As Paris Fashion Week 2019 will begin on Monday, February 25 we are really excited about what we are about to see on the CatWalk. The spring collections will bring a fresh of breath air, and we are looking forward to see what’s new in the vision of our favourite world wide renowned designers.
In her “Bleached Canvas” Spring Couture collection, Claire Waight Keller aimed to bring on stage a new design approach for the house, starting on a literally blank page, a pristine corridor in the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris. The evolution was gradual, from black suits to intensively coloured gowns, capes and dresses, highlighting the “the strength of tailoring, but in a feminine way”. The simplicity of the cuts and the general designing concept are aesthetically matched with lace insertions, tassels, organza and other fabrics, to transmit that this collection is “all about silhouette, architecture, structure and just beauty”. The mixes were decided in order to express Claire’s statement regarding women’s empowerment and that can be seen through aspects such as the choice of latex as a strong component of the collection or the manly inspired pieces. The men outfits, however, are as classic as the idea behind the show, reinforcing the designer’s vision and emphasizing that “Bleached Canvas” is about simplicity that embraces details and colours and not the other way around.
Valentino, another house that gave particular attention to details this Couture shows season, inspired its designs both from nature, through its floral patterns and puffed matches of fabrics, and from bygone times, more specifically the late 19th century. Pierpaolo Piccioli made a statement about modernity through his designs and transmitted the message that ‘more is more’, when it comes to the beauty of craftsmanship in fashion. Volume was the core element of this collection and the designer succeeded to fill the stage with ruffles and tiers, embroideries, appliqués and lace, to the point that he proved where he stands regarding diversity. Lastly, he brought Spring on the catwalk. The colours were at least as bold as the designs and integrated themselves perfectly in the flamboyant atmosphere. As Piccioli said, “you don’t invent color, but you can invent new harmonies for color”, and so did he.
Women empowerment seemed to be a central theme in this Couture Season and Dior aimed to express it through design, fabrics and body language transposed in a circus show. The movement, the mobility, the freedom of the concept perfectly accompanied by the spectacular make-up, clothing and accessories emphasise the idea of human beauty. In fact, that’s what a circus acrobatic moment desires to show to its audience; the beauty of human bodies, highlighted through a fusion of all elements. The circus metaphor, expressed through design and décor, is completed by the sequin hoods, that give uniformity to the entire collection and maintain the legitimacy of the evoked symbolism. Basically, the collection speaks for itself, alongside one of the best shows Maria Grazia Chiuri has orchestrated so far.
Jean Paul Gaultier
With this Couture show of his, Gaultier staged a journey to Japan, with various stopovers in warm destinations. His nautically themed collection created a real warm season atmosphere, starting timidly with blue-white striped outfits and continuing with an explosion of colour, cuts and matches. While the waffled hair, a core element for the collection, seemed to bring no aesthetical controversy in the beginning, the scenery changed when this element got more volume and bold colours. Just the same, the sailor inspired suits with disruptive elements, such as the “shark fins” shoulders, transitioned throughout the show to seashell look-alike dresses. Besides the concept behind this show, the collection itself was a journey for the beholder and transmitted Jean Paul Gaultier’s philosophy of freedom, that can be found through travelling and cultural discoveries.
The Grand Palais in Paris became a posh Mediterranean villa with a stunning garden and sizeable pool, exotic flora and terra-cotta urns, a decor inspired from Karl Lagerfeld’s favourite era, the wealthy, elegant and idillic 18th century. This aura was reiterated within the designs themselves, the collection having a classic, but luxurious flavour. From the signature tweet suits to 80s influences, such as bubble hem or strapless dresses, oversized shoulders, pastel colours and punk-inspired make-up and updos, Chanel managed to make a statement about Couture and the importance of elegance in its creative process. However, the absolute pièce de résistance was the final bridal appearance, a bodysuit encrusted with a dense sequins embroidery. In fact, embroderies and appliqués of all types, from feathers to lace and ruffles, accompanied the fine fabrics and cuts, expressing extravagance and sophistication.
Balmain’s first couture collection in the last 16 years featured the Avant-Garde Maximalist design through pieces that alleged a futuristic ambiance, such as giant pearls used either as accessories or components of the clothing items. However, as Olivier Rousteing stated, the collection is not about a new era ahead in terms of trends, but about further legitimating Balmain’s brand through relating its future to its heritage; “Of course, the house is known for being edgy and sexy and glamorous. Here, it’s all about bringing back Balmain to the elegance of la France”. This aspect was somehow obtained within the show due to the sculptural look-alike body painting, that evoked an image of marble and carving art. The colours completed this image; washed denim, graffiti and pastel watercolor effects let the forms, rather than the shades to create an impact and that was testified by Rousteing himself: „I’m obsessed with embroideries…but I can do cuts, and my cuts can be as maximalist as my embroideries”.
On the verge of French cultural and social redefinition process, Giambattista Valli staged a show that managed to express the importance of diversity and otherness in fashion, bringing together Asian, particularly Turkish influences and Parisienne sophistication and sensuality. According to the designer, volume is the key component in couture, along with the details that require the most of work. Embroideries, ruffles, Rococo Romance prints and sheer fabrics that reveal the body like in 1968 at the peak of the sexual revolution acted up to Valli’s standards for effervescent and inspiring designs.
So tell us, which designer inspires you the most this year?