Kicking off 2024’s Haute Couture week in Paris began with Schiaparelli, followed by Imane Ayissi, Georges Hobeika, Christian Dior, Rahul Mishra, Juana Martín, Maison Sara Chraibi, and ending with Giambattista Valli.
At 10am on January 22nd, the Schiaparelli show began inside the Petite Palais. Guests sat in rows on white benches facing the white catwalk. The Petite Palais is an art museum, creating an air of elegance and grace to the atmosphere.
The collection consisted of 32 looks in an abundance of textures and shapes. A more neutral colour scheme was used including black, champagne, gold, deep brown, and white. No two looks were the same, and each had a characteristic that drew eyes in in awe.
Daniel Roseberry, the creative director of Schiaparelli, explained that the collection is an homage to Elsa and her uncle Giovanni Schiaprelli’s fascination with space and astrology. It also focuses on ‘the beautiful and the provocative, of the earthbound and the heaven-sent’ whilst composing different ideas from art and nature to create something strikingly new and unexpected.
A key look from the collection which clearly demonstrates the collection’s beautiful and heaven-sent pillars would be Look 13. The hand-embroidered white lace oozes femininity and grace, whilst still conveying an idea of power. The ensemble consisted of a metal structure to keep the look in place, with high, swooping curves in a shape that almost appears as angel wings. A tight fit pencil skirt can be seen with the same embroidered lace, escalating the look’s sophistication. To further link the look to nature, the ensemble could almost resemble an elephant with the oversized neckline being ears, down to the skirt being the elephant’s trunk. The look can be interpreted multiple ways, but each way is the epitome of delicacy and haute couture. This look was paired with black leather mules with an ‘S’ shaped heel.
At 2pm in the Musée Rodin we saw the commencement of Christian Dior’s collection. 48 white benches were set in the centre of the room for guests to sit on and observe the collection, whilst the models walked on the outside perimeter of the room. The walls of the room were decorated with Isabella Ducrot’s installation, titled ‘Big Aura’. The brightly coloured and preciously child-like artwork on the walls almost contrast against the 59 looks of the collection, with their ties to power and intensity.
An array of colours and patterns can be seen from the looks, from black to canary yellow, and floral to polka dots. Look 5 from this collection is a statement in itself. The monochrome beige look, created in trench fabric, highlighted quiet luxury and simplicity at it’s best. Although the look was uncomplicated, the attention was all in the details. The silhouette of the day dress resembled elements of the La Cigale dress from the Dior archives. This dress was designed in 1952, and was thought to be “the starting point for a theory that recontextualizes couture”. A higher neckline alongside the belt helps to add shape and dimension to the ensemble, highlighting classiness. This collection, including this look, demonstrates looks for the modern woman in a regal form.
The final show of the day was from Giambattista Valli. This collection highlighted the soothing power of nature- including 3-dimensional flowers, floral patterns, and vibrant colours. Valli himself focuses on the different fabrics in the collection, utilising them to create shape and volume through the presentation of the looks. All the ensembles highlighted romance and beauty, linking the whimsical styles with nature.
Look 3 is a look worth mentioning, and is by far Carbon’s favourite from the collection. Although all looks were delicate and stunning, this look is absolutely exquisite and deeply represents all that the collection stands for. The ensemble highlights a cream gown, with a variety of eye-catching features. The more you look, the more you find. The dress consists mainly of two materials, a light tulle for a floaty and ethereal vibe, and feathers which perfectly compliments the tulle. Shape is a key component to this look, with a tight-fitting bodice, balloon sleeves, and a voluminous A-Line skirt. Although the dress is drawn in at the waist, the use of the tulle flowing through the bodice down to the hips elongates the structure of the dress, and emphasises the feathers. The shorter feathered layer of the skirt helps to add the theory of beauty and femininity. Details such as the sparkling flowers around the bodice add to the nature aesthetic. Simple spaghetti straps perfectly tie the dress together as they contrast against the detail throughout the gown. The look was paired with 2 black bows in the model’s hair, and black heels. Although this look is not the most colourful or vibrant from Giambattista Valli’s collection, it certainly has captured our hearts through it’s elegance.
Day 1 of Paris’ Haute Couture week is officially over, and we can’t wait for tomorrow. Keep your eyes peeled on Carbon to hear all about Day 2.
Which collection or look was your favourite?
By Emma Foakes