Haute Couture Fashion Week recap: Paris when it sizzles
Too haute to handle
Later in the week, for her second couture collection for Christian Dior, ex-Valentino co-creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri presented 66 breathtaking looks inspired by a freshly-uncovered piece of the Dior archives, a 1953 illustration paying homage to Christian Dior's travels.
There was the more literal map-printed cape, then subtle wrapping techniques reminiscent of travels through Asia and exotic floral surface applications. An initial story of masculine tailoring (the women even wore men's brogues) dissolved into light-as-air-and-just-as-sheer gowns and discreetly spectacular velvet.
Giorgio Armani dedicated his Armani Privé collection to the late Italian Vogue editor Franca Sozzani with an assembly of powerful, largely black looks, departing from his usual riot of colour with just a few pops of pastel and power pink.
Temperatures rose as Paris entered a heat-wave, ensuring the perfect conditions for Fendi's haute fourrure presentation, in which the Italian fashion house showed 30 looks made entirely out of fur, mostly mink. One coat in particular was valued by the Financial Times at a cool £1 million. Regardless of your politics, the collection was a master class in techniques, with surfaces sculpted and sheared into miniature flowers and, at times hand-painted. The final look in particular, according to Vogue.com consisted of, "9,000 tiny discs that took 1,250 hours to hand sew.'
Remember the out-of-this-world rocket ship that Karl Lagerfeld had recreated in the Grand Palais for the Chanel Autumn/Winter 2017 show? Remember how everyone said it could never be surpassed in its grand scale? Well, the Kaiser only went and rebuilt the freaking Eiffel Tower for his haute couture presentation for Chanel.
The 64-look collection was an overwhelming spectrum of references from pre-WWI to the Art Deco and beyond. Yet another genius collection that firmly reinforced the Médaille Grand Vermeil de la Ville with which Lagerfeld was presented post-show by Paris' mayor, Anne Hidalgo.
Over at Valentino, Pierpaolo Piccoli hit his stride as solo creative director for Valentino, (he had worked with Maria Grazia Chiuri across 14 years) presenting a collection inspired by monastic robes. All clean lines and block colours, with just a few exceptions, silhouettes were generous and flowing and the collection was one of the most buzzed-about of the week.
And then there was Margiela. There are no words. From the slow deconstruction of the trench in the first story to the Picasso-esque treatment of the bustier to Bella Hadid and her face brace - not to mention the knee-high, metallic cowboy boots that anchored every look, another hint of what is sure to be a western-leaning season ahead - the show was nothing short of incredible.
Buro 24/7 Selection
Buro 24/7 Selection