Ever since 1973, the luxury giants and luxury industry professionals have gathered at six-monthly intervals on the Paris scene. Over the course of a week, the major couturiers , unveil their creations as the models take to the runways across the capital in a splash of artistic style. The most recent extravaganza orchestrated by the French Federation of Haute Couture and Fashion ran from 1–5 July 2018.
Creativity and inspiration thronged to celebrate haute couture for the Autumn-Winter 2018-2019 season. The leading lights included: Azzaro couture, Givenchy, Schiaparelli, Christian Dior, Elie Saab, Chanel, Maison Margiela and Jean Paul Gaultier for this 2018 rendezvous. Here’s a round-up of the 5 trends that stood out on the catwalks.
Elsa Schiaparelli: invitation to a masked ball
Bertrand Guyon who was appointed Design Director of the French fashion house in 2015, takes the Elsa Schiaparelli signature flame flickering through the label’s haute couture collections.
The Schiaparelli parade which was held in the Garnier Palace delved into the masked ball theme. It’s not the first time that Schiaparelli has hidden its models’ faces behind masks. Back in 1935, the British artist Derek Hill created painted plaster mask-fans complete with trompe-l’œil eyelashes.
During this 2018 pageant, the Schiaparelli couture house nodded elegant and lyrical winks in a return to its roots.
Givenchy’s oversize earrings
Clare Waight Keller, Givenchy’s Artistic Director, wanted to pay homage to its founder, Hubert de Givenchy, who died last March. Her collection restates the entire all Parisian codebook of elegance. The British designer joined the house of Givenchy after 6 years working at the same post for Chloé.
The luxury house made its statement with its timeless creations featuring minimalist lines, creations all in volume and glitter in abundance.
As the models picked their way through the gardens of the National Archives, the oversize earrings kept catching our eyes. Much play was made of the volume and shininess of these creations destined for a big occasion wardrobe or to set off the simplicity of an outfit.
Chanel reintroduces Rockabilly hairstyles with glamour
It’s on the Seine embankments that Chanel unveiled one of the most unexpected parades… the haute-couture look of the famous couturier Karl Lagerfeld teamed up with hairstylist Sam McKnight’s bold rock looks.
Trendsetter, Sam McKnight (who works with Chloé, Chanel and Burberry) revisited the cult 50s high, smooth, pulled back ponytail topped with a classic quiff that made pin-ups out of the models. A maverick shift that breaks with Chanel’s classic tweed suit and that gives perfect substance to Parisian devil-may-care elegance.
Dior puts a new elegant twist to comma heels
While it would be true of any couture collection, our Autumn-Winter 2018-2019 Haute Couture one developed an extra-special bond with, and placed an even greater focus on, the work of the atelier in its role as workspace and personal space. Magnificently recreated in abstract form for the show from #MariaGraziaChiuri, soft tailoring and elaborate embroideries looked even more remarkable against their immaculate surroundings. #DiorCouture © @EmmaSummerton
The House of Dior represented by Maria Grazia Chiuri brought its touch of poetry to the heart of the Rodin Museum. Garments dyed in soft shades, quotations by André Breton tattooed like necklaces on the models’ bodies, sculptures hanging over the catwalk… all conspired to create the impression that the Italian designer was making an ode to the imaginary.
She took her vision right through to the accessories, by revamping comma heels with simplicity. Asymmetrical, refined details, melding classic and contemporary into one, the Artistic Director Maria Grazia Chiuri came up with four shades of nude to dress the models’ feet.
Giambattista Valli dresses in fuchsia pink
The eponymous designer’s romanticism is simply fascinating. The creations spawned by Giambattista Valli explore all of haute couture’s codes. They play on volumes, textures and colours. The collection brimmed with flowery-print, off-the-shoulder dresses, muslin and even silk chiffon dresses embroidered with fleurs or studded with feathers, yet all completely laid-back.
We couldn’t help but gawp at his fuchsia pink creations, a delight for the eyes… volume, asymmetrical cut, majestic train. What sprang to mind were dancers’ costumes whose original tutus raised no eyebrows as they blend into haute-couture attires.