Paris Couture week should really be suffering. We are in the middle of the Worlds worst depression since the 1930s, times are undoubtably hard for a majority of the worlds populus, and Paris Couture is renowned for being the most exquisitely expensive of vestments. The beautiful, frivolous designs that could only be worn by models on the catwalk seem to be a luxury that is outdated in our modern, fast fashion society, where celebs are often pictured wearing High Street, and Lanvin, Jil Sander, Karl Lagerfeld are names that can be found in Uniqlo and H&M as well as in their own luxury boutiques.
But every year Paris Couture week shows that there is still a wide market for couture. This year is no exception. Couture fashionistas have flocked to the Paris shows, with some shows, including Chanel, having to be moved to bigger venues in order to satisfy the demand for seats. A who’s who of style icons have scrutinised the collections from the front row, Kate Moss has rubbed shoulders with Charlotte Casiraghi, whilst Alexa Chung, Poppy Delavigne, Diane Kruger, Sophia Loren, Jodie Foster, Alice Dellal, Eva Herzegovina and Natalia Vodianova are just some of the names who are sitting in the best seats at the best shows.
John Galliano for Dior – 1947 all over again.
John Galliano’s collection for Dior was a stunning revelation. It evoked all the images of the Golden Age of couture, the heyday of Christian Dior himself, and felt like the rebirth of ‘The New Look’. Full taffeta skirts, acres of tulle and nipped in waists were the story of the collection, which has drawn inspiration from the legendary fashion illustrations of Rene Grau. The colour pallete was rich and vibrant, and the overall feel was of a very ladylike collection, not girlish, but altogether very feminine.
Armani Prive – Think Pierre Cardin and Glam rock
The Armani Prive collection is liable to divide opinion. Whilst Galliano was looking to the Dior heritage for his collection, Armani’s collection was futuristic, like something from a Stanley Kubrick movie, or maybe from the imagination of Arthur C Clarke. The theme tune to the show should’ve been ‘I’ve lost my heart to a starship trooper’. I personally loved it. Metallic fabrics, flying saucer hats that covered the eyes of the models on the catwalk, blue and purple tinted lips, this collection screamed FUN! Many of the dresses were strapless, with neat clean lines and heavy embellishments. These designs are meant to be worn by the style mavericks on the red carpet, think Chloe Sevigny, Tilda Swinton and Charlize Theron.
Alexis Mabille – The sophisticated romantic
Alexis Mabille opened Paris Couture week with a stunning collection which was full of intricate design, sophistication and romance. Draped strapless dress with chandelier earrings had an air of drama about them, whilst his heavily ornate dresses were a triumph.
King Karl at Chanel – Something old, something new…
Karl Lagerfeld has long enjoyed subverting the iconic Chanel image, and this collection was no different. He sent his models down the catwalk wearing traditional Chanel tweed jackets and suits, but with plain, flat ballet shoes rather than a chic heel. It was very Alexa Chung, rather than in the style of his new darling Blake Lively. Suits were worn with trousers underneath, whilst tulle was featured in ballerina style midi skirts. This collection was exquisite and young, and showed that Lagerfeld is the king of reinventing a timeless classic.
More reports to follow.