Days 3 and 4 of Paris’ Haute Couture week showcased some excellent designers and stunning collections. A Haute Couture week couldn’t be reviewed without mentioning the incredible Viktor & Rolf, known for outlandish designs and crazy concepts.
In typical Viktor&Rolf fashion, we can expect to see some humour and the unexpected from their collections. This new collection was more of a contrast from looks they have showcased in different collections, and highlights 7 main looks. These looks were divided into different sub-sections, with the next look walking the runway in a slashed, cut-up version of the look. The collection, titled ‘Viktor & Rolf Scissorhands’, is a perfect name for the collection, highlighting 28 jet-black looks.
Look 9, the third ‘main’ look, demonstrated a floor length black ruffled dress. A square neckline can be seen, joined with black tulle sleeves down to the model’s wrist. A large black bow has been paired off-centre around the model’s waist, adding femininity. The different use of materials and textures in this look create a divine and elegant staple.
The next look that walked the collection was a slated version- with the same tulle sleeves and ruffled skirt. The neckline has been shredded, allowing a nude corset to be seen just underneath. Similarly, the skirt has been cut at the front, demonstrating a nude, mesh dress. The bow itself had also been cut. The next version shows half-and-half of the first black dress, and the new slip dress. The look has lost one sleeve and half of the skirt, along with majority of the bow, unveiling a completely new look. This approach to the collection highlights Viktor&Rolf’s careful craftsmanship, and is a demonstration of spontaneity and creativity when it comes to couture. Unlike most designs and looks we saw this week, Viktor&Rolf worked against the grain to complete polished and perfectly poised looks, and instead created a marvellous creation that would leave us wondering. Although each look appears to be bruised and beaten, each garment was perfectly tormented and hand-finished. Although this collection shows the chaos between the perfect and the raw, the looks outline the beginning of something new.
On day 4 Maison Margiela ended the week with their show at 7pm. The collection was the perfect way to end the week, with an array of absurd designs that screamed anything but quiet luxury. In contrast to Chanel that we saw earlier this week with polished blazers and poised elegance, Maison Margiela demonstrated tattered garments and ripped tights. The set of the show tied hand-in-hand with looks we saw, with a moody atmosphere of dim lighting and worn floorboards. The show itself was a spectacle and an immersive experience into the collection.
With this collection, John Galliano reached into his love for the theatrical and pulled out exquisite designs that left our jaws dropped. This show was one of the most anticipated of the week due to 2020 being the last time Maison Margiela presented at Haute couture week, and it did not disappoint.
Each look from the collection was completely surreal. Layered materials and textures were used in moody hues, padding could be seen to create body modifications, and makeup resembling porcelain, doll-like figures. Silhouettes and the body was a key factor in this collection, with many of the looks highlighting the nude body. A key look worth mentioning that captured all the best elements of the collection was the black skirt suit. The model strutted down the walkway, playing her role as a theatrical character. Models stared guests in the eyes as they went, and unlike in usual fashion show like demeanour, they caressed themselves and tottered down the runway. Torn stockings could be seen with this look, paired with vibrant orange heels. The key elements of this look was all in the details- with a tattered neckerchief and bandaged wrapped round the hands that matched the atmosphere. The image of this look expressed all featured of the show- resembling puppets.
Paris’ Haute Couture week 2024 has officially now come to an end. We saw some spectacular looks, and some that made history.
What collections or looks were your favourite?
By Emma Foakes