PFW Couture: The Round Up

It’s literally our favourite time of the year; Paris Couture Fashion Week. Having finished last night, we summarise the collections that had us in as much awe as the front row guests of Valentino’s timeless show. From floor sweeping ballgowns made entirely of feathers to matador-esque tuxedo jackets, here’s our round up of Paris Couture Fashion Week.

Giorgio Armani
The Armani Privé production was a feather drop short of perfection (literally). After presenting a stunning collection that came up just shy of 100 pieces, Giorgio Armani appeared from backstage to take his bow (and retrieved said feather). Themed around a cocktail dinner, the night was kick started by models in classic jacquard and velvet suits as well as some modernised spins on tuxedo’s. Gowns that were designed to “reveal the refined meticulous work of the atelier” followed suit; think voluminous skirts made of feathers, skin tight velvet jumpsuits and dresses made from hundreds of metres of tulle. The collection was beautifully split into two sections; minimalism versus maximalist, suits versus froufrou, monochrome versus bright. Accessories were highly accessible and complimentary; large clashing earrings, costume jewellery and pearls.

We may be biased here as we absolutely adore Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller, but, that said, her 42-look collection was the epitome of couture. Entitled “Caraman”, in reference to where Hubert de Givenchy opened his first couture ateliers in 1959, the collection was in homage to the late founder’s most iconic creations and techniques – think sharp tailoring, classic capes, riffs on the "sack dress" silhouette, boat necks and romantic bow details. The evening looks were nothing short of red carpet worthy including corset dresses that were made from birds' soundwave patterns; in layers of silk and acrylic to mimic the layering of a bird's feather. The daywear would make a fantastic addition to any woman’s wardrobe completing an overall stunning tribute to the house’s past founder.

Elie Saab
Finding inspiration from the streets of Barcelona, Elie Saab’s couture collection represented the high glamour we all know him for. A truly magical show focused around the masterworks of architectural genius Gaudi, Saab brought halter-neck ball gowns, shawl-collared brocade coats and matador-esque tuxedo jackets. Oversized rounded shoulders, which were sometimes dramatically raised from the body, were a new silhouette variation on the house’s bread-and-butter cinched waist looks. A series of evening dresses in rich gem tones also stormed the runway followed by similar designs in grey-and-white Gaudí-like shadow prints. The swirling stones of the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, accentuated the clothes’ architectural lines.

Finally, combining artisanal tradition with modernistic techniques, Pierpaolo Piccioli’s Valentino production closed the week. Hosted in the city’s chic Hotel Salomon de Rothschild, the collection was relevant, modern and timeless. The grand gowns and floor sweeping pieces were sure to steal the show, however the inclusion of casualwear ensured the collection was more current and wearable than simply costume. A real show stopper was the triangular feather dress modelled by Kaia Gerber and complimented by her audacious va-va-voom hair. There were large round multicoloured headpieces embellished with real flowers, scarf wraps that left the audience in awe and loose pieces that beautifully toyed with proportion. Colour combinations of tomato and cerulean or violet and pistachio brought the pieces together. The collection received an incredible standing ovation and was the definition of archetypal dramatic couture.