Schiaparelli
Reverting to the childlike realm of imagination, Daniel Roseberry (previously at Thom Browne) sat down at a large sketching table on the Schiaparelli runway. As the large spotlight beamed on a fitted jacket that was topped with a crystal balaclava, Roseberry sketched away. His hands moved along the page as the looks strolled out onto the runway, as if his imagination was instantaneously coming to life. Aligned with the surrealist brand DNA, the artist, the designer, and the creations took centre stage as haute couture was presented in its purest sense: one-of-a-kind wearable art. The looks had vast variety: restructured classics garnished with wild adornments appeared in a range of volumes, cuts, and colours. The audience was even given a ladybug bandeau that dispersed in tiny red dots from hair to fingertips. The frothing frills in a tiered layer cake style paired with seashell-like sequinned bralettes, multicoloured fringed bangs, and delightful jewelled detailing had us dreaming again, allowing our creativity to soar.

 

Iris Van Herpen
In a jaw dropping tribute to technology, Iris Van Herpen debuted her collaboration with kinetic sculptor Anthony Howe whose creations are powered by the wind. The spinning vertebrae contracted and expanded while in rotation, complementing the Dutch designer’s harmonious approach to craftsmanship and mechanics. Utilizing technology, laser cuts, and 3DS Max technology, she create celestial skeletons that delicately follow the female silhouette in layered fragile organza, mimicking nature in the most hypnotic sense.

 

Maison Dior
The “modern woman does not need the painter’s canvas; her own body serves as well,” reads the text from the exhibition “Are Clothes Modern,” presented at the MoMA in 1994 under the direction of Bernard Rudofsky, and that was the overarching theme of Maria Grazia Chiuri’s A/W 2019-2020 Haute Couture collection for Dior. Presented in Dior’s hôtel particulier at 30 Avenue Montaigne, where every Dior Artistic Director has worked in close collaboration with the Ateliers, Chirui’s source of inspiration stemmed from Austrian-American architect Bernard Rudofsky. Presenting a nearly all-black collection to emphasize the architecture of the pieces, Chiuri brilliantly demonstrated her genius with lack of colour elevating detail and structure for a collection that mastered construction.

 

Ralph & Russo
The dreaminess of the Ralph & Russo haute couture collection ranged from modern trousers garnished by a string top composed of crystals and pearls, jewel-encrusted jackets, tiered florals in organza, to delicate ruffled pastels. The collection opened with an elegant fairytale air, shifting towards bolder hues, which featured a bright red fuschia contrast gown worthy for the red carpet. A revitalized dazzling leopard shift dress closed for the ultimate romantic bride.

 

Giambattista Valli
This season for Giambattista Valli, the Maison focused on luxury and privacy. Displayed in the salons of the Shangri-La, guests were able to take a closer look at cupcake, over-the-top, Instagram-worthy gowns. Stepping down from the runway, looking at gowns from an artisanal angle allowed for a focus on construction, volumes, and pleating, which offered a more toned-down perspective, in order to truly appreciate the extraordinary creations.

 

Chanel
“I dreamt about a woman with nonchalant elegance and a fluid and free silhouette; everything I like about the CHANEL allure,” stated Virginie Viard about the recent Chanel Couture collection. Paying homage to the Maison’s dual legends, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld, the Grand Palais was transformed into a grand circular library. Both icons were diligent readers, and stepping into “Coco’s library” emanated a sense of nonchalant intellectualism. Pragmatic and elegant, the silhouettes strolled graciously through the pages of time, putting forth a more casual feel with a new perspective from Viard.

 

Givenchy 

Titled the “Noblesse Radicle” Clare Waight Keller went out on a more whimsical limb opposing her usual precision. Freer in spirit, silhouettes like a lampshade silhouette topped by choppy pewter pieced blazer and volumed feathered piece sat underneath a perfectly constructed white-black contrasting blazer as tailoring remained in evidence for Waight Keller. Extreme volumes with protruding and whimsical feathers diffusing in colour to extravagant gowns which we will most definitely revisit from awards season.

 

Alexandre Vauthier

Alexandre Vauthier avoided the monumental gowns, like much we see during couture. The show opened with a tailleur channelling a white, black and baby pink palette inspired by a seemingly ’80’s work woman vibe. From a carnation placed perfectly on an oversized lapel, to more oversized silhouettes featuring larger shoulders and more boxy cuts there was everyday glamorous undertone to the entire collection. The daunting sexy dresses still made their debut, with sky high splits and Swarovski crystals however, the overall  aesthetic was softer and much more romantic for Vauthier.

 

Valentino

Embracing different women’s identities, it is safe to say that Pierpaolo Piccioli continued to mesmerize us with his astonishing gift of craftsmanship and elegance. It was about diversification, emotion and channelling imagination. Airy colour, twisted yarn, knots bows, ruffles and the contrast of colour was simply divine. From the pop hues to fantasy flowers, Piccoli’s dreamworld came to life thanks to the “many hands” that go into creating couture, who came out for the applause post show.

 

FENDI

In the heart of ancient Rome, FENDI debut the collection at the Coll Palatino celebrating the eternal city. Titled “The Dawn of Romanity” the Maison presented 54 silhouettes, one look for every year Karl was with the House. Hand picked by Silvia Venturini Fendi, archieve sketches by Karl Lagerfeld informed element of the Collection’s shapes delineating razor sharp tailoring, empress dresses, pencil skirts, blouses and palazzo trouser in silk moiré and marbled gazar underpinned by frost lingerie. Evening gowns flowed romantically in rose of celadon quartz-coloured chiffon with embroidered wheat and a play with transparency. 

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