Couture Week SS23, i.e. the power of fashion impressions
Another fashion week in Paris has come to an end, but emotions are still alive. The fashion world finally had a chance to see the spring collections for the coming year. Beginning with the controversial Schiaparelli show on Monday and continuing through the Fendi show on Thursday evening, there was a lot going on on the Paris catwalk. During 29 couture shows over these four days, we had the opportunity to see many breathtaking creations and designer, hand-sewn accessories.
Nevertheless, attention was also paid to the devastating impact of social media on what used to happen behind closed doors. Couture Fashion Weeks, due to their elitism, are shrouded in considerable controversy, and this time the show of the French avant-garde fashion house Schiaparelli also attracted outrage. Undoubtedly, this year’s event went far beyond the circle of stars and influential people from the industry.
Couture a niche market
Couture Fashion Week is one of the most important events in the fashion industry. It takes place twice a year and is a presentation of the most exclusive fashion – handmade clothes sold for dizzying amounts. Moreover, the term couture itself refers to clothing produced only to order and is the opposite of the so-called “ready to go” fashion, publicly available to everyone.
It is often said that couture shows are also an opportunity to expand the sales market among stars and celebrities. Regardless of the reason behind this exclusive event, let’s take a look at some interesting collections that attracted crowds to Paris.
An animal accent in the Schiaparelli collection
Undoubtedly, the collection presented by the Schiaparelli fashion house received the greatest media coverage. The creative director of the Roseberry brand decided to express his innovation by decorating the models’ dresses with animal heads. The attached lions, panthers and wolves are made of hand-carved foam, wool and silk faux fur. All this added extraordinary realism to the animal dummies.
Apart from the fact that the silhouettes were full of surreal accents, they also referred to the symbolism of hell from Dante’s “Divine Comedy”. The catwalk featured huge jewelry forms and masks, outfits with extremely defined waists and interesting variations on the suit. One thing is certain, Schiaparelli’s fashion did not so much come close to art as it became art.
Despite this, the show received a very mixed response. Words of admiration and appreciation were mixed with scandal related to the use of animal symbols as an element of clothing. However, the words of Benjamin Simmenauer, professor at the Institut Français de la Mode, are important:
“Couture is not usually about reflecting society. That’s the role of ready-to-wear. Couture is more about celebrating craftsmanship, which is why couture doesn’t usually make waves. The Schiaparelli scandal felt like something new for couture.”
However, Couture Fashion Week is not only about clothes. Dior Together with the artistic director of women’s collections, Maria Grazie Chiuri, he showed the world a collection created in tribute to great performers: French dancer Josephine Baker, French actress Marpessie Dawn and American singer Eartha Kitt. A collection full of contrasts.
Black and white, fitted silhouettes accompanied by oversize, soft, sensual dresses next to silhouettes borrowed directly from the men’s wardrobe. And all this was complemented by an extraordinary set produced by artist Mickalene Thomas, presenting gigantic portraits of African American women, “symbolizing a new pantheon of women.”
In turn, in the case of Chanel, the set design consisted of large moving sculptures by the French artist Xavier Veilhan made of cardboard, wood and paper, inspired by women’s majorette costumes in parades. In turn, the models were dressed in spectacular hats, bow ties, satin capes, pleated skirts, sequins and petticoats.