From the launch of Tamara Ralph’s new couture label to Dior’s seasonal show, here are all the highlights from day one of Paris Haute Couture Week.
Schiaparelli Couture FW 23
The house’s founder, Elsa Schiaparelli was well-known for her collaboration with artists from Salvador Dali to Man Ray. This season’s show was an ode to Elsa’s fantastical world of art, or as Creative Director Daniel Roseberry wrote in his show notes, the Schiaparelli Couture FW 23 collection is a “Surrealist interpretation of a woman’s wardrobe”. Feathers, theatrical shapes and metal adornments all played big. Standout pieces included a Surrealist rift on a nun’s habit, sprayed-on blue bodywear and Pollock-esque painted gowns.
Two years following the collapse of Ralph & Russo, Tamara has returned to the catwalk for her inaugural collection with her new eponymous label. One of the most talked about shows in the days leading up to Haute Couture Week (the new house was only announced three days before the show), it had a packed-out audience in Paris. Highlights in the collection included flora-inspired designs, theatrical crinoline gowns and metallic colourways.
Iris Van Herpen
The Dutch designer was inspired by “aquatic architecture” for her latest collection. The result was an otherworldly ethereal capsule which defied both gravity and basic engineering. The breathtaking pieces in the capsule soared, curved and stood out from the human form of the models that graced the runway. Once again, Van Herpen raised the bar of possibilities for Haute Couture design.
Lebanese designer Georges Hobeika revealed an exquisite sparkling capsule at Haute Fashion Week. Hobeika broke with tradition, having celebrities walk in his show, including Lebanese Australian humanitarian and entrepreneur Jessica Kahawaty, her mother Rita Kahawaty. Feathers and beadwork were prominent in the collection which was a celebration of colour and glamour.
While many of the designers at Paris Haute Couture Week pushed the boundaries of structure and design, Dior’s show reminded us that understated elegance and exquisite detailing are just as much part of the couture world. Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri was inspired by the retelling of mythology through the female lens for her latest collection. The capsule spanned monochrome, metallic and neutral colourways through silky silhouettes, delightful embroideries, as well as tunics and column dresses inspired by yesteryear.
Indian designer Rahul Mishra presented a spectacular collection featuring embroideries of tigers, orchids and artisans on the first day of Haute Couture Fashion Week. He was also one of the designers which chose to break the mould of only showcasing female models in a couture show, including instead a series of men also wearing his universal designs.
Thom Browne became the most talked-about show of the first day of Haute Couture Fashion Week. It was the inaugural couture collection from the established American sportswear house. Showcased in the Paris Garnier Opera house, the curtain was raised to a faux-theatre audience facing back at audience members gathered for the show. Here started the surrealist-inspired collection. Shades of grey, harlequin-esque makeup and contorted gowns and headwear took to the runway in Browne’s successful debut.
Italian designer Giambattista Valli was inspired by the timelessness of couture style for his latest collection, with a touch of flair from the 1950s. Showcased in the house’s new headquarters in Paris, the show felt intimate (think cream carpets, rose petals and gilded chairs) while still maintaining the opulence of a couture show.