Paris Couture Fashion Week: Spring 2018 recap
All things wild and wonderful
Fun, fantastical and over-the-top; As the creative playground for designers, Haute Couture week is one of the few occasions in fashion that has more or less managed to remain true to it's glamorous roots. Attendees are editors, buyers and exclusive clientele, presentations are intimate and collections are pushed to their artistic extreme, both in concept and realisation.
This week in Paris, the fantasy was turned up to full volume in explosions of colour and form at Maison Margiela and Valentino. At the latter, the show opened with a duck egg blue cap the size of a canopy and a cascading canary yellow silk jacket, moving through rich, patrician shades, harmoniously-clashing floral prints and goddess gowns, waxing and waning in volume that culminated in an enormous teal creation complete with a fluttering of feathers about the model's face.
At Margiela, creative director John Galliano requested show-goers to switch their cameras to flash, lighting up the neon rave of looks that walked the runway. The strobe light effect illuminating retro-futuristic silhouettes in eye-watering hypercolours and transparent, PVC-esque materials only highlighted the collection's inspiration - technology and chaos.
There was the kooky, over at Schiaparelli, Jean Paul Gaultier and Viktor & Rolf with fabulously plumed feather displays, quirky bowl cuts paired with technicolour suiting and dizzying optical prints shaded under double-height headgear.
At Givenchy and Armani Prive, looks were slightly more pared back with offerings that were traditional (as far as Couture can be) in palette, silhouette and direction. At Armani, suiting was the order of the day with a presentation that displayed into a slow evolution of muted tones and life-size scrunches of silk while at Givenchy, a modern take on tailoring took focus in monochrome with just a few highlight shades and embellished surfaces to accent and flaunt the prowess of the artisans of the house.
As three of the most anticipated couture shows on schedule, Chanel, Giambattista Valli and Christian Dior did not disappoint. Maria Grazia Chiuri's flurry of polka dots, feathers and hypnotic, graphic, black-and-white creations were the stuff of red carpet dreams as were Giambattista Valli's feather-light silk and lace creations that, as a Valli finale tends to do, exploded into volumes upon volumes of layers that swept the feet of front-rowers lining the catwalk. Karl Lagerfeld's classic tweed suiting switched gears mid-show to reveal full-skirting worthy of a crinoline, sheer lace and maribou trims, replete with translucent, sparkly booties as worn by Kaia Gerber.
Debuting on the couture schedule, Australian designer Kym Ellery showed a combined S/S '18 couture and A/W '18 ready-to-wear collection inspired by "a curator and her personal collection," as explained in the show notes. In the same release, the designer said, "I want to make clothing for a woman who dresses for herself - not for anyone else. This is a celebration of a new Ellery woman and as a woman myself I want nothing more than to create clothing from a female point of view."
The collection was a celebration of all the codes Ellery has become known for - amplified and unpredictable volume, sumptuous and inventive fabrications, a rich palette and sculptural silhouettes. Fans and critics alike are sure not to be disappointed.
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