Metro at Paris Haute Couture Week 2018: See How These $100,000 Dresses Look Up Close
Scenes at Paris Couture Fashion Week
Watching the Haute Couture shows is a novelty just as much as the pieces shown are. Season per season, many are called but only a select few get access to these most exclusive seats of the year. For Metro Magazine to cover such shows in Paris a few days ago, it is indeed a sartorial experience.
What makes Haute Couture different from regular show dates like Spring/Summer or Fall/Winter, grandiosity of the shows aside, is that the fashion houses dole out luxury clothing in its finest and purest form. They’re not mass produced but rather a product of skilled hands of artisans and months of labor to create that one look, with a price tag to match it (singlehandedly can be as much as a Rolls-Royce).
For this season, each show was a spectacle—thematic and grand. It’s either the magic of a transformed location, the ambitious pieces wonderfully conveyed, or both. Not one show is alike but it was unanimous: Everyone put up a show.
All eyes were on newly appointed Creative Director Clare Waight Keller. Since her move from Chloé last October, the big question was how will she make a mark in her debut Couture collection? Doubts turned into astonishment as the Archives Nationales – Hotel De Rohan was turned into eerily moonlit-dappled rooms. As the dark and pitch black pieces entered one of all four rooms, some with crystal beads, gunmetal silver, feathers, the theme was punctuated: the lunar cycle, as the moonlight touches the flowers of the garden.
Front and center was the tailoring, not a common highlight during the couture shows. She traded grandeur and fantasy for something confident and bold. While the theme was only a second thought, her modernist mission to make her mark in the couture shows is definitely playing well.
Ralph & Russo
London-based fashion house Ralph & Russo has a wider worldwide fame thanks to Meghan Markle wearing them on her engagement shoot. But if it is claim to fame we are talking about, they’ve done so on their own merit. And this particular couture show is not any different. Designers Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo ventured to the orient for inspiration. Their recent trip to Asia was the heavy influence of their show at the Palais de la Découverte.
Oriental details like the embroidery, hand-painted florals, glistening chains and ombré fringes were highlighted, reminiscent of great Asian cities: the neon lights of Tokyo on dresses and Chinese tiled roofs on plissé pieces. The mostly pastel palette is both invigorating and new, with each offering a different sway or movement. It is no wonder then that Beyoncé, Lupita Nyong’o, and Rita Ora are part of their growing clientele.
Master couturier Guo Peo’s Haute Couture show came out as organically as her set’s design. The uprooted roots of a tree served as a chandelier right in the middle of Cirque d’Hiver. It was a foreshadowing of what was to come: a 23-piece collection of full-blown pieces, each fantastically embellished with 3D floral and fauna, with sky-high crystal shoes, and a gold headpiece. It was a peek through her imagination, pushing the boundaries of florals that only a true couturier can do.
Gilded in gold or romanticized with dusky blue hues, the play on details on these luscious pieces prove not just mastery of craft but a vivid thought process and ingenuity. The scale and grandness of the show and its pieces are proof of what couture is all about: something entirely original like you’ve never seen it before.
The Grand Palais was transformed into one enchanting French garden and it’s just as captivating as it sounds. Center of the room was a majestic fountain and circling around it, while walking on sandy paths, were models in quintessential Chanel matching tweed skirt and jackets, even down to the boots.
The muted pastels as if hues from peonies or rosebuds complemented the green grass which then magnificently transformed into silver sequins and sparkle as the evening dresses came in. What’s new were the A-line jackets and silver jumpsuits, which were one too many ideas all in one show. But as Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld said so, “I don’t know what I am doing in a way—it’s just a feeling.” And if it’s just all about feeling, the show, the dreamy daydresses, and how everything just came together, it's entrancing, like you want to revel in a Chanel couture piece or two and stay in the garden forever.
Check out more Fashion Week scenes and backstage photos from Paris Couture Week:
All photos taken using the Fujifilm X-T20. Special thanks to Store Specialists, Inc. and M.A.C