Lifestyle | Fashion

The Seven Features of Paris Haute Couture : Redefining Elegance

21 – 25 January 2018 | US

Clare Waight Keller, the British designer began a new chapter in the history of Givenchy however, as the first woman ever to command altered the rules of couture and Paris House to make more relevant to the way women want to dress presently.

Clare Waight Keller, the British designer began a new chapter in the history of Givenchy however, as the first woman ever to command altered the rules of couture and Paris House to make more relevant to the way women want to dress presently. Power suiting, ruffles, and lace-structured separates were appreciated by the founder Hubert de Givenchy's signatures but with a twist this time, tuxedo jackets were worn over delicate gowns or with fluid wide-legged satin trousers for a modern take on couture that bridging the gap between dreamy fashion and realistic clothes.

There were plenty of showstoppers – a bustier dress in hand-pleated dégradé featured oversize black ruffles while a specialist dyer hand-painted 40 meters of fabric for a spectacular ombre gown. However, there was abundant pick and mix separates. A Tailored Hourglass Jacket teamed with cropped, flared trousers, the luxurious cocktail coats and the sharp-shouldered tuxedos either for the more adventurous, a royal blue latex trench coat with horn buttons worn with a diamante mesh top and black trousers in a wool and silk blend. The intelligent and edgy collection was a profound break from the floaty bohemian aesthetic which defined Waight Keller's six-year tenure at the house of Chloe. She delivered in spades with a clean and sophisticated collection that made couture significant. Before Fall 2018 New York Fashion Week launches the Fashion Month shortly followed by the shows of Paris Fall 2018 Menswear Collection after which arrives the Spring 2018 Haute Couture season.

The collection features ensembles that are truly enchanting and appealing. The shows serve as the utmost inspiration for the spring wardrobe. Ultimately what more could one yearn for the season than studded veils, cutting edge dresses and smartphone susceptible trench coats.

1. Chanel- Late last year in his hometown of Hamburg, Karl Lagerfeld presented a monochromatic collection for Chanel's Métiers d'Art line, that will be available in May in stores. His newest collection, couture spring/summer 2018, accessible to clients now and delivered to them in six to eight weeks couldn't have been more contradictory.Chanel was lavish as always with each distinguished model dressed for the occasion of an exclusive garden party.Karl Lagerfeld sent out his latest haute couture collection for Chanel in Paris' Grand Palais.It has some fresh and pastel tones, some Chanel classics and a special bride's dress.The spring/summer 2018 couture Chanel suit is available in almond pinks, violet creams, lemon meringues The evening wear incorporated hand-sewn beads. Shin-length boots with sculpted, Perspex wedge-heels matched the clothes and were either beaded or made of wool. Sheer silk chiffon skirts fluttered beneath slim woolen coat-jackets or over embroidered mini sheath dresses.
There were debates this year and further about what femininity looks like now: for some women, this pastel millefeuille of ruffles and silk won't be the answer. However, most couture clients are not women. Seeing them at a 10 am show on a cold, grey day in January, draped in diamonds and cream mink jackets and bare legs bound in gladiator sandals, it's clear that Chanel will solve their stylish crisis.Those who prefer a darker, sportier, more bisexual interpretation of Chanel, there's always that Métiers d'Art Hamburg collection. The power of Chanel is its clear ability to regenerate itself between the multiple collections it produces each year – and its diligent creative director, who, aged 84, continues to oversee them all.

2. Christian Dior- dived spectators into a surrealist dream world at Paris haute couture week, as models dressed in black-and-white hypnotic patterns took to the runway under sculptures of body parts suspended from the ceiling.The LVMH label unveiled its spring/summer 2018 collection on the first day of a fashion week dedicated to the highest ranks of couturiers . The creations, often handmade, are not meant for shops, and when sold are usually exclusively tailored for a single client. Dior showed off its almost completely monochrome outfits on a checkered catwalk
Surrealist artists including Salvador Dali or Rene Magritte often depicted bird cages or disjointed body parts in their art, a motif evoked in the show with giant noses and ears dangling over the runway and cage-like corsets worn on it. Gowns and capes strewn with feathers or featuring waspy, see-through fabrics also gave the collection a dream-like feel, as did the geometric patterns or swirls on many dresses. "Black and white is the color of the subconscious and I think when you dream, you dream in black and white, so I decided it would be great to make a collection in black and white," Dior's chief designer, Maria Grazia Chiuri, commented after the show. Chiuri said in a press release she was also inspired by Italian surrealist artist Leonor Fini, a friend of Christian Dior, the late founder of the house in the late 1940s.

3. Giambattista Valli- Kaleidoscopic swirls, Beatles-style bobs in vibrant colors and plenty of swishing fringes filled the runway at Jean Paul Gaultier Paris show in a celebration of the 1960s designed in tribute to avant-garde French couturier Pierre Cardin. Black-and-white stripped dresses expertly cut to float down the catwalk from the front while revealing a cinched silhouette from behind mingled with bold pink or yellow pantsuits. Fringes on boots, trousers, dresses, and sleeves twisted and turned to the 1960-inspired soundtrack as models strutted down the runway.
"It's my beginning. Why not come back to that funny period that was the 1960s," Gaultier said after the show, adding that he had been in awe of Cardin's futuristic, geometric designs when he was still a teenager. Gaultier stopped producing ready-to-wear collections in 2014 to focus on his haute couture line and perfumes. His brand is owned by Spanish perfume group Puig.

4. Maison Margiela’s- latest couture collection, John Galliano brought technology to the runway. Using prismatic fabrics, seemingly simple coats and dresses were instantly transformed with the click of a smartphone camera.

5. Valentino displayed a variety of colors and variant hues whether in the form of a neon lid or a bold accent. Valentino unveiled a dramatic Spring/Summer 2018 haute couture line that was grand in scale and volume.

6. Ralph & Russo's- Couture collection was described as dreamy and delicate, inspired by travels to Asia, and envisioned to celebrate diversity and empowerment of women. The House works with artisans from around the world to create unique fabrics and materials, creative director Tamara Ralph said. Ralph & Russo is famous with royal celebrities as its clients and is the first British label to be invited to Haute Couture fashion week in nearly a century.

7. Alexandre Vauthier’s- Silk draped coats are a dream.French couturier Alexandre Vauthier turned the Grand Palais into a nightclub for his fashion show.His collection was different from the previous ones, this time he was inspired by an English neo-romantic movement, he said.The Armani Prive collection featured a range of silk pantsuits and dresses, with some hand-painted with flowers, some made of multicolored feathers.

Another major feature would be Inspiration and Design - The show’s set recreated a couture ambiance of former times, with intimate salons and couches. The elegant selection presented particularly regal colors in pleasing combinations. Elie Saab paid tribute to the 1920s 'Parisienne' in his Spring-Summer couture show. The Lebanese designer found his inspiration in the women of sizzling Paris in the roaring '20s with a clear nod to famous figures of the era, including the outfits of Josephine Baker, and the costumes of acclaimed actress Mistinguette.