Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri had guests believe they’re on safari as they sat among giraffes, monkeys, tigers and elephants in a star-shaped amphitheater. Plus, Karl Lagerfeld created a garden (or greenhouse if you wish) in the Grand Palais featuring a huge replica of the Eiffel Tower. However, Giorgio Armani turned the Palais de Chaillot into his own Milanese atelier at the Palazzo Orsini, with white and gold doors and carvings on the walls to copy those at home.
Of course, there were also the celebrities adding to the excitement, on and off the runways. The streets were replete with stellar street styles from fashion influencers and celebrities. And there were lots of antics from the most enthusiastic celebrity, Celine Dion. The haute couture aficionado, who almost exclusively wears haute couture for her own performances, was happily pulling a number of striking poses for the cameras. “Vogue” even shared a rare nude, but strategically taken, picture of the 49-year-old singer during an outfit change. On the runway, Coco Rocha playfully riding a bicycle down the John-Paul Gaultier catwalk was a pure delight. During the debut Peter Dundas Resort 2018 show, which had a mixture of 18th century and 70s inspired clothes, there was an all-star lineup of models like Natasha Poly, Lily Donaldson and Georgia May Jagger.