Skip to content



Viktor & Rolf Haute Couture SS23

Paris Haute Couture SS23: Valentino, Fendi, Giambattista Valli, and More

Pearl Fontaine

27 January 2023

The Paris Haute Couture presentations came to an end yesterday. Looking back on the collections introduced for Spring/Summer 2023, we’re diving into the latest debuts from Valentino, Fendi, Giambattista Valli, and more.

Valentino Haute Couture SS23

Courtesy of Valentino.

“Le Club Couture” was Valentinos proposal for a kind of couture where uniqueness is the uniform and dreams become reality in waking life. The suggestion of a club sets a precedent of enjoyment and expression of character that haute couture sometimes feels too rigid to achieve, employing dichotomies—complexity and simplicity, extravagance and subtlety, aggression and fragility—and pristine craftsmanship and skill to imagine this fantastical reality. At once daring and elegant, we saw gravity-defying flounces on sheer tops, sharp, geometric cut-outs leaving bare skin peeking out across the body, abounding textures like intricate patterns of sequins, feathers, and beading, and a color story that underscored the utmost poise with a party-ready attitude. Looks that have stayed on our minds include a pink sparkling romper worn under a sheer cape with a ruffle around the shoulders and pink polka dots, styled with neon glasses and a tall feathered headpiece; a full-skirted gown in sheer white swiss dot, covered with bursts of ruffles and feathers; and the various takes on suiting featuring pieces like cropped shorts or briefs with giant bows on the front in place of trousers, delicate sheer trench coats, and unexpected colors.

Fendi Haute Couture SS23

Courtesy of Fendi.

Fendi’s Artistic Director Kim Jones elected to celebrate the craftspeople and the skill it takes to execute a couture collection in the house’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection, offering fluid silhouettes with a light and airy feel to highlight them. Moving away from ideas of costume, the designs instead embraced purpose and agency for their wearers, presenting unrestricting shapes that often featured transitional elements like removable sleeves, reversible garments, and pieces that can be worn in multiple ways (like a wrapping skirt overlay that becomes a stole). Texture was an element not to be overlooked, including aqueous sequins, gossamer sheers, and an abundance of the most delicate patterned laces, which suggested a certain intimacy and a lingerie appeal. The combination of tactile materials and floating forms birthed ethereal garments like a nude lace slip with a one-shouldered opaque white overlay that draped down around the hips; a beige tulle gown (also completely sheer) with an eye-catching pleated detail down the front; and a suite of silk chiffon gowns that gathered at the waist and flowed at the skirt, featuring details like cascading sleeves or crystal beaded mesh straps reminiscent of chainmail.

Giambattista Valli Haute Couture SS23

© Cris Fragkou, courtesy of Giambattista Valli.

The signature volume, florals, ruffles, and bows we’ve come to know and love from Giambattista Valli’s couture collections returned in full force for the Spring/Summer 2023 season with exciting silhouettes and the vibrant colors of springtime blooms. A draped wrapping effect was a focal point of many of the looks in the collection, intertwining and twisting sections of fabric as extra straps, shoulder wraps that disappeared into skirts, and that left sections of the torso revealed as though the material had been twisted and tied around the model. Shoulders, puffs, and bows were larger than ever (like a drop-waist gown in salmon floral with shoulders as tall as the model’s head) and volume was also added in the form of fluffy tulle stoles, skirts with bubble hems and flared trains, and even in the styling choices—like enlarged pearl earrings that fell to the collar bones and updos fashioned to form bows on the top of the head. Some of the most memorable looks included a red ballgown with gathered fabric that converged at the center of the waist, featuring large pink sleeves; a bodysuit in glittering crystals with a black wrapping overlay that trailed behind in a skirt; and a gown in the softest pink with a twisted halter neck and off-the-shoulder straps, a mermaid skirt, and a matching wrap.

Viktor & Rolf Haute Couture SS23

Courtesy of Viktor & Rolf.

A tongue-in-cheek collection titled “Late Stage Capitalism Waltz” merged beauty and satire on the runway of Viktor & Rolf this week, in a presentation not soon to be forgotten. The silhouettes at hand had a classic elegant feel achieved through nipped waists, sweetheart necklines, and voluminous skirts made from layers and layers of crisp tulle. However, many of the beautiful dresses weren’t worn at all, instead defying gravity by floating in front of, upside down, and sideways, magnificently suspended away from the models, who sported nude boned corsetry instead. Achieved with the expertise of Hans Boodt Mannequins,the illusory garments alluded to the realities of fashion ideals in the face of late-stage capitalism and the feelings of alienation that come with it. Floating dresses and capitalism aside, the maison managed to present a series of gorgeous gowns that shouldn’t be overlooked (some worn in typical fashion and others not)—like a pale yellow ballgown with a tiny bow at the waist and a bodice covered with Swarovski crystals; a dress in lavender with a skirt that flared out from a ruffled detail below the hips with matching purple hair; and a gown that floated sideways, employing a draped ivory material for the bodice and an incredible sparkling straw-hued skirt featuring a honeycomb lattice that fell into layers of tulle.

Armani Prive Haute Couture SS23

Courtesy of Armani Prive.

Armani Privé’s Spring/Summer 2023 Haute Couture collection “Rondò Armaniano” glistened and shone with sequins, beads, and shining fabrics, presenting a celebration of modish theatrical glamor. Variations on a diamond motif (drawn from a harlequin painting) were a mainstay on nearly all of the collection’s garments, which were imagined in colors like black, turquoise, pink, and blue. We saw silk trousers and fitted jackets with sequined neckties, woven blazers with long skirts and tiny handbags, and a myriad of long gowns, including silhouettes with layered full skirts, column shapes that hugged the figure, and long, straight shift styles. Our favorite parts of the collection were details like a series of ruffled clown collars (like the one on a gown in pastel beading), tiny hats and headpieces worn to the side, and other elements that made looks memorable, including thick cuff bracelets, matching clutches, and collars worn as overlays atop sheer pieces.



Louis Fratino Finds Power in Images of What We Love

Louis Fratino spoke with Whitewall about keeping the studio a space free from fear of failure.

The View at The Palm Opens in Dubai with Human-Centric Purpose

Whitewall spoke with John Bricker of Gensler about The View at The Palm in Dubai.

The BMW Neue Klasse Looks to an All-Electric Future

The BMW Neue Klasse is a statement piece for a new era: design language that references classic BMW for its soon-to-be all-electric lineup.

Best of Paris Haute Couture Week: A Blossoming Transformation

We’re reminiscing on the spring/summer 2024 presentations of Miss Sohee, Viktor&Rolf, Tamara Ralph, Guarav Gupta, ASHI, and Robert Wun.

Valentino Un Château Channels Extravagant Simplicity

Valentino's extravagantly simple haute couture FW24 collection was seen in Paris this week, designed by Pierpaolo Piccioli.


Minjung Kim




Go inside the worlds of Art, Fashion, Design and Lifestyle.


We’re reminiscing on the spring/summer 2024 presentations of Miss Sohee, Viktor&Rolf, Tamara Ralph, Guarav Gupta, ASHI, and Robert Wun.
Valentino's extravagantly simple haute couture FW24 collection was seen in Paris this week, designed by Pierpaolo Piccioli.


Go inside the worlds
of Art, Fashion, Design,
and Lifestyle.