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Viktor & Rolf Couture 2024

Top Paris Couture Week Presentations: Giorgio Armani, Viktor & Rolf, and More

From rare pearls to clownish fun, Paris Couture Week brings a range of artistic flair.

After a flurry of activity this Paris Couture Week, read about the stand-out shows and our favorite from collections by Giorgio Armani, Balenciaga, Viktor & Rolf, and Giambattista Valli. 

Giorgio Armani’s “Pearls” Channels Classic Serenity

Giorgio Armani Privè Couture FW2425_SGP (89) Courtesy of Giorgio Armani.
Giorgio Armani Privè Couture FW2425_SGP (89) Courtesy of Giorgio Armani.

This week, Giorgio Armani debuted his latest haute couture collection at Paris’ Palais de Tokyo. The Armani Privé ensembles encapsulated the beauties of shimmering pearls, using the precious gemstone as a clear inspiration for each element on the runway. “Sensing a widespread need for serenity and constantly seeking a calm and intimate quality,” described the show notes, “Giorgio Armani builds his entire collection and accompanying narrative with pearls this season.” Focusing on sleek, long, silhouettes, Armani channeled this sophisticated vision into 89 looks. 

Black, ivory, silver, and gold made up the entirety of the collection’s palette, adorned with shimmer, feathers, and, of course, intricate pearl detailing. Ensembles made of silk jacquard, velvet, and tulle further added to the collection’s opulent yet soothing feel. The show’s final look featured a dress of woven pearls and diamonds, reflecting off the runway floor and scattering fragments of light with every swish. The show was a testament to the designer’s continued timeless eye, as he brought elegance and intricate detail to Paris. 

Balenciaga Experiments with Subculture Dress Codes

BALENCIAGA 53RD Couture LOOK 14 SIDE 2_LOIC-min Courtesy of Balenciaga.
Balenciaga Couture 2024 Courtesy of Balenciaga.

Balenciaga’s latest couture show began with meditation instructions, announcing, “in today’s meditation session, we will learn how to create a path towards a happier life.” The runway show was a blend of its calming setting fused with Creative Director Demna’s interest in subculture dress codes and boundary-bending fashion. 

For the maison’s 53rd couture collection, Demna followed four classic Balenciaga styles—¾-length sleeves, silhouette and cocoon shapes, extravagant headwear, and fabric innovation—but with his own experimental twist. An embroidered trompe l’oeil synthetic hair coat in ultramarine, a black leather dress held together by a single giant safety pin, and a bustier of aluminum foil were among the many eye-catching and mind-bending ensembles on show. The runway finished with the first and last presentation of a black nylon dress, formed with 47 meters of material wrapped around the wearer that was designed to only be worn once. 

Viktor & Rolf is Boldly Unafraid in its Couture 

Viktor & Rolf Couture 2024 Courtesy of Viktor & Rolf.
Viktor & Rolf Couture 2024 Courtesy of Viktor & Rolf.

Known for its exploratory silhouettes and styles, duo Viktor & Rolf brought a humorous and colorful collection to its purple runway in Paris. The collection toyed with bodily shapes that bend past the wearer, integrating their designs with abstract cubes, spheres, and triangles. From a child’s playing block set to a circus clown’s wardrobe, the collection draws from a panorama of absurdism. Giant bows wrap around necks, waists, and shoulders, like a vibrant holiday present. 

Asymmetrical shoulders, clashing patterns like houndstooth mixed with floral print, and bauble-like chests filled the runway. This year’s show is an ode to Viktor & Rolf’s breakthrough 1988 collection, “Atomic Bomb,” a main source of inspiration for the two designers’ latest couture collection. Looking back, Viktor & Rolf still stands as a groundbreaking and transgressive maison that is unapologetically flamboyant.

Giambattista Valli Couture Vibrantly Blooms

Giambattista Valli Couture F24 4X5 034 Photo © Daniele Oberrauch, courtesy of Giambattista Valli.
Giambattista Valli Couture F24 Photo © Daniele Oberrauch, courtesy of Giambattista Valli.

Giambattista Valli’s 27th haute couture collection brought a dynamic array of colors to Paris’ Pavilion Vendôme. Examining cross-cultural dialogue between Florentine Renaissance work and Mughal florals, Valli presented viewers with an explosion of tulle, silk chiffon, and crepe dresses. 34 looks ranging from peony pink to bright periwinkle continued to uplift the designer’s visionary eye.

A pink lemonade tulle dress adorned with plissée soleil tulle ruffles exemplifies the dynamic grace with which Valli procures his creations. A coral silk “millefeuillesdress played with ruffles and texture with a solid silhouette. With each piece, the maison embraces juxtaposition and contrast in its materials, palette, and styles. The collection is a richly layered combination of botanical beauty, a product of thousands of hours of hand craftsmanship in the heart of Paris.

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