Best shows from Paris Couture fall 2016 Day 4: Maison Margiela, Elie Saab, Viktor & Rolf, Valentino

Best shows from Paris Couture fall 2016 Day 4: Maison Margiela, Elie Saab, Viktor & Rolf, Valentino

Paris couture fashion week

Text: Brent Taalur Ramsey

On the last day of haute couture: Maison Margiela laid siege to Les Invalides and Elie Saab explored New York, while Viktor & Rolf and Valentino brought beauty out from the past

The collection: Maison Margiela's fall 2016 couture collection took control of Les Invalides in Paris early Wednesday morning, chock full of references to France culture and its revolutionary past — a recurring signature of creative director John Galliano. This season, Galliano subtly positioned the overcoats (look 17) and tricorne hats (look 3) worn by revolutionist soldiers of yore within a collection of technical, urban wares. Staying true to his aesthetics, he presented model after model plastered with bold makeup options: Lips, brows and hair were all of bright hues and abstract shapes. With every collection the legendary designer creates at Maison Margiela, he continues to make it abundantly clear how much of a brilliant pairing it is. Now in his fourth couture season with the label, we're as smitten as ever.

Favourite looks:
An oversized coat with a belted corset (look 14) was a strong look in an exceptional line-up of empire waists (looks 2, 6, 7 and 16), voluminous draping (look 11) and thigh-high Wellington boot waders (looks 3, 9 and 26).

Something you might have missed:
Galliano has always been a pro at giving us exactly what we didn't even know we wanted. In this case, he served up beekeeper frocks couturier-style and the hat and veils (looks 6 & 13) certainly made a statement.

The collection: Citing New York City — with its Art Deco grandeur and timeless energy — as the main source of inspiration for his fall 2016 couture collection, Elie Saab fused European luxury with the city's iconic graphics at yesterday's show. In tow with Chrysler Building prints and golden skyscraper window motifs, this season showcased Saab's consistency for producing extravagant and couture-worthy coats and ball-gowns. And, reminded all of us that it's true what they say: There's no place like New York.

Favourite looks:
The saying is especially true during the spring, when the streets are filled with fresh blossoms and decadent floral scents. Saab seemed to agree, sending out a set of final dresses adorned brilliantly with feather embellishments sculpted to mimic flowers in an array of pinks and blues (looks 51 to 55).

Buro loves:
Our hearts melted into puddles at the sight of the matching mommy-and-me dress sets this season (looks 9, 14, 16, 30, 32, 40, 46 and 50). Really, how cute are they?

The collection: Titled 'Vagabonds', Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren's fall 2016 couture collection is about as close to the couture equivalent of a trolley-pushing sidewalk wanderer that fashion can allow. Inspired by Dickensian vagabonds, and citing the phrase "those that belong nowhere, wandering from place to place with their thrown-together, tattered and seemingly mismatched look", this season stayed true to context with a sourcing method unparalleled in its originality and salvaging prowess. Creating all of the garments presented at yesterday's show from the scraps and leftovers from countless collections' past, Viktor & Rolf's latest couture outing, at best, shines light on the beauty of upcycling, and at its worst, offers a fine case for their admission into hoarders anonymous.

Favourite looks:
Complete with crinkled black top hats, this season has shown no restraint with its tremendous thrown-together vibe, but if we had to choose our favourite looks? The standout updated separates upcycled from ready-to-wear options to couture-quality creations in a show of tulle ruffles, weaved ribbons and scattered buttons (looks 13, 17, 24, 25, 34 and 37).

Something you might have missed:
An autumnal hued sweatshirt with layers of earthy-toned tulle teamed with weaved ribbons on one pant leg, an array of buttons on the other, and a particularly fierce stag print on the chest (look 10).

The collection: For what could be their final couture collection together, Valentino's co-creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli presented a fall 2016 couture collection illustrated with a level of Elizabethan elegance not even William Shakespeare himself could scribe. If the rumour mills prove correct in their speculations that Chiuri will be the next creative director at Dior, this departure would mark the end of an iconic era for the Italian fashion house, whose founder Valentino Garavani personally invited the design duo to join the label in 1999; and, they've been inseparable ever since taking the reins in 2007.

Yesterday's couture show at the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild in Paris was understandably an emotional occasion, but the designers put their feelings to good use, creating a collection of Shakespearean-era interpretations, complete with 17th-century inspired ruffled collars and opulent gowns. Balancing the
haute couture options were slim-fit trousers and riding boots for the total royalty-in-the-countryside package.

Buro loves: The gowns were aplenty this season, but we've fallen in love with one special creation: A long-sleeve dress illustrated with an array of birds, floral prints, and at least one unicorn, that required more than 110 hours to hand-paint (look 34).

In attendance: Yesterday's show was buzzing with favourite starlets and family units, from Zoë Kravitz, Milla Jovovich, and Olivia Palermo, to Piccioli's wife, Simona, and their three children. 

Related stories:
Best shows from Paris Couture fall 2016 Day 1: Ulyana Sergeenko, Guo Pei and Atelier Versace
Best shows from Paris Couture fall 2016 Day 2: Schiaparelli, Christian Dior, Ralph & Russo, Giambattista Valli
Best shows from Paris Couture fall 2016 Day 3: Chanel, J. Mendel, Giorgio Armani Privé, Alexandre Vauthier

For all our coverage of Paris Couture Fashion Week FW16, click here.