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paris haute couture week spring 2018

The Most Spectacular Looks From Paris Haute Couture Week Spring 2018

As the combination of beauty and art, Paris Haute Couture Week always presents magical creations which incite deep appreciation. This spring, here are the most spectacular looks to have graced the runway…

Schiaparelli - Encapsulation in Feathers
paris haute couture week spring 2018
Credit: vogue.co.uk

 

The Show: In Schiaparelli’s couture show for SS18, there was an oxymoronic thread of tribal safari. Classical couture shapes were counteracted by earth tones, feather embellishment and weaving, animal prints and natural images – all elevated to the artisanal heights that is couture. The collection started the week, setting the bar as this trailblazing design house always has. It was a fitting tribute to the 1938 pagan collection, that Schiaparelli had created, whilst maintaining a modern twist.

The Anatomy of the Look: The most breath-taking look from the show was the explosion of white feathers, accented with a pink stripe, and finished with stark flat-form sandals. It was a look that encapsulated the idea of theatre. And was completely original in its nature.

Iris Van Herpen - Ripples of Beauty

The Show: The Iris Van Herpen show this season was a world of gold, opulence and intricacy. Almost psychedelic in their patterns, the dresses were otherworldly. The patterns were reflected in the art installation suspended above the catwalk. It was a show which celebrated craftsmanship and an all-encompassing experience.

The Anatomy of the Look: Like an embrace of air, this dress is ethereal and joyful in nature. It extends out in all directions from a central point in blue ripples. With slicked back hair, neutral heels and a flourish of blue liner under the eye, the dress is the captivating focus. It is sublime in its effortless, gravity-defying engineering and innate softness.

paris haute couture week spring 2018
Credit: vogue.co.uk
Dior - Surrealist Classicalism
paris haute couture week spring 2018
Credit: vogue.co.uk

The Show: One of the creative director’s, Maria Grazia Chiuri, most accomplished haute couture shows, this season she drew on Dior’s artistic heritage. The thread of surrealist artist Leonor Fini’s work weaves through the design house’s history to the 1930s when Christian Dior staged her first exhibition. Fini was known for her depictions of powerful women, and it is with this inspiration and against a backdrop of surrealist artwork that Chiuri presented an arresting optical illusion. It was a true fantastical moment of warped imagination – all worn with a mask of course. Most certainly though, it was femininity from a new perspective.

The Anatomy of the Look: Like Fini, this look attracts attention and understands the joyful mystery of masquerade. The traditional Dior femininity of the tailored floor-length coat, with its complementary white purity, is subverted by surrealist embellishment. The mask, then, a simple rectangle which adds a modern twist to the Renaissance classic. This was couture for the contemporary woman, and a revolutionised, artistically-expressive court.

The special mentions…

paris haute couture week spring 2018
Credit: vogue.co.uk
Giambattista Valli - Tiered Greenery

The Show: In the equally stunning Musée des Beaux-Arts in the Petit Palais, this season Giambattista Valli presented a collection inspired by the book The Wild Garden and sculptural goddesses. This unusual blend of muses was evident in the wide array of adornments – from sequins to 3D foliage, as well as draping, floral prints and appliquéd embellishments. As a show, it was an exploration into beauty in its many forms. A true moment of fanciful romanticism in its most classical sense.

 

The Anatomy of the Look: Certainly not the most subtle of looks, this is a dress that will transfix a room, if not fill it. In the most vibrant of greens, the tulle was stacked and then embellished with two bows. With its supersize volume, this finale look (and its two sister creations) was produced by skilled artisans with an astonishing 350 meters of fabric. This look epitomised the opulent elegance that the show encapsulated.

paris haute couture week spring 2018
Credit: vogue.co.uk
Ralph & Russo - Modern Asia
paris haute couture week spring 2018
Credit: vogue.co.uk

The Show: From an exploration through beauty to a journey through Asia, the Ralph & Russo couture show documented the inspiration that the couple had found during their travels. It was these oriental influences that shined through in the embellishment. The combinations resulting in a joyous collection of feathers and sparkling florals on sumptuous fabrics in classic Asiatic styles. The accessory of choice: the satin headband in a twist of matching fabric. Far from simple in design or craft, the collection however remained single-minded in its Eastern portrayal.

The Anatomy of the Look: Accented with a bright red lip, this pale extravaganza is simply stunning. It is a true ode to the craftsmanship of the Ralph & Russo atelier. In its mix of design and the exaggerated classic silhouette, this look embodies the ideology of haute couture – it is moving, elegant art.

Alexis Mabille - Head-to-toe Metallics

The Show: With the collection presented on its own red carpet it seemed that Alexis Mabille was primed for award season. The show was bright, all the way down to the 80s inspired blush, and played with proportions. The 80s references were in fact evident in its overall feel; this was the new romantic wave for the modern woman.

The Anatomy of the Look: One of the more masculine-inspired looks in the show. This suit was elevated with its use of metallics. Certainly an attention-grabbing look, the ensemble was able to be both different from so many of the dresses shown throughout haute couture week, and yet still embrace couture philosophy of stunningly-created, extraordinary pieces. Finished with a matching court and the collection’s obligatory 80s make up, the show would not have been complete without a bit of power dressing.

paris haute couture week spring 2018
Credit: vogue.co.uk

The special mentions…

paris haute couture week spring 2018
Credit: vogue.co.uk
Chanel - An Androgynous Vision In White
paris haute couture week spring 2018
Credit: vogue.co.uk

The Show: Set against an unconventionally, for Chanel, simple backdrop of a palatial French garden, this SS18 collection seemed reverent to its haute couture heritage. In this environment of rose-studded pergolas and an 18th Century fountain, the show felt discernibly familiar. There was an undeniable essence of “sophisticated, old-world, downplayed glamour” due to the classic skirt suit, in Chanel bouclé of course, which dominated the sandy paths of the runway. Simply, it was idealistic Parisian romance, just as one would hope for from haute couture week.

The Anatomy of the Look: Though the pastel-hued skirt-suit reigned supreme throughout the show, the climax perfectly combined both masculine and feminine tropes. In essence, it was the matrimonial joining of a white tuxedo with a feathered ball gown, completed with a white version of the veil, which was a continual feature of the show. Unusual, creative and subversive, the Chanel bride is one of a kind.

Armani Prive - Extreme Proportions

The Show: The whimsical concept for this youthful collection was clouds. With this, voluminous dresses and a colour palette which captured “the sky with all its nuances” graced the runway. The show was playful, complex and unpredictable – not unlike the force of nature that it was trying to capture.

The Anatomy of the Look: One of the finale pieces, this ball gown is cosmic. The epitome of a red evening sky, its beauty is derived from the swirling colours and billowing skirt – the sequined bodice a reflection of glistening starlight. A true statement, Armani Privé for SS18 felt swept away in a celestial sphere of its own.

paris haute couture week spring 2018
Credit: vogue.co.uk

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