Best shows from Paris Couture Fashion Week FW17: Maison Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, Valentino, Fendi
It's official: Haute couture week has ended. These past four days of high fashion have been nothing short of spectacular, but today was especially interesting. I mean, oversized dolls heads — what more can I say? Join me as I look back at the final curtain call and say "au revoir" to Paris. See you next season.
MAISON MARGIELA: GLAM NOUVEAU
Designer: John Galliano
The collection: Moving from its usual show space at Les Invalides to the salons of Maison Margiela headquarters, this season's Artisanal collection — as it's called -showcased creative director John Galliano's exploration into the idea of opulence. His was an Elizabeth Taylor-Marilyn Monroe headspace, where he focused on one particular personification of glamour — the trench coat. His turn of de/reconstructed outerwear saw varied marks of glamour, from the red nails and high heels to the capes, feathers and sequins. Galliano also attempted to incorporate the quick red-lip-grab-coat-and-go look — each highlighting his signature fabric distortion, twists and shredding.
Favourite looks: From the avant-garde (looks 9, 11, 12), to the relatively classic (looks 1, 2, 5), there was much to love here.
VIKTOR & ROLF: BE A DOLL
Designers: Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren
The collection: The designer duo has long mastered the concept of concepts. From introducing the upcycling movement to the world of haute couture, to perfecting the ability to create collections built around patchworks of vintage fabrics, they have managed to turn away from ready-to-wear and focus their business solely on couture, bridal and fragrance, which is not a small feat. That said, with an abundance of distorted (yet still manageable) bomber jacket interpretations, this is hands-down their most wearable collection — giant doll heads notwithstanding.
Favourite looks: Those larger-than-life ruff collars (look 11, 32, 35), the heavy splattering of bows (looks 1, 5, 14, 25) and the patchwork quilting (looks 12, 18, 20, 38) carried over from the past two seasons are still going strong.
VALENTINO: SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
Designer: Pierpaolo Piccioli
The collection: Whether you're a fashion nun, a dapper monk, or simply a Yohji; a little bit of faith is not a bad thing. For Pierpaolo Piccioli's second solo couture outing since Maria Grazia Chiuri's departure, he parked reality aside to renew Valentino's commitment to the divine in the fall/winter 2017 season. Taking inspiration from clerical garments and religious portraits by 17th-century painter Francisco de Zurbarán, this scaled-back collection of daywear and eveningwear went light on the sequins but heavy on layers (is that a trench coat over a sheath dress over a shirt dress over a turtleneck... under a pair of trousers, in look 10?). If fashion was a religion, then we call this dogma of minimalism Valentino's New Testament.
Favourite looks: We fell in love with the dramatic coats (looks 2, 5, 25), the clerical capes (1, 7, 31) and the billowing beauties (41, 53, 59, 60).
FENDI: FUR, FLORALS & FANTASY
Designer: Karl Lagerfeld
The collection: Tonight marked Fendi's third haute fourrure show (or high fur show) at the magnificent Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, complete with its own fantastical forest runway. The fantasy doesn't end there. With the opening looks, came flowers every which way, each painstakingly crafted from sable dyed or hand-painted furs, then embroidered and/or attached by hand. And don't be fooled: If you think the coats on looks 2, 12 and 14 are velvet, they aren't — this a window to the savoir-faire of Fendi's couturiers.
Favourite look: The sheared Persian lamb coats decorated with blue-mink poppies, will be unforgettable, along with the moment model Vittoria Ceretti walked down the runway holding a lattice shawl made of 9,000 miniscule discs which took 1,250 hours to sew by hand.
All coverage from Paris Couture Fashion Week fall/winter 2017.