Luxury is in

L-R: Maison Martin Margiela, Jean Paul Gaultier, Chanel

L-R: Elie Saab, Armani Privé, Fendi

By: Catarina Vasques Rito

July is the month of dreamy haute couture. From beautiful fabrics to exuberant designs, the Haute Couture collections embrace creative diversity. Once again, Paris is the stage of the most stunning fashion creations, this time with the autumn/winter seasons in mind

The dynamic of luxury is made by the masses, inspired by the streets of the world’s biggest cities. The autumn/winter season brings mixtures of textures and volumes, and the result couldn’t be more exuberant or seductive. The bold collection from Dutch duo Viktor&Rolf shows that fashion is all about fun and a streetwise attitude, conceived for an ethnic mélange “in a world that’s creative, diverse and eco-conscious”, according to the brand’s designers and mentors. The catwalk saw the models wearing giant dolls heads and dressed in special bomber jackets, made from linen and matched with jeans and Dr Martens.

The catwalk setting of Jean-Paul Gaultier was allusive to the skiing world and its luxury resorts, re-creating the scenery of the charismatic 007 films starring the recently deceased Roger Moore. The eternal enfant terrible of French (and global) fashion is an unashamed admirer of luxury and skiing and has created perfect ideas for those who enjoy the elite sport, but the designer also knows how to bring indiscreet pieces to the city, made of fabrics such as satin, silk and wool, in audacious colours such as bright yellow gold and black with splashes of red.

In the case of Chanel, the presentation took place once again at the Grand Palais, with a 38-metre version of the Eiffel Tower a clear homage to the City of Light on behalf of Karl Lagerfeld. One of the guests, American singer Katy Perry, admitted she felt “overwhelmed”, and for a moment thought they had bought the Eiffel Tower for the German designer. The truth is that Paris didn’t give Lagerfeld its most iconic building, but at the end of the show, the city’s mayor Anne Hidalgo awarded Lagerfeld the city’s highest honour, La Medaille Grand Vermeil, recognising the extraordinary imagination and genius of the designer. “Paris loves you. You are Paris,” she said. The haute couture collection from the French brand revisited the tradition of the maison, showcasing the true talent of the artisans that work at the Chanel atelier – timeless pieces adapted to modern day, perfect to wear at any time of day and for all occasions.

With the Italian designer Maria Grazia Chiuri (ex-Valentino) now at the helm, Christian Dior presented a collection inspired by post-World War II. The Dior grey was the big star, in pieces made from the tradition of men’s tailoring and adapted to a feminine cut. The result appeals to the female explorer who loves to travel. The television series Game of Thrones was the inspiration for Elie Saab, with a clear allusion to the fall of a patriarchal empire to enhance the power of the woman. It was an unusual game of seduction, with long, floaty dresses and more than generous cleavage and slits.

Once more, Lagerfeld surprised everyone with the Fendi collection, with delicate and detailed workmanship representative of the creative beauty of both the German designer and the professionals of the Italian maison. Refinement is the word that best describes the most interesting Fendi pieces to wear next autumn/winter. Despite the cold, grey days, the pieces are colourful and completely romantic, with flowers and other delicate applications creating the perfect setting for a self-assured yet simultaneously delicate woman.

So many other stunning ideas took to the catwalk across the city of Paris, with highlights including Valentino, Armani Privé and Alexandre Vauthier. Now all we have to do is choose one and strut along the streets of any city in the world.


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