Dior may have led the pack in the S/S '17 haute couture presentations - but there was plenty to marvel at from Versace, Giambattista Valli and Alberta Ferretti
Much has been written about Maria Grazia Chiuri's entry into the halls of the Dior house, but it goes to show that you can't really predict where a designer is headed until the lights dim and the show unfolds. The Italian designer's first ever couture presentation for Dior was imbued with a sense of fairytale fantasy, as Chiuri recreated a stunning labyrinth decorated with flowers, lush green grass, trim hedges and esoteric charms such as tarot cards, bells and trinkets hanging from tree branches.
The labyrinth was said to mimic Chiuri's entry into the Dior universe - à la Alice falling into the rabbit hole - and she expanded this sense of the fantastic throughout the collection, from the breathtaking full-skirted tulle princess gowns through to the astrological signs embroidered on the gowns (which we also saw in S/S '17 ready-to-wear), Maleficent-esque capes and whimsical headpieces worn by the models. Watch the full show here.
Elsewhere at haute couture week, Alberta Ferretti Limited Edition paired luxurious cashmere sweaters with bias cut silk-satin skirts and went on to show a series of showstopping red and black gowns featuring velvet, lace, embellishment and appliqué - the kind of dresses you'd imagine on an old-Hollywood starlet. Giambattista Valli opened his show with a series of embellished satin creations with visible crease marks and closed in extraordinarily larger-than-life fashion with embroidered ballgowns that seemed to float down the runway.
And off the usual schedule, Donatella Versace chose to present her 19-look Atelier Versace collection on level two of the Avenue Montaigne boutique. Featuring intricately knotted, tasselled and feathered minidresses apured with gladiator sandals and thigh-high split gowns festooned with even more feathers and beads - these were pieces that will shimmer, sway and glide along the red carpet floors they're destined for.