Can haute couture ever get too frilly, flouncy and fancy? Not by Valli’s standards (see what he did for SS20). “Couture is about volumes,” insisted the Rome-born designer. “When you create haute couture, you have to be a sculptor. It’s the difference between building a space and decorating it.” Expect a haute couture collection worth its salt, with oversized bows, frothy layers of tulle, floral cut-outs and gorgeous plumes of feathers. More here.
Code temporal — christened by creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli for “pieces that will give an effortlessness” — pays homage to the rituals, processes and values of couture. Silhouettes were lean and elongated further with towering platform stilettos. Prints were noticeably absent as he turned all attention to the craftsmanship of fabrics, whether they were hand-rolled and stitched into tidy rows, or hand-knotted to resemble lace. More here.
The first Indian designer to showcase at Paris Haute Couture Week, Mishra’s The Dawn collection suggests that the planet can continue to thrive despite environmental damage while humans are desperately trying to save themselves. Mushrooms — “a masterpiece of engineering all on their own” — became his key motif here, with 3D appliques of bracket fungus hand-embroidered on tulle and silk organza. More here.
“The times we are living in forces us to stay at home and have a very limited social life, but the quest for beauty is eternal,” wrote Giorgio Armani. “Walking to my office in an empty city, I am constantly touched by the beauty and the quietness of Milano.” This led him to create elegant, silvery-grey suits embellished with beads and sequins, with jackets featuring nipped-in waists and pagoda shoulders. There were also split-front tops that bared the arms, shoulders and sternum, and extravagantly feminine gowns of sheer organza, generous layers of tulle and floral embroidery. More here.
Kim Jones’ debut at the Italian luxury house drew on feminist author Virginia Woolf’s genderbending, time-warping novel Orlando. Showcased in a steel-and-glass maze comprising interlocking FF logos (that’s somehow reminiscent of Pacman), looks were mainly monochromatic, spanning white and grey to sage green. His army of models featured the industry’s biggest names like Kate Moss, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Demi Moore and Bella Hadid. More here.
While Monsieur Christian Dior was famously enamoured of fortune telling, creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri is a huge fan of tarot card reading (watch the show here). So she drew on her passion to create “a collection rich in luscious fabrics and glittering embroideries, where sleek monochrome tailoring meets dream-inducing eveningwear in precious hues,” according to press notes by the French fashion house. Get ready to make a grand entrance. More here.
Creative director Virginie Viard had “the idea of a small cortege that would come down the stairs of the Grand Palais and pass beneath arches of flowers, like a family celebration, a wedding”. And what a spectacular parade she’s pulled off, with tweed two-pieces, cocktail dresses, ballgowns and tiered skirts promising to please Chanel fans of all generations. More here.
Iris van Herpen
Fabricated from upcycled marine debris and produced by 3D printing, this collection by wildly imaginative Dutch designer Iris van Herpen proves haute couture can be both innovative and sustainable. Evoking mushrooms and their gills and branches, her whimsical pieces explore the notion of communication and draws similarities between how it occurs among humans and in nature. More here.