The Haute Couture of late still has Paris spinning with delight.

This year’s fantasy turned reality into dreams at the creative centrefold. Designers dug deep into the past from memories to personal inspiration in order to re-interpret and bring their very best forward for this Spring 2019 Couture.

 

Dior

The Dior Circus came to town this season. The Circus was once a long-awaited event that brought joy upon arrival. Paying homage to the past and leveraging off of the magical theatrical phenomena, this year, Maria Grazia Chiuri created her own “circus” for the Maison.

Crying clown couture topped with sparkling caps and faces draped in a delicate mesh were paired with tulle gowns which interchanged with neck ruffle detailing to a sequin jumper and blazer combo. Even the clown outfits themselves were revisited in modernized materials, silhouettes, embroidery, and proportions. Shorts are paired with sheer white shirts accented with ruffles or ribbons notably frayed with the passage of time. Leather corsets, sailor stripes, and black jackets inspired by that of the lion tamer. Animated with performances by the all-female circus company Mimbre, Chiuri brought us through a tantalizing experience, stimulating a multitude of emotions and bringing our wildest couture dreams to life.

 

 

Alexandre Vauthier

With world-renowned icon Celine Dion causing a photography free-for-all pre-show, she dazzled all the while in her black shimmery dress accompanied by her backup dancer Pepe Munoz.

This season, Alexandre Vauthier presented a collection which was focused on the balance of extremes. Poufed skirt mini dresses were matched with boleros, and exquisitely tailored trousers were topped with ultra-feminine blouses with oversized sleeves to strapless tulle and ruffles. Sparkling pieces and dual leopard print creations walked the line: one with plunging neckline, the other with winged sleeves. Mini shorts were garnished with a rounded shoulder jacket and completed with a black bow highlighting a masculine-feminine feel which gave the collection a playful, yet extremely sensual feel. Françoise Hardy, ’60s pop star and French style muse for Vauthier, played on the soundtrack and was an inspiration to the collection with a glittering emerald head-to-toe look and an edgy, tulle, bridal-inspired piece were some of the showstoppers.

 

 

Givenchy

In perhaps one of her most impressive presentations to date and third haute couture season, Clare Waight Keller staged the ‘bleached canvas’ presentation at the Musée d’Art modern de la Ville de Paris.

The stark white was the perfect stage for the colour pops which highlighted the push and pull between the old and the new of the Maison. Latex was referred to as “couture leather” and was mixed with shapes and materials that referenced the past. The contemporary material was slipped under a perfectly tailored blazer, a latex cape was draped on a scarlet dress, and a spliced one-sleeve was paired with an evening gown. Silhouettes varied, featuring a colourful multi-fringed two piece and “glitter face” makeup by makeup artist Pat McGrath which highlighted models faces for that extra bit of accentuation.

 

 

Giambattista Valli

World-renowned for his overflowing tulle creations in exuberant candy coloured hues, this season has made the Maison’s gowns synonymous with glamour worldwide. This season, the collection continued with a youthful vibe, mini dresses played with voluminous sleeves and a gloriously shimmering piece garnished with feathers. Playing with length continued to make its mark with cropped tulle showing off leg length and a dramatic exit with leaving an abundance of flowing material behind. Feathers and satin over pants and knotted bows all added to the exuberance of what is Giambattista Valli, including show-stopping all white gowns which are sure to make future brides’ hearts skip a couture beat.

 

 

Ralph & Russo

In perfect diva-like fashion, Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo brought us back to that old school movie era of ‘the Diva’. A bright green, carefully-tailored suit with a glittering snake accentuating the waist was topped with a wide brimmed hat revealing cheekily, the glance of a woman’s determined and sensual eye. Moving from suit tailoring to evening gowns, the collection screamed silver screen glamour with creations from flowing tinsel mono-shouldered gowns to a perfume bottle fuchsia number.

 

 

Zuhair Murad

The deep blue sea was explored and revitalized for Zuhair Murad this Spring 2019 Couture. Angelic creatures emerged from the depths of turquoise grottos, from pristine waters in every shade of blue. As if from a nautical fairytale, satin and chiffon varied in length and application dazzling in light, catching sparkles ranging from every hue of blue topped and complimented with hues of red reminiscent of sunset-blazed skies, shades of violet and silver which concluded a show that teleported us to the glorious Mediterranean.

 

 

Iris Van Herpen

When creation is backed by extensive research, the end result is a couture collection created by Van Herpen. Transparent organza crossed the catwalk like an otherworldly entity created in collaboration with former NASA engineer Kim Keever. The color palette saw warm hues diffused on plissé chiffon and carefully placed petal inspired structures. Entitled Shift Souls. the collection tapped into the etherealness of being through airy materials and rippled effect detailing.

 

 

Schiaparelli

Opening couture week this 2019, Schiaparelli brought forward a collection based on childhood memories. A world of flowers, constellations and dreams were mixed with a whimsical childlike essence resulting in a playful colour palette. Star maps were embroidered  and found on pastel backdrops. Looking in hindsight to postwar sketches, Bertrand Guyon brought the inspiration forward, modernizing their architecture: jackets with rounded shoulders and pinched waists accentuated silhouettes and were paired with cowboy boots, jolting nostalgia. Evening gowns featured ruffles, galaxy-like prints, and varying volumes. Particular pieces featured sprinkled stardust, leaving behind a trail of shimmer in all the right places.

 

 

Viktor & Rolf

Entitled “Statements” – which could be an understatement for the brand as Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren’s candy coloured tulle dresses went viral the moment they hit the catwalk.

18 oversized dresses with bubbled sleeves had models swimming in ruffles with varying largely displayed catch phrases such as “sorry I’m late, I didn’t want to come” and “no photos please” are bound to be a red carpet hit. The rainbow-hued gowns were created to counter social media banality, which was duly aligned with the Masion’s brand DNA.

 

 

Jean Paul Gaultier

The sailor stripe has indefinitely turned into an iconic motif for the Maison, but the Jean Paul Gaultier show brought us across the sea. The Maison revealed revitalizations of the iconic mariner and blazers with pointed constructed fin-like shoulders, which were a common element throughout the collection. Dappling in diversified silhouettes like waist-cinching peplums as the show progressed, a oriental-inspired ornamental theme became increasingly evident. With diversified casting including that of Dita Von Teese, Jean Paul Gaultier continued to champion his own aesthetic and honour his unique ideals of beauty and truly exclusive aesthetic

 

 

Valentino

The Roman designer Pier Paolo Piccoli most evidently centralized his creations around Renaissance and Romanticism with an apparent twist – models of colour were at the nucleus of the inspiration and collection. Challenging the stereotypes of couture, the master himself and the Maison has been considered one of the top presentations this year. Three dimensional florals, florals in inflated volumes, frills, feathers and organza gowns as the other-worldly fashion-like-art drifted down the catwalk leaving onlookers in tears – Celine Dion’s emotion went viral over social as iconic Naomi Campbell closed the show.

 

 

Balmain

Staged at the store on rue Faubourg Saint Honoré, Olivier Rousteing most definitely proved his couture dexterity. A variety of textures from beads to feathers accentuated by architectural folds and bobbles intricately transformed silhouettes as they were creatures having just walked directly out of a snow-like fairytale. Angular frilled placements dramatized powdered white skin, with pinched waists, sphered wristlets, and orbed leather seeming to hover down the runway in an exaggerated ’80s surreal state – in all the good ways.

 

Azzaro Couture

In an epochal era for music, culture, and Azzaro, the ’70s made its indefinite mark on fashion. The Maison was founded around the end of the 1970s just at the time Studio 54 had its beginning – what better inspiration? Flared pants drenched in sequins, chiffon minis, crisp whites paired with glittery black, oversized bows, and an array of metallic graced the runway bringing forward the very best part of such an iconic past.

 

Elie Saab

Dreaming of mermaids emerging from the sea, the always exceptionally feminine Elie Saab highlighted curvaceous tailoring with ocean-inspired sequin detailing. A harmonious blend with sensuality and exactness topped with the elegance and charm of the Mediterranean gives the collection a certain chic braggadocio with a lavish flair.

 

Maison Margiela

Under the helm of Galliano, the creations of Maison Margiela have been influenced directly by current events. With the bombardment of imagery on a daily basis due to social media, Galliano used over-saturation as his muse for this season’s 2019 couture collection.

The overstimulation of colour, paired with the breakdown of garments, cutting and piecing together looks reveal coloured fabrics only in movement. Jackets were reassembled and contrived, silhouettes morphed, pushing our cognitive boundaries to perceive the human form from an adverse perspective. In an evident portrayal of an alternate reality, Galliano teleported us into his world of decadence.

 

Armani Prive

Hosted at the Napoleon III salons of Hôtel d’Évreux, Mr. Armani reminded the world of fashion exactly why couture is the most creative part of the industry. At Armani, it is unarguable that craftsmanship and precision are the guiding force of creation. Sequins scream glamour, shined structured and elegant suits exemplified the feminine silhouette, and slinky silk skirts peeked from under iconic blazers.

Primary colours dance pristinely down the catwalk as elegance is never compromised at Armani

Chanel

Framed by cypress trees, terracotta villas, and lush palms, this past Chanel couture show strolled through la dolce vita. In perfect luscious and relaxed nature, delicate dresses cruised poolside-chic, delicate and nonchalant. Plumes and volumes varied in placement, other combinations were paired with contrasting leather, a stark difference to delicate feathers. Ruffles, tulle, florals, and bows swirled in the Italian-inspired Riviera as the show wrapped with an encrusted bathing suit trailed by an incredible lengthy veil.

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