by Brigid Walshe ’19 A&E Staff
It may be cold and dreary here in Providence, but Paris was filled with life and haute couture this past week, as Paris Fashion Week brought the biggest celebrities, models, and designers back to the City of Lights. Famous designers were showing off their men’s and haute couture collections for the Spring/Summer 2019 season.
French brands like Chanel and Dior went all out for their haute couture shows. Chanel’s collection was influenced by fashion from the 18th century, under the direction of legendary creative director and fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld. He received inspiration from a collection at the Musée Cognacq-Jay in Paris, which focuses on merchants who supplied Parisians with all things needed for haute couture in the 18th century.
Chanel had many looks that were both elegant and chic, but the end of the show was what everyone remembered. Chanel ended its show like most other haute couture shows, with a bridal look. But this year, the brand took a completely new approach to the final bridal. Chanel decided to have a model walk out in a sequined “bridal” bathing suit complete with a headpiece and veil.
For the show itself, Chanel reconstructed an Italianesque villa in the Grand Palais, while snow was falling outside in Paris. Dior’s haute couture show took place at the Musée Rodin, and the runway featured a circus. The show, which was an all-female show, featured acrobats and models navigating the runway in the middle of their acrobatic tricks.
One designer that has gained notoriety is the Dutch designer label Viktor & Rolf. Their Spring 2019 couture looks were big, extravagant, and exactly what one would expect from a haute couture designer. The brand has always tried to close the gap between fashion and art, believing them to be one and the same. Their Spring/Summer 2019 collection was titled “Fashion Statements.” The collection was filled with lots of tulle, bright colors, and, what caught the most attention, words printed on the front of the dresses. Dresses had messages like “I’m not shy I just don’t like you,” “I’m not mean,” “Sorry I’m late I didn’t want to come,” and a simple “No.”
Of course, these dresses were all over the Internet, and even though we may never get the chance to wear one of these haute couture looks, we cannot help but reflect on fashion’s newest innovations.