Your recap of Haute Couture

By Gabriela Ramos Caldato

To our luck, the alchemy of fashion is to take on the malice of times and make something beautiful out of it. Within the limbo of our current reality, here comes fashion and mirrors this uncertainty into a requiem of beauty. Take Daniel Roseberry’s Schiparelli brilliant collection, which took place at the Petit Palais. In his show’s notes and previews for the runway, he described the sense of his inspiration as “l’appel du vide” which  translates to “the call of the void” and unlike its hopeless connotation, what it meant to the creative was the urge to live. The result was a perfectly executed runway, where each piece had an identity of uniqueness. Schiaparelli’s surrealism might extend to existentialism presenting Saturnian brass rings, black bodice corsets among extravagant accessories that are the stamp of the brand. The biker shorts, nipped in jackets, poignant collars and the embroidered everything accompanied with tons of golds and avant garde outer space shapes, it was the beauty that we were craving. For what it’s worth, the runway transmitted a sense of grandeur rather than more is more. The elevation of chicness and femininity in modern times. 

The sentiment continued with Maria Grazia’s Chiuri Dior Spring 2022 Haute Couture collection. As the stock market seems to be continuously crashing, the stockings market is flourishing. Chiuri who is well known for taking up to a cause as inspiration for her work, concurs with the feeling of uncertainty within the industry and paid an ode to the soul of craftsmanship in her collection. The embroidered stockings marching with its bodice corsets were an immaculate work that echoed chic simplicity. The collection, especially the evening-wear, transmitted a sense of the lightness and calmness. Ivory wool tunics, ecru wool dresses, sculpted cuts and a backless silver lamé dress was a repertoire of subtle elegance with a complex confection of its own. 

Then came Chanel, and needless to say it was the epitome of chic. When the granddaughter of Grace Kelly, a known amazon of the equestrian elite, Charlotte Casiraghi, opens the show with a sublime horse gait technique and later on gallops to the kick-off of the runway, you know the stage is set for something marvellous.  With the help of artist Xavier Veilhanm, The Grand Palais Éphémère was transformed into a composition of geometric constructivist designs with an ambience of subdued lighting that, combined an equestrian track and a sandbox park. Along the music of Sebastian Teller, the classic “Chanel Tweeds” made an appearance, with bouclé skits, negligée dresses, harem pants, peplum fitted jackets, an organza evening skirt with hand painted poppies in it and flappers with ostrich and silk fringes with crystal beads on them. Virgine Viard’s Chanel was chic, pretty, and laboriously intricate and even though it stuck to its roots, there was a futuristic cubist construction sense to it. 

At the end, comes the new emperor of Couture, Pierpaolo Piccioli for Maison Valentino. By breaking the rules of body proportion, Piccioli picked 10 house models with different proportioned bodies with the idea of adapting silhouettes to his client’s needs. He channeled the reality that the body modifies with age and that each shape is still and will always be beautiful. As well as catering to his clientele, he is also serving the values of Gen Z and the importance they give to body acceptance. Models like Marie Sophie Wilson, Lara Stone, Violetta Sanchez, Kristen McMenamy, Jon Kortajarena and Lunn Koster looked fabulous, full of character and confidence. Among voluptuous opera capes, draping tulles, rainbow coloured outfits, statuesque evening dresses, train jackets and a sensual little black dress, Maison Valentino not only rendered an honor to its clientele but also created a collection so rich, so full, so diverse and yet coherent. The result: a hope for the best in the months to come.

As a sentiment, this couture week tells us to be inspired and to look our best with boldness and grandeur. Women ought to feel empowered not only when wearing trousers, but also when sporting cleavages with elegance. Femininity, sensuality and most of all chicness are back, and more beautiful than they ever were. Who knows what the future holds, but the creative present is enchantingly beautiful.