Basically bursting into the 2023 fashion agenda, the haute couture week, recently held in Paris has become the talk of the town, fashion designers, opinion leaders, trendies, and social media audiences alike already in the know of the latest catwalk news. I’ve selected four shows to share my impressions of the SS23 Paris Fashion Week’s brightest highlights: what fashion brands had to present, who caused a socks-off sensation, resonating even beyond the fashion world boundaries, and who proved loyal to the classic couture. As a designer crazy about the latest fashions, I perceive brand couture collections, first and foremost, as works of art, fashion shows having long become art-design venues.
Jean Paul Gaultier
Another brand like no other is certainly. Beautiful indeed, the collection is actually all about the good old-school haute couture, even though with Gaultier himself already retired, all its outfits resulted from the fashion house’s collaboration with iconic designer Haider Ackermann.
Feathers, decorating skirts and tops, marvellous dresses, complete with snake-like drapes, and extraordinary costumes. A noble minimalism harmoniously combined with contrasting elements. One unique show!
Following the trend to involve fantastic beasts, the conservative Chanel had French artist Xavier Veilhan to create the scenery for their show – gigantic animals moving along the catwalk together with the models.
Their collection, fully faithful to the brand’s style, featuring hats, bowknots, magnificent gowns, and lots of costumes was definitely worthy of praise.
Always immaculate classic fashions, making the brand’s DNA so recognisable – that’s what we love Chanel for!
BTW, a fashion community’s joke has it Chanel is a wife – classic, refined, noble, and stable, while, say, Saint Laurent is a lover – bold, sexappealing, and provocative. There is definitely some truth in that – their distinct characters are anything but confusable.
In the meantime, Christian Dior, a bundle of my joy, this time deserved the term ‘ready-to-wear’ rather than ‘haute couture’.
Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri has definitely changed the fashion house’s trend, replacing its usual nymphs’ dresses and pompous attire with a simple minimalist yet very much refined and womanly collection. Chiuri’s feminist views well-known, it’s not typical of her designs, rarely featuring Dior’s branded womanliness. So, I must confess it came as a really welcome surprise to me.
More than 50 catwalk images - a wealth of costumes and jackets, with fringes, velvet, and jovially shimmering pearls, reducing the strictness of their silhouettes.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning the general trend, followed by many brands is to simplify their haute couture collections. Despite the allusions to Dante Alighieri, the usual ‘fashion-as-art’ couture is taking a new shape. Even the art-show collections of most brands are now commercial rather than extravagantly creative. Haute couture is definitely becoming more available to the mass market – the rule modernity dictates.
I’ve selected four shows to share my impressions of the SS23 Paris Fashion Week’s brightest highlights: what fashion brands had to present, who caused a socks-off sensation, resonating even beyond the fashion world boundaries, and who proved loyal to the classic couture.
As a designer crazy about the latest fashions, I perceive brand couture collections, first and foremost, as works of art, fashion shows having long become art-design venues.
This time, Schiaparelli was 100% in line with the status, presenting true conceptual art rather than mere fashion designs. Always a welcome surprise to the fashion public, the brand’s garments are pretty much like eye-arresting museum exhibits, whose beauty and aesthetics you cannot but admire, deciphering the designer’s message. Indeed, few are those brave enough to take centre stage by wearing this kind of provocative attire, but that’s what haute couture is actually all about.
The collection is essentially an intellectual reinterpretation of Dante’s ‘Inferno’ beasts – a lion, a leopard, and a she-wolf, symbolising tyranny, ambition, and greed respectively. In the meanwhile, judging by the clothes shown, Daniel Roseberry’s Inferno is not dismal and terrifying but bright and dreamlike. Most memorable were his fabulous dresses with beasts on the shoulders. Snapshots shared by big-name guests of the show just exploded the social media. The outfits and stuffed beasts made of resin and foam, no live creatures were harmed in the works so animal rights activists have no chance to attack the brand.
The haute couture of today does want to be viral. The Schiaparelli show talked about far and wide way beyond the fashion industry, the mission is accomplished. Rumour has it, Daniel Roseberry is planning to change fashion houses. If so, his farewell performance was impressive indeed.
Viktor & Rolf
Viktor & Rolf were true to themselves again, adding some of their crazy jazz to the haute couture world by experimenting with shapes. The brand presented some tints in its collection of fabulous crinoline gowns for princesses. No doubt, haute couture must always remain exquisite without morphing into a charade. Meanwhile, Viktor & Rolf’s couture is combined with a subtle sense of humour - absolutely admirable!