Couture fashion week is many fashion enthusiasts’ favourite event of the year. The week is intended to showcase the cutting edge of fashion and creativity, with extravagant high-end displays.
In the name of aspirational luxury, let us review some of the highlights from Paris Couture Fashion Week 2023.
Jacquemus at Versaille
While not technically part of the Haute Couture roster, Jacquemus was a stunning prelude to the week, inviting guests to take in the fashion spectacle from the picturesque gardens of Versaille palace.
Famous faces flocked to the show, both on and off the runway.
Meanwhile celebrity guests included Emily Ratajkowski, Victoria and David Beckham, Eva Longoria, Monica Belluci, and Netflix ‘royalty’ Claire Foy (aka Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown) and India Ria Amarteifio (Queen Charlotte in Queen Charlotte).
The styles focused largely on high-femme white lace looks with a ballet-core vibe. In-keeping with the royal theme, there were plenty of bustles and pantaloon-style underwear on display.
And, of course, there were no ludicrously capacious bags here. Designer Simon Porte Jacquemus continued the label’s legacy of teeny tiny bags.
Dior At The Musée Rodin
Next on the roster was Dior’s haute couture Autumn Winter collection, presented by Maria Grazia Chiuri in a stunning display of elegant simplicity.
While haute couture shows often call on intricate details and exaggerated embellishments, Chiuri’s collection was quite the opposite.
Instead, as the show notes described, Chiuri designed a collection that seamlessly merged “emblems of antiquity” via classical shapes like tunics, peplums, capes and stoles, with the contemporary. The result? A pristine display of subtlety in a serene palette of white, beige, silver, and pale gold.
Chiuri also collaborated with artist Marta Roberti to dress the runway space. Roberti drew on ancient iconographies of goddesses and animals to create a backdrop fittingly covered with images of exotic plants, palm fronds, and oversized female figures.
Stay tuned for more amazing moments from Couture Fashion Week.
Chanel On The Banks Of The Seine
Chanel’s Autumn Winter couture show was a meditation on the indefinable ‘je ne sais quoi’ of the modern Parisienne woman.
Presented on Tuesday, the show saw models strut the bank of the iconic Seine with the kind of effortless cool that only French women have. Clad in quintessentially Chanel styles like tweed co-ords and two-toned Mary Janes, they strolled the open-air runway as though running errands, with wicker baskets overflowing with fresh flowers and wild fruit, and one model even walking a dog.
“Playing with opposites and contrasts, with nonchalance and elegance, is like standing on a line between strength and delicacy which, at Chanel, is what we call allure,” Creative Director Virginie Viard explained.
By this explanation, the allure of the French woman lies in her dichotomy, a concept that the Chanel show, with its ultra feminine colour palette and floral motifs, combined with masculine overcoats and pinstriped trousers, delivered in spades.
Giorgio Armani Privé
Giorgio Armani Privé’s Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2023 show was equal parts elegant and seductive.
Presented on a dramatic checkerboard runway of black and white, the collection centred on the motif of a red rose, seeking to reinterpret the iconic bloom without, as the show notes declared, “resorting to trite romanticism.”
In pursuing this aim, the show featured an endless abundance of the floral emblem, in just about every form imaginable.
These crept into the collection slowly, before growing in number and vibrancy, appearing as rich, red sequin embroidery, sewn into blazers, and as 3D emblems crafted from delicate tulle.
Fendi Haute Couture
Fendi’s Haute Couture Fall Winter 2023 offering was all about evening wear.
Set against a simple, elegant backdrop, models appeared in a range of slender silhouettes, each expertly draped through discreet, yet intricate techniques.
“There is an idea of simplicity with hidden intricacies in the collection,” the show notes explained. “Much is about volume, drape, and sculptural shape achieved through complex and rigorous pattern cutting, with garments often realised with only a single seam.”
Another key inspiration for this collection was jewellery, with this aim reflected in a colour palette lifted from gems themselves (think: black diamonds, rubies, sapphires), elegantly free-flowing fabrics that felt reminiscent of dripping jewels, intricate beading, and clutch-like bags in the shapes of differently cut gems.
Explaining this inspiration, Delfina Delettrez Fendi, Artistic Director of Jewellery for FENDI, said, “There is an emotional relationship that I have with the jewellery in the collection that I hope the women who will eventually wear it will have too.”
“There is an obsessive precision you need to make jewellery like this, such small objects that have such strength, meaning and personality. And yet, in the end, they have a direct and intimate relationship to the body; they are a profound and personal extension of the woman.”