While everyone loves Paris in the springtime, we’re especially loving it this past week as it has been host to the annual Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week.
The trendiest designers including household names like Christian Dior, Chanel, Atelier Versace, Giorgio Armani Prive and more showcased their newest collections for Spring and Summer 2015 during an incredible week of runway shows, and we’ve spent the week obsessing over the fashion.
To truly appreciate the spectacle of these events, it’s important to know what couture really means in the fashion world. While it’s often used to describe high fashion in general, it’s true meaning is more complex.
In order to be approved as truly couture by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, the governing body of the couture world, it has to meet these criteria:
- It must be made and constructed completely by hand in every step, start to finish
- The pieces must be made with only the finest materials
- The designer must pay extreme attention to detail in every piece
The collections you see during this Paris Fashion Week can take weeks to complete, and many are made for specific models who go for multiple fittings during this time. In reality, they are more like artwork than simply clothing.
Knowing all of this makes the details that much more incredible. As you browse our gallery be sure to take a moment to appreciate the intricacies of all of the fashions, like the boots from Atelier Versace, or the incredible crystal pants from Alexandre Vauthier, and the breathtaking beauty of the Elie Saab bridal look. Fashion week truly showcases fine craftsmanship in every elegant, quirky, edgy, and just plain odd that walks the catwalk during this annual highly anticipated spectacle.
Can’t wait to see what we’re talking about? Read on for a Paris Fashion Week recap of shows from few of our favorite designers, and photos of some of our favorite looks and trends that we can’t wait to try this season.
What better way to kick off fashion week in Paris than with design powerhouse Versace? For Spring/Summer 2015 Donatella Versace took a traditional primary color palate and gave it her special spin, bringing it to a whole new level of sex appeal with stunning cut outs, asymmetrical designs, mesh, lace, big belts, small waists, and crystal details.
The designs were exactly what we’ve come to expect from Versace, but with details that made them different from previous collections and uniquely suited to both the runway, and the Red Carpet.
Dominated by black, blue, red, white and nude, the runway looks featured every type of evening-wear look, from pant suits to mini skirts, with an eye for sexy details that is purely Versace.
We can’t wait to see which celebrities show up in one of these looks at awards shows this year, but we can see seriously sexy Angelina Jolie or Scarlett Johanssen channeling one of our favorite choices below.
Love this gown in nude.
We love the cut-out details on these dresses.
Designer Raf Simons sought out to explore all things retro in his couture Spring/Summer line up, and that he did. The models graced the runway in an array of looks, so varied that it was hard to pinpoint a true theme of the show outside of generally “retro.” He drew inspiration from the best parts of 50’s, 60’s and 70’s fashion, and incorporated them in interesting and at times cheeky ways into the collection.
While the disco-inspired cat suits and plastic printed coats pushed the boundaries of fashion, the show dazzled with texture and detail. Every look was complimented by luxurious stretch boots that fit the models like a second skin, and were probably one of the most wearable things on the runway. Whether they were calf or thigh high, they totally caught our eye.
Here are just a few of the looks that really left an impression on us. While they’re not entirely wearable, we can’t deny that these bold creative choices and some of these brilliant combinations were memorable long after the show was over.
See? We were serious about the catsuit.
This raincoat is so unexpected, and yet so high fashion.
We would totally wear those boots with that dress. Totally.
Genius, legend and design mastermind Karl Lagerfeld took your traditional garden party to the next level with his incredible runway show. He set his stage with a bright white set of mechanical garden flowers, that opened throughout the show to revel bright pops of color complimenting the fashions on the catwalk.
The dome of the Grand Palais played host to the event, which included a grand parade of the classic Chanel two piece suit looks with fun nuances specific to this season.
The color palate was as varied as the flowers in a garden, featuring everything from bright orange, yellow, pinks, greens, and Yves Klein blue. Lagerfeld experimented with the classic suit look, including flashes of stomach, fitted tops with wide flowing trapeze skirts, and even some mini’s in the collection.
Having been quoted saying “The stomach is … the new cleavage,” during a show preview, he was true to his word on the runway, showing off both a little and a lot on the runway, and proving that the stomach is sexy too.
One thing we always love about Chanel is just how wearable their runway styles are. Here are a few of our favorite looks from the show.
The detail on this skirt is completely divine.
Who doesn’t love classic Chanel pink with a sassy skirt to spice it up?
It doesn’t get much better than Chanel in basic black.
Alexandre Vauthier is known for his rocker-esque designs and sometimes flamboyant runway shows. However, after being elected an official member of the Chambre Syndicale in late 2015, he was quoted in saying he wanted to go back to his roots and focus on craft, which resulted in a more refined, and fantastic, approach to this show.
He bucked the springtime norms and showcased a palate of mostly blacks and deep emeralds, and while the collection included some rock and roll moments of sexy eel skin miniskirts and crystal encrusted capri pants, overall it was a beautiful compromise between his sometimes outrageous style and the more wearable looks we’re seeing on the runway for Spring.
Because we know you’re dying to see those pants, they’re included below along with a few other looks that caught our eye and inspired us.
Eel skin mini skirt? Yes, please.
There is no such thing as too much bling. Not even on pants.
Giorgio Armani Prive
Celebrating 40 years in business this spring, Giorgio Armani created a classic runway with a strong Japanese motif and theme for his 2015 Spring/Summer couture show. This Prive collection featured traditionally masculine designs and lines, as well as his signature glamorous evening dresses complete with Japanese influences like Kimono sleeves and bamboo prints.
To sum it up, if you like bamboo, there is something in this collection for you.
While we absolutely appreciate Japanese influences, the evening collection is what really appealed to us. Beautiful fabrics adorned with crystals and metallics created beautiful silhouettes and shapes on the models. While the bamboo theme was still present, it was either subdued or enhanced just enough that it gave an elegant, lovely effect.
Here are a few of our favorite bamboo inspired evening pieces with incredible lines and sparkle.
We just loved the movement of this piece.
Who says bamboo can’t be sexy?
For her Spring/Summer couture collection, Elie Saab takes you on a beautiful journey to the Italian coast. When asked about her inspiration for the collection, she says:
“A beautiful memory of Beirut often visits me in a dream. A loving, giving and tolerant Beirut. A glamorous one too. A beautiful memory that never ceased to inspire me – that inspired this collection.”
Models walk the runway decked out to look like an exotic location in glorious dresses in nudes, silvers and golds that quickly transition into pastels reminiscent of an ocean sunset or a lush tropical island. The textures and embellishments are stunning, and there’s so much sparkle we are practically mesmerized by the fashion.
Beautiful whimsical tropical or butterfly designs are interspersed with solid colors like basic black for a stunning contrast. Saab builds her show to a climax, and for the grand finale showcases the perhaps most beautiful bridal look ever created. The stunning dress modeled by Anna Cleveland with a floor length crystal encrusted veil is the only one on the catwalk for over a solid minute, and it deserves every second of fame.
As one of our favorite shows of the week, it’s hard to choose just a few samples, but here are just a few favorites, including that amazing bridal gown.
The bridal gown that makes us all want to get married. Some of us again, just to wear this dress.
This dress has us dreaming of vacations on a tropical island.
There is nothing understated about the stunning detail of this gown.
Jean Paul Gaultier
With his recent decision to stop designing ready-to-wear after 38 years and focus solely on couture, Jean Paul Gaultier’s set the expectations extremely high for his Paris show.
Following a bridal theme, the designer said backstage that his collection was “sixty one ways to say yes.” While we never really know what to expect from Jean Paul, this bridal collection was anything but traditional. He opened in classic white, but proceeded to show us a mash up of blacks, whites, bright pops of color, and unique shapes and lines.
Always one to innovate but never to stray far from his roots, there was plenty of the 80’s look and feel that’s typical of a Jean Paul runway show. While at times predictable, it’s hard to argue the creativity that Jean Paul brings to the table.
In the end, we loved some of the looks he created and can’t wait to see how they translate into bridal fashions for the coming year. Here’s a sampling of his designs for the season.
The opening bridal look from the show.
An interesting take on a bridal pantsuit.
Viktor & Rolf
Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren’s collection on the runway reminded us more of artwork than fashion, but then again there’s a fine line between the two. Every look that strutted down the runway started with the same simple concept, a floral print baby doll dress, a pair of flip flops, and a variation on a straw hat.
But what we make sound simple, Viktor & Rolf made into art. In fact, before the first model even began her walk three separate dresses had already been purchased by notable art collector Han Nefkens, who will donate them to Rotterdam’s Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.
But don’t mistake this collection for anything like what we saw from Chanel with their garden party theme, these babydoll’s had some teeth, and the designs had an unexpected edge that left us both mesmerized, and at times just a little confused.
Take a look at a few of our favorites from this interesting show.
For us, the hat really completes this look.
We love the color combination and contrast here.
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli did a stunning job of paying homage to Marc Chagall, the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century. The theme of the show was love, and the designers were unashamed to create Romeo and Juliet-esque silhouettes in an array of incredible fabrics complimented by extraordinary embroidery to give them a folkloric charm.
On Valenino’s runway we saw hints of the Pantone Color of the Year for 2015, Marsala, as well as an eclectic gathering of neutrals. Our favorites were a handful of dresses that truly embodied Chagall’s heritage, gowns in deep blues with accents of stars throughout.
We were particularly taken with the organization of the show, Chirui and Piccioli taking care to flood your senses with the beauty and intricacies of one garment, and showcase one that is equally as beautiful but simple next. Watching this show was truly an experience, and a good one at that.
Check out a few of our favorites, from the simple to the elegant. And just look at the detail on that gorgeous blue dress.
We love this whimsical and romantic look.
The blue dress. See what we mean?
Zuhair Murad’s Spring/Summer 2015 couture looks nearly took our breath away with his use of fine fabrics, intricate lace, crystal detailing, and beautiful sheer sexy layers.
His glamorous gowns embraced every shade of pastel, ranging from whites to creams, champagnes to golds, pinks, blues and yellows, and culminating with in incredible bridal fashion to rival what we saw earlier in the week at Elie Saab.
Every single style was adorned with intricate detail, and to be honest, we’re having trouble picking just a few because we have so many favorites.
This look is so stunning and the color combination is one of our favorites for Spring.
Yet another unimaginably beautiful bridal look. This gown puts Cinderella to shame.
What did you think of the couture looks this week? Did we miss anything fabulous in our Paris Fashion Week recap?
If we missed your favorite designer, or highlighted a look you really love, be sure to let us know in the comments, and stay tuned for recaps from other hot runway shows this season.