The Most Extraordinary Looks From Haute Couture Fashion Week So Far

Painfully detailed and skilfully styled, the COUTURE SHOWS in Paris are always a spectacle …

Chanel photograph by Jason Lloyd Evans

And the bride wore … a jewel encrusted swimsuit with matching swimming cap and veil? Karl Lagerfeld’s final look in the Chanel couture show was as unexpected as his uncharacteristic absence. The designer did not come out to take his customary bow after the collection was shown, with Chanel’s studio director Virginie Viard greeting the crowd in his place. The house made a statement stating that 85-year-old Lagerfeld was “feeling tired”. While snow fell outside coating the city of Paris in a blanket of white, the Palais Garnier was staged to look like an Italian summer garden complete with orange trees and a swimming pool. Chanel’s traditional tweed suits with long pencil skirts opened the show with the models’ hair backcombed into a beehive style. Cropped leather biker jackets were paired with a white tulle dress and feathered culottes, with the show featuring a sweet colour palette of pastel pinks and blues mixed in with sharper monochrome outfits.

Christian Dior photographed by Jason Lloyd Evans

Maria Grazia Chiuri created a circus-themed backdrop for Christian Dior’s haute couture show, complete with an all-female troupe of acrobats performing on the runway in the purpose built big top tent outside the Musée Rodin in Paris. The theme resonated in the collection which featured ringmaster jackets in black, white and red, what appeared to be harlequin-inspired prints and shapes with tulle collars, and heavily embellished dresses with an embroidered circus character motif. Glittery footwear and accessories came in the form of crisscross Mary Janes, ankle boots and skintight caps on each model. Continuing with the circus theme, a bib-style top featured a tiger leaping through a ring of fire and a full length skirt and dress were made up of a rainbow of ribbons. Dior’s bride wore a cream satin tux dress with matching jacket, a standout of the show that would make fabulous outfit inspiration for an alternative wedding look. If we’ve ever wanted to run away and join a circus, it’s now …

 

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At Schiaparelli, a selection of the couture dresses were somewhat surprisingly paired with mid-calf cowboy boots, though to great effect. Zodiac prints covered floor length coats and peplum shaped jackets, a spherical mini dress sprouted violet feathers tipped with red, while the closing look was an explosion of tulle with a multi-tiered dress in saccharine shades modelled by Erin O’Connor.

If over-the-top is the name of the game, the haute couture shows are off to a flying start.

Síomha Connolly

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