Paris Couture Fashion Week 2018 is a dazzling display of femininity. As a broken world struggles to find beauty and wrestles with feminism and gender equality, the true artisans of the fashion world painted a vision of hope, strength and light. The city of lights welcomed couture houses including Chanel, Zuhair Murad, Giambattista Valli, Ralph and Russo, Givenchy and Dior to present their Spring/Summer 2018 couture collections.
Haute couture translates from French as “high dressmaking.” The art of custom dress making in France is very serious. In fact, the term “haute couture” is protected by law in France.
Fashion houses must meet strict criteria to call itself a couture house. Ateliers must employ at least 20 staff members. Couture houses are required to show their couture collections twice per year and reveal at least 35 creations.
Couture gowns have estimated price tags because they are created as one-of-a-kind designs for customers with no price limit. The designers and dressmakers spend hundreds of hours creating one gown to be worn by a specific model. The challenge is formidable, but the collections are divine. Couture collections are the highest art form of fashion design.
Chanel celebrated the feminine form in traditional pinks and tweeds amidst a French garden theme. Kaia Gerber, daughter of supermodel Cindy Crawford, made her first couture appearance in the show. Karl Lagerfeld gave a nod to transitioning times when his bride donned a tuxedo and wore trousers.
Maison Margiela caused a commotion when the black fabric his models wore suddenly transformed into multiple color metallics under the flash of cameras.
Get a fresh look at the Dior Haute Couture creations for the coming season! We take you backstage for a pre-show shoot that allows you to better appreciate the Spring-Summer 2018 collection designed by #MariaGraziaChiuri in all its details, from tulle masks layered like puffs of smoke and the cage-like structure of dresses to the primarily graphic black and white palette!⠀ #DiorCouture #PFW⠀ © @JasonLloydEvans
Dior’s surrealist collection was shown inside Paris’ Musée Rodin. Models wore caged corsets and square masks to cover their eyes. The collection was predominantly black and white, echoing the runway itself. Pantsuits were bold and reflected the strong feminist stance of Maria Grazi Chiuri.
Claire Waight Keller’s first couture collection for Givenchy was a glamorous assortment of magical materials including taffeta, feathers and tulle. Her exquisite craftsmanship in her tailoring and restraint within the glamour, however, stole the show. Her use of black during this particular season is significant and should attract those needing gowns for red carpets.
Ralph and Russo’s ethereal collection featured their beautiful star bride Camila Coelho. The world-famous fashion blogger fulfilled her own fantasy while wearing an enormous off-white creation which included layers of silk rushing, pearls, jewels and silk flowers. Coelho’s presence is an acknowledgment of the powerful world of fashion influencers.
Couture shows are over for now, but their statements regarding feminism will be remembered.