Updated: Feb 15
Haute Couture Week in Paris has come and gone, and true to form, it has left me feeling giddy, inspired, and absolutely in love. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what couture is or find yourselves confused as to the ridiculous price tags on a couture garment, it’s important to understand what ‘couture’ means and how it shapes the world that is art-in-motion.
Couture, by definition is clothing that is designed and hand-made for a specific person, revolving around that individual’s measurements and personal requests. Couture is different from a garment being custom-made; however, because inherent in this fashion is the use of high-quality fabrics, expensive finishes, and a meticulous intricacy that transforms it from a piece of clothing to a work of art. Only the most talented hands produce couture, making Paris Haute Couture Week the pinnacle of fashion excellence.
Two weeks have passed since Paris’ spring/summer 2020 show, and the time in between has provided all the insight into the latest work of some of the world’s greatest fashion houses, but before I dive into my vote on this year’s Best in Show, let’s discuss some of the show's honorable mentions.
Vauthier flawlessly channels 80s fashion with the use of high shoulders and bright, funky colors, but this year’s standout look had to be the yellow, strapless gown that blended 80s and 50s styles. The 50s cinched waist mixed with the 80s heavy weaving fabric of both the bodice and the skirt proved to be a beautiful marriage of decades. The big, sparkly brooch was the perfect finishing touch to an otherwise knockout look, and the modern monochromatic pairing of yellow sandals was the quintessential embodiment of lavish simplicity.
Typically, I am less attracted to overly opulent designs, but Murad has somehow managed to steal my heart. I am a big fan of sparkle, and it seems that no one does it with more decadence than the House of Murad.
This year’s show was inspired by Egyptian mythology, honoring the beautiful powerful queens of the past, from Nefertiti to Berenice.
Sharp, structured shoulders with rounded necklines brought power and femininity to the forefront. Evenings gowns were adorned with crystal capes or created with sheer fabric, bringing a sultry, sensual vibe to an otherwise delicate look. Exquisite fabrics came into play, from silk tulle to Duchess satin, bringing a great degree of shine that Murad has come to be famous for.
Plunging necklines dominated the floor-dusting dresses, each with hieroglyphics printed on the fabrics to evoke the power and mysticism of Egyptian mythos. I found it incredible how they were able to take shenti, the kilt-like skirts of ancient Egypt, and wesekh, the broad collars/necklaces of the ancient Egyptians, and modernize it through their use of color and beading.
True to form, every dress was donned with Murad’s signature sparkle, and I was left having fallen completely in love with their spring/summer 2020 line. It’s not easy to take heavy crystals and keep it from feeling nauseatingly over-the-top, but Murad finds a way to make it elegant. They have a timeless magic to their wardrobe, rapidly placing them in my top five favorite fashion houses.
Jean Paul Gaultier:
Gaultier was almost reminiscent of Karl Lagerfeld. With his bold, convention-defying looks, he pushed the envelope and played around with what it means to be wearable art. This year’s show saw the excessive use of belting, from an over-the-top dress whose entire bodice was comprised of blush, satin belts, to a chic black and white dress that was belted in four different parts, all ranging in size, Gaultier has the unique gift of making strange look natural.
In his final show, he left a legacy for the fashion world that will linger for decades to come. His legacy reminds us all that art is meant to be tested and challenged and that the greatest disservice a creator can do is sticking to the status quo.
Using Dita Von Teese, the woman who famously brought corsets back into the zeitgeist, was a brilliant move and probably my favorite moment from Gaultier's show.
Who has my vote for this year’s Best in Show?
Visit the Wardrobe this coming Monday to get the scoop!