27 January 2023

Topsy-turvey dresses, layers of tulle and top hats galore — Here’s HUNGER’s Haute Couture roundup

It’s hard to keep up with the showstopping Haute Couture runways, and as the curtains draw to a close, we reminisce on the best collections from this season.

Valentino hits the clubs – in couture? 

Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli decided to merge two opposing worlds for his collection: couture and the nightclub scene. Aptly named ‘Valentino Le Club Couture’, the designs were giving a high-glam next-day walk of shame with tiny sequined shorts, sheer dresses, polka dots, cutouts, and monochrome tuxedo-inspired ensembles. It would seem Piccioli can’t get enough of his embellishments, and the ruffles especially were nothing short of fabulous. Set under the Pont Alexandre, the aim was to appeal to young people in the world of one-off dressing, and it’s evident that the inspiration was to recreate a Studio 54 that meets the Blitz Club vibe. For the couture-loving clubbers out there, Valentino have you covered, and it seems that even the morning after will be looking as good as the night before. 

All the trimmings with Elie Saab

Elie Saab put the haute in haute couture this week, as his entourage of models were lavishly draped in some of the most detailed embroideries and regal silhouettes we’ve seen so far. Trains trailed behind the models and no trimming was left aside; sequins, crystals, pearls, abstract motifs, corsets, peplums, huge side-tying neck bows: Saab had been hard at work. And it seriously paid off, as the looks poured out onto the runway in a glorious display of elegance and glamour.

Your dress isn’t on backwards, it’s just Viktor & Rolf

Viktor & Rolf were amongst some of the major showstoppers of this haute couture season, as they presented ballgowns back to front, upside down, sideways, and peering in. We aren’t sure how they did it either, but the brand managed to turn the idea of divine femininity on its head (literally) with their beautifully constructed designs. The killer runway was titled ‘Late Stage Capitalism Waltz’, and proved a surrealist take on ballgowns. The looks were made with 3D-printed bodices in an array of pastel colours with beige corsets that sat behind the dresses. A simple concept with an astonishing impact, Viktor & Rolf outdid themselves.

Circus ringmaster chic by Chanel

Top hats and circus ringmaster vibes were Chanel’s take on couture this year, as creative director Virginie Viard found inspiration in lions, stags, birds, and camels. The concept was taken from Coco Chanel’s apartment at 31 rue Cambon, where the sculptures and objects were transformed by set designer Xavier Veilhan and Viard combined. The 11 animals made of wood, cardboard, and paper were dotted around the set, as the models stepped out in emblem-covered embroidered dresses, coats, and tweed suits. With a 30s silhouette and a slight 60s Mod feel, Chanel remained youthful with their bow ties and signature patent black-dip-toe shoes. Perhaps the boat could have been pushed out to a full circus of Chanel’s greatest gowns, but it read as the brand’s DNA through and through. 

Giambattista Valli goes bigger and better than ever before

Inspired by Beverly Hills in Hollywood (very apt for red carpet favourite Giambattista Valli), the gowns descended onto the runway with opera coats and feathery accompaniment, in an immense display of colour. The collection was simply joyous and displayed a number of eveningwear gowns fit for a Queen. Bridgeton-bound, the collection was a form of therapeutic escapism and held elegance to a high standard. But the glamour did not discount for some serious leggy looks and sent sophisticated gowns with endless trains attached to mini dresses and sleek thigh cutouts. It hardly seems fair to give Valli the task of going bigger and better than ever before, but he excelled with the swathes upon swathes of voluminous fabrics that trailed the runway in true red carpet-ready style this season. 

Miss Sohee’s debut was sheer seduction

The Intercontinental Hotel was the backdrop for South Korean newcomer Miss Sohee, as she sent her models down the broodingly lit runway in what can only be described as a cascading series of seductive looks. Morticia Addams-approved black was the staple colour throughout, followed by signature hourglass silhouettes and waterfalls of veils. Embroidered birds and flowers enhanced the chiffon and tulle trails, as black crystals twinkled against greens and metallic purples. Miss Sohee’s debut collection was not only cohesive but a true feat of creativity, proving her to be a name to watch for upcoming haute couture seasons.

  • Writer Ella Chadwick Banner Image Credit

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