Haute Couture Fashion Week is one of the most highly anticipated fashion events of the year, with press, stylists, bloggers and celebrities hurdling into Paris to see the latest collections from some of the fashion industry’s biggest and most important names. And just like every year, there was no shortage of shocking, jaw-dropping and simply awe-inspiring looks in Paris this season. From over-the-top, swoon-worthy gowns to the most beautiful and surprising hand-sewn details, here are the best standout moments from Paris Haute Couture 2019:
Dreamy Armani Privé
From smart suits and soft pastel hues to grand gowns worthy of the red carpet, the Armani Privé couture woman is fit for every occasion this season. Jumping on the throwback trend and taking inspiration from previous decades, this collection included a series of ‘80s-inspired polka dots, sheer revealing looks and even technicolor dresses made of tulle and faux fur. Interesting details, such as oversized bows and small leather rose hair pieces, accentuated the femininity of the looks, while shimmering crystals embellished everything from see-through netted tops to voluminous tiered skirts and elegant shoes. All in all, it was a dazzling collection perfectly suited for every occasion, whether it’s the boardroom or the ball.
Throwback to Coco
For Virginie Viard’s debut Chanel couture collection, the prominent fashion house transformed the Grand Palais into the Chanel neutral-toned library, inspired by the founder’s home on Rue Cambon. This collection paid homage to those classic Chanel roots that were favored by Coco and Karl Lagerfeld, including long, slim jackets, skirt suits, black bowed shoes and pearly accents. But even though the designer nodded to the fashion icons’ love of tweeds and classic silhouettes, Virginie also gave the collection her own, unique spin with tulle details and floral appliqués. From oversized, round-shouldered jackets paired with mini dresses and highly feminine dresses with bows and sheer chiffon to face framing ruffs and some elegant sparkles, Viard is still keeping Chanel Chanel, but with a new touch of sophisticated elegance that feels all hers.
Stepping somewhat out of her comfort zone, Clare Waight Keller presented her ‘Noblesse Radicale’ (or radical nobility) collection that puts an incredibly bold and modern spin on traditional regal clothing. From gloriously embellished gowns and a structured satin dress with a striking cape to oversized blazers paired with voluminous dresses and the most exquisite clear, pointed pumps, everything was completely covered in feathers at Givenchy this season. And in the sea of ultra-glam feathered ball gowns, sparkling metallic sequins and tailored coat dresses added a surprising touch of cool, feminine and fresh. From feathers to capes and volume, Givenchy’s latest couture collection truly brought drama and excitement, while still keeping in line with the laid-back elegance the brand has become synonymous with.
Instead of going the usual route and asking “Is it camp?” Maria Grazia Chiuri posed an entirely different question at the Dior Fall 2019 Couture show: “Are clothes modern?” After being printed on the first head-to-toe white look, this Bernard Rudofsky quote set the tone for the entire collection. Following suit, a series of almost all black gowns and little black dresses hit the runway, complete with feather and tulle details. The collection was dark, moody and slightly ominous. But was it modern? Much like camp, the answer largely depends on your interpretation.
Romantic Giambattista Valli
Even though the designer recently announced a collaboration with H&M, the Paris Fashion Week was the perfect opportunity for Giambattista Valli to showcase what he does best and bring on the techniques that simply cannot be duplicated, diffused or whittled down to fast fashion. Often blooming from head to toe, handmade florals were scattered throughout the whole collection, while goddess-like hand-draped gowns were cinched and artfully swathed in new, creative ways. After the sea of flowery pastel romance, the collection ended with Valli’s bold tulle confessions, but this season the designer decided to forgo the runway and opt for an exhibition instead. Even though the gowns were still breathtaking off-figure, we’ll have to wait for celebrities and fashion It girls to truly see them move on the red carpet.
When it comes to Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week, “more is more” usually seems to be the most popular aesthetic, and this season there was truly no shortage of exciting, eye-catching and unforgettable looks.