Haute Couture Week is currently in full swing in Paris, and we’re sharing collection debuts from Schiaparelli, Alexandre Vauthier, and Iris van Herpen, as well as womenswear collections from Alaïa, OFF-WHITE.
With the combination of 1980s, 1880s, and a burst of colors, Schiaparelli’s couture collection “The Matador” represented freedom, and the joy that drove creative director Daniel Roseberry into fashion in the first place. Debuted in three parts. the first paid tribute to Schiaparelli jackets of the past with references to the maison’s iconic structures: matador-inspired cropped jackets with embroidered barrel sleeves and black silk tassels, direct homage to the Jean Cocteau x Schiaparelli masterpiece from 1937, with black wool crepe curved-sleeve and embroidered shell-pink silk roses. The second focused on the body and bijoux, key elements of the house’s vision. Contrasts between hard and soft, machine and human, metal and fabric were seen. Finally, a celebration of color was revealed from a black stretch of velvet dresses with a shocking-pink silk faille roses and Renaissance-blue peau de soie fabric. The cornflower blues, salmony pinks and terracotta oranges, embodied Roseberry and Elsa Schiaparelli’s vision: to make something fiercely, undeniably, unapologetically pretty.
Alexandre Vauthier presented his collection via Zoom, with its Fall/Winter 2021 couture pieces honoring the brand’s Parisian attitude. This collection is heavily influenced with dramatic crystal fringe and feathered ponchos, black leather coats worn over sequin bodysuits, and see-through chiffon capes. Sharp shoulder blazers and oversized lipstick red leather jackets made an appearance with bold necklines and shimmering fabric to enhance Vauthier’s vision and craftsmanship of dramatic excess mixed with sophisticated restraints.
Iris van Herpen debuted her latest collection “Earthrise” with our planet placed at the forefront of the show. The 19 looks narrated the circular processes of change that the blue earth continuously experiences. Weaved with artisanal tailoring and organic craftsmanship, “Earthrise” symbolizes a shift in anthropocentric perspective. To challenge the immensity of space, Iris van Herpen collaborated with the female world-champion skydiver Domitille Kiger to capture the garments while she sky danced. Filmed in a circular orbit at the Dolomite Mountains by film director Masha Vasyukova, Kiger embodied a new meaning of freedom, challenging the combination of athleticism and fearlessness as it documents the fusion of artistry and science. The custom haute couture gown revealed intricate craftsmanship, made from thousands of blue spheres in color gradients that represents our “blue marble” home. The intricacy, softness and delicacy of the garment merged with the extreme sport of skydiving, created a dialog between resilience and strength.
Alaïa introduced its Winter/Spring 2022 collection with an emphasis placed on the skill of the atelier. Detailed incorporation of leather, metal, knit and cotton were used in unconventional silhouettes, creating comfortable and architecturally structured garments that became a true second skin. With embellishments keyed into the fabric of each clothing and accessory, the collection was fused with simplicity and purity that is coded in Alaïa’s identity. The debut Alaïa show by Pieter Mulier took place in the Rue de Moussy, the home of the maison since 1987. The show was accompanied by a collaborative soundtrack between Nicolas Godin (Air) and Alaïa, using percussive bells embroidered onto couture gowns within the show. The music formed rhythms of bodies in motion which paired nicely as the models walked down the runway.
Off-White’s Fall/Winter 2021 collection was presented in a streaming format on July 4 via a redesigned website. The see-now, buy-now collection named “Laboratory of Fun,” referenced Cedric Price’s Fun Palace 1961. It was an idea taken from a London-based convention center to represent a “university of the streets.” Off-White’s founder and creative director Virgil Abloh was influenced by Price’s thinking and created “Laboratory of Fun,” which takes on a structure-driven approach to Abloh’s formal education in architecture. Precise silhouettes and monochromatic looks were the highlight of the show, with little to no graphic elements and motifs that were a signature from the house. Outsize cable-knits were dyed with indigo with exaggerated sharp-cut shoulders and single-creased sleeves on blazers. As part of the line up, Grammy-winning artist M.I.A. wore Off-White as she performed songs like Borders, Hip hop -Born free, Yala Warrior Princess and Paper Planes.