Best shows from Paris Couture fall 2016 Day 1: Ulyana Sergeenko, Guo Pei and Atelier Versace

Best shows from Paris Couture fall 2016 Day 1: Ulyana Sergeenko, Guo Pei and Atelier Versace

Paris couture fashion week

Text: Brent Taalur Ramsey

Ulyana Sergeenko and Guo Pei kicked off the first day of Paris Couture fashion week in true-to-form elegance, while Atelier Versace surprised with a sultry yet sophisticated collection of drapes and folds

The collection: Inspired by the futuristic '60s as a pivotal moment in Russia's recent history, Ulyana Sergeenko dedicated her fall 2016 couture collection "to the youth of our parents". At the same time, she paid homage to the "new" Soviet citizen of that time — the studious scholar, the sports enthusiast and the Arctic explorer — with a feminine silhouette appearing both lean and dynamic while adorned with fur, floral motifs and the geometric shapes of Russian cities Yelets and Vologda, in lace.

Favourite looks:
Sergeenko's rather eclectic range of cropped blousons, miniskirts, embroidered bodysuits and exquisite, sparkling dresses were often teamed with updated garter belts in solids, patent leather or a latticework of gold — but don't let that distract you from the kitschy-elegant tops and coats splattered with landscape and wildlife motifs. Looks 15, 16, 20, 25 and 30 were the real show-stealers here.

Something you might have missed:
The glittery or patent leather loafers and its high-heel variations made in collaboration with Christian Louboutin — a definite must have.

The collection: For the second time in her career as a couturier, Guo Pei has found inspiration in the dragon, translating this mythical creature into low-profile motifs. Evident from the embossed dragon show invitations to the scale-like sequins (looks 13 & 27) and subtle gold-thread embroidery (looks 14 & 21), the formidable animal ran throughout the entire collection. Guo Pei approached her latest masterpieces with an attention for classical manual craft, all while exploring ancient Chinese fables in the face of future and technology. She created an authentic encounter with elegance, and is truly one of our generation's fastest up-and-coming couture designers.

The finale:
A staple in every Guo Pei show, the grand finale dress appeared on the runway yesterday as a golden dragoness adorned in thousands of sun-kissed sequins and ornamentation, each individually hand-sewn by a team of artisans. The result of more than 20,000 hours of manual labour, this stunning show-stopper is sophisticated, curve-hugging, and truly out of this world.

Something you might have missed:
Underneath the long-flowing dresses, this season's footwear is certainly worth an extra glance. In perfectly coordinating hues, the curved high heels belong to an upcoming footwear collection soon to be released by the designer, and elevate the wearer a staggering 15cm and more. Interestingly, the show notes declared that the footwear are comfortable and "quite fit for wearing".

The collection: In an elegant move away from her sexy, athletic spring 2016 couture collection, Donatella Versace's fall 2016 edit showcased the intricacies of wrapping, draping and folding, resulting in sophisticated silhouettes true to the label's signature ultra-feminine form.

The celebrities:
The front row at Atelier Versace was a star-studded event on its own, with Naomi Campbell, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Garner in attendance. But, the celebrities weren't only to be found in the front row. Models Karen Elson, Joan Smalls, Taylor Hill, Bella Hadid and Carolyn Murphy walked the runway.

Try this now:
Bold and dazzling in silver, hoop earrings are back in a big way (looks 9 & 10). And if you're looking for makeup tips, search no further than this season's ice blue cat-eyes (looks 4, 5, & 6) by Pat McGrath ­— a jolting contrast to the burgundy lips on the rest of the models.