The couture shows in Paris are always high drama — in terms of the makeup, the skirt trains, the sets and, at least in Fendi's case, the anti-fur protesters outside of the venue. Read on for 5 of the most memorable collections from this week's shows.
Always one to get people talking, Karl Lagerfeld brought Fendi to Paris Couture Week for the first time with a collection of "haute fourrure." Unsurprisingly, the show's emphasis on fur — which has always been a hallmark of Fendi's collections — also drew a crowd of protesters from the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, some of whom were dragged off by police.
Giambattista Valli charmed us all over again with his frothy, embellished, feminine couture collection. The Italian designer's talent for proportion and balancing explosive volume with sleek lines was out in full force. There were slim trousers under shift dresses, skirts that kicked up to create (as Alexander Fury put it while tweeting from the show) "permanent upskirt action" and trapeze dresses — concluding in a parade of expansive white dresses (and one in a delightful orange sherbet hue). It doesn't get much more couture than that.
Every season, audiences have the Chanel show to look forward to, due in large part to the fully immersive sets Karl Lagerfeld dreams up. For couture, the designer turned his runway into a casino, planting celebrity friends like Kristen Stewart, Julianne Moore and Lily-Rose Depp at gambling tables while the models walked around them. The collection was well suited for the setting: think oversized, strong-shouldered coats, tight leather jackets with ruffles spilling from the collars and sleeves and, for the finale, Kendall Jenner looking slick and in-charge in a white bridal pantsuit. Not unlike her mother, really.
Speaking of bomb-ass sets: Christian Dior. To complement a collection inspired by the Hieronymous Bosch painting "The Garden of Earthly Delights," the fashion house constructed a massive cage punctuated with rainbow hued stained glass panels. The clothes were equally opulent: there were drapey coats with a single fur sleeve; diaphanous dresses paired with geometric vests; painterly prints resembling their speckled surroundings and lots of vibrant velvet.
John Galliano's post-rehab reintroduction to the fashion circuit is still relatively fresh, making his structural, high-drama collection at Maison Margiela worth a second look. Notably, couture also brought Galliano back together with makeup artist Pat McGrath, which resulted in some wonderfully wacky beauty looks, with each model wearing a unique (and very high concept) style.