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The Best of Recent Haute Couture Runways

by Laaibah Amjad

Haute Couture is a celebration of artistry and individuality in fashion. At its core, haute couture embodies the marriage of imagination and skill. 

 

This season's haute couture Fashion Weeks had standout runways from Maison Margiela, Miss Sohee, Jean Paul Gaultier by Simone Rocha, Alaïa, and Schiaparelli.

 

These shows made waves on social media and it’s clear they will act as a trendsetter, influencing the fashion landscape by introducing avant-garde designs, innovative techniques, and unique aesthetics. Design elements, colour palettes, and even fabric choices showcased in haute couture’s collections often serve as a source of inspiration for mainstream fashion, shaping upcoming trends and setting the tomes for the industry’s creative direction.

 


Maison Margiela

 

Maison Margiela's Haute Couture 2024 collection serves as an homage to the glamorous yet rebellious spirit of the Roaring Twenties. The runway transforms into a captivating theatrical spectacle, transcending conventional fashion boundaries with the daring incorporation of corsets, padded hips, and sheer lace dresses. These avant-garde designs boldly break societal norms, celebrating the beauty of the human body in all its diversity.

 

Under the creative direction of John Galliano, a true visionary, this collection becomes a testament to the art of pushing boundaries and challenging preconceived notions. Galliano shatters the confines of social acceptability, particularly evident in designs that allow the human body to be showcased in its raw and unfiltered form. The runway becomes a canvas for a visual narrative that challenges and redefines the norms of beauty.

 

Within this collection, romantic-historical fantasies are brought to life with meticulous attention to detail, paying homage to bygone eras. Silhouettes reminiscent of the 1920s and 1930s transport the audience to an era of glamour and elegance. However, Galliano's ingenuity infuses a modern twist, creating a dreamlike atmosphere that blurs the boundaries between past and present. The use of soft, muted tones and flowing fabrics enhances the romantic allure of the pieces, evoking a sense of nostalgia while maintaining a contemporary edge.

 

In essence, Maison Margiela's Haute Couture 2024 collection is a bold artistic statement that challenges conventional norms and celebrates the beauty of diversity. John Galliano's creative genius shines through, creating a visual experience that not only pays homage to the past but also sets a new standard for the future of haute couture.

 

Under the skilled hands of makeup artist Pat McGrath, stylist Olivier Rizzo and hair stylist Duffy, they were able to transform the model into a living portrait of the Parisians clubs and streets, where they embodied the essence of timeless artistry. Every step down the runway echoed the deliberate strokes of a painter, harmoniously blending to create an exquisite display of visual poetry.

 

Miss Sohee

 

Miss Sohee’s collection exuded a playful sophistication, with each garment telling a story of whimsical tales and fantastical elements. The use of soft, flowing fabrics in pastel hues evoked a sense of fairy-tale romance, while intricate embroidery and embellishments added a touch of regal elegance to the ensembles.

 

This season, Miss Sohee embarked a journey of cultural revitalisation, breathing new life into fabrics sourced from vintage Korean costumes. Deeply rooted in her heritage, the designer immersed herself into Seoul, where she personally connected with South Korean artisans in the intricate craft of Hansan Mosi-linen – a unique slow-weaving technique employing locally sourced hemp.


Her commitment to preserving cultural narratives became evident as she translated elements from traditional Korean aesthetics into the very fabrics of her creations. The timeless beauty of peonies and lotus flowers, often found in traditional landscape paintings, seamlessly transitioned into exquisite motifs meticulously embroidered in Swarovski crystals. These intricate designs adorned the trains and bodices of the garments, adding a touch of opulence and historical resonance to each piece.

 

Miss Sohee’s dedication to sustainability and heritage manifested through the regeneration of fabrics, bring a contemporary twist to the rich tapestry of Korean culture. The resulting collection serves a testament to her ability to weave together the threads of tradition and innovation, creating couture pieces that are not only visually stunning but also narrate a story of craftsmanship, cultural pride and timeless elegance.


Miss Sohee's dedication to cultural revitalisation and sustainability may influence street style by encouraging individuals to embrace heritage and incorporate traditional fabrics into their everyday attire. Expect to see street fashion with a global flair, as people explore and celebrate their cultural roots through their clothing choices.

 

Jean Paul Gaultier by Simone Rocha

 

Jean Paul Gaultier’s recent haute couture show, transcended traditional fashion boundaries, delivering a spectacle that artfully blended femininity, sexuality, and a touch of provocation. The runway was a testament to Rocha's unique ability to weave together the classical and the contemporary, embracing old-school elements while introducing avant-garde twists.

 

At the heart of Rocha's collection was a celebration of femininity, a theme delicately interwoven throughout the showcase. The runway showcased a seamless fusion of softness and strength, with each piece crafted to accentuate and empower the female form. The embodiment of this ethos was evident in the inclusion of old-school pink cross-laced satin corsetry, a nod to vintage sensibilities that served as a symbol of both restraint and liberation.

 

Sexuality, another central theme, was artfully explored through the provocative detailing present in every ensemble. Rocha dared to push boundaries with earrings fashioned in the shape of dangling garter belts, ribbons, and delicate cow-parsley blooms. These bold accessories served as a celebration of sensuality, challenging conventional norms and embracing a fearless expression of female sexuality.

 

The runway was a symphony of ribbons and bows, playfully adorning garments with a flirtatious charm. This whimsical touch added a layer of sophistication to the collection, balancing the provocative elements with an air of grace. Rocha's masterful use of these intricate details showcased her ability to elevate haute couture beyond mere fashion, transforming it into a visual narrative that speaks to the complexity of the modern woman.

 

Expressing and celebrating female physicality became a central motif in Rocha's collection. The runway was graced by ballgowns reminiscent of romantic ballerinas, featuring layers of ethereal tulle that floated delicately with each step. This ethereal quality not only showcased Rocha's impeccable craftsmanship but also emphasised the strength and grace inherent in the female physique.

 

The colour palette, a carefully curated selection of misty rose, pearl white, black, and a daring pop of crimson, added depth and dimension to the collection. The juxtaposition of innocence with boldness mirrored the dichotomy of female identity, offering a rich visual experience that resonated with the audience.


The blend of femininity, sexuality, and provocation seen in Jean Paul Gaultier by Simone Rocha's collection is likely to impact street style with more playful and sophisticated fashion statements. Look out for streetwear that embraces bows, ribbons, and intricate accessories, expressing a celebration of the complexity of modern femininity.

 


Schiaparelli

 

Schiaparelli, the venerable fashion house known for its bold and innovative designs, recently unveiled a show that transported audiences on a mesmerising journey through time and technology. The show seamlessly blended sci-fi inspirations with nostalgic tech elements, creating a runway experience that was both futuristic and a delightful blast from the past.

 

The runway was transformed into a futuristic wonderland where the latest technology meets high fashion. With motherboards intricately woven into the fabric of garments, reflective CDs forming fascinating patterns and flip phones becoming embellishments, every piece was a masterpiece that celebrated the technological evolution of the late 20th century. Schiaparelli managed to infuse elegance into what might otherwise be considered obsolete, turning technology into timeless couture. The result was an electrifying showcase that left everyone in awe.

 

The meticulously curated colour palette for this collection has been thoughtfully crafted around a neutral spectrum, deliberately chosen to enhance the visual impact of the featured looks. A prime example of this intentional design is evident in a stunning dress that seamlessly integrates nostalgic tech elements, including intricately woven motherboards, CDs, flip phones, mirrors, and gems. The result is a captivating juxtaposition of futuristic allure and a wistful nod to the past.

 

One of the standout moments in the showcase was embodied by a model elegantly draped in a simple cream tank top and cargo pants. However, the true showstopper was the addition of a robot-alien baby cradled on her left side. What heightened the intrigue was the model's left ear, adorned entirely with dazzling rhinestones, meticulously coordinated to resonate with the otherworldly theme. The effect was nothing short of cinematic; it felt as if she had stepped straight out of a sci-fi film, embodying a perfect fusion of contemporary fashion and an enthralling futuristic narrative.

 

This collection masterfully marries modern design with an evocative storytelling element, creating a visual symphony that not only captures attention but also invites the audience to delve into a realm where fashion becomes a conduit for narrative expression. Each piece, carefully chosen and composed, serves as a brushstroke in a larger canvas, painting a vivid picture of a world where technology and nostalgia coalesce in a harmonious dance of style and imagination.

 

The influence of the Haute Couture showcased at Paris Fashion Week is expected to have a significant impact on street style, transforming the everyday fashion landscape with elements inspired by avant-garde designs, cultural storytelling, and a blend of nostalgia with modernity.


Schiaparelli's fusion of sci-fi and nostalgic tech elements is poised to inspire street style that integrates technology into clothing. Streetwear may incorporate unexpected materials, such as reflective surfaces or tech-inspired accessories, blurring the lines between fashion and innovation on the city streets.


The overall trend set by these Haute Couture collections encourages a more imaginative and diverse approach to fashion. Street style enthusiasts may experiment with eclectic combinations of styles, merging vintage aesthetics with modern twists and blending cultural references for a unique and personalised look.


The soft and muted colour palettes featured in several collections, such as misty rose, pearl white, and black with a pop of crimson, may influence street fashion with a move towards more understated and sophisticated colour choices.

 

In essence, the influence of Haute Couture on street style is expected to bring forth a wave of creativity, self-expression, and a willingness to experiment with diverse elements. The streets may become a dynamic canvas where fashion enthusiasts reinterpret high-end designs into accessible and individualised expressions of style.


Edited by Emily Duff

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