The third day of Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week dealt with sophisticated craftsmanship and design. An enormous amount of gorgeous gems, intricate beadwork, and origami pleats were showcased. There were tons of surprises too, ranging from Viktor & Rolf’s latex ballerinas to Jean Paul Gaultier’s guest star Dita Von Teese. We delve deeper into the inspirations behind the collections of the designers, which included Zuhaitz, Elie Saab, Rad Hourani, Charlotte Licha, and Yiqing Yin.
Zuhaitz’s collection, titled “Les Fleurs du Mal,” featured a series of ultra-short cocktail dresses fit for a girls’ night out on the town. Instead of a runway, these young women walked on a boardwalk set, to a dry landscape with sand and desert plants. Freshness came from the designs: gold shimmers, petal dresses, and soft lace, all of which emphasized mile-long legs. There were peek-a-boo slits and airy gowns, which added to the frisky nature of Zuhaitz’s devilish flower.
Elie Saab placed his signature touch on his brand new collection, “The Promise of Spring.” Filled with romantic, fragile elegance, all of Saab’s dresses accentuated immense beadwork. He highlighted the feminine shape with thin belted waists and added sparkly crystals, which alluded to dewdrops on petals. The Lebanese fashion designer was inspired by Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s paintings, where women are covered in powdery pink and lilac flower petals. Saab aimed to show a woman’s sensuality in a delicate and respectful way. “It is about suggesting rather than showing, through the subtlety of lace, sensuality of transparent tulle, the lightness of muslin,” the designer said.
Born to a Jordan father and Syrian mother, Haute Couture designer Rad Hourani stripped the body to reveal that neutrality is the common trait of being human. Featuring an equal number of men and women in his show, Hourani is the first unisex creator in the history of Haute Couture. His collection was entirely black. This way, viewers could concentrate on the garments’ cuts and geometric lines. Oversized blazers and coats were prominent, as were the dramatic pleats in dresses. Hourani applied the principles of architecture to create his timeless pieces.
Jean Paul Gaultier presented his “Metamorphosis Mistresses.” Parisians by day, butterflies by night, Gaultier’s muses were adorned with organza and feathery headpieces. The House of Gaultier used a 0.6 mm crochet, one of the finest in the world, to make the butterflies embroidered on an organza blouse. Shoulders were transformed into wings with airy sleeves and legs were slimmed with pencil skirts screaming Parisian chic. We saw flashes of Helmut Newton’s woman in a pantsuit, salsa dancers with fun poppy ruffles, and flappers adorned with beads. Gaultier’s collection was seductive and playful, just like Dita Von Teese who graced the catwalk with her joyful presence.
Charlotte Licha premiered her first collection. She named her collection “Point,” because she considers everyone as atoms living and developing within a bigger point. From embroidered jackets to long, transparent gowns, the collection was colorful, fresh, and young. Licha really utilised the female body as a platform for her beautiful handmade applications. The Licha woman is a true royal princess.
Crickets chirped as the strange night came to life in Yiqing Yin’s collection, christened “Moth.” As the moon vanished into the stars in the projection on the wall, Yin’s creatures of the dark came out to play. They wore elegant dust dresses, a bit tattered to give the impression of a moth’s quiet fuzz. Some wore fur, manipulated in expert ways. Yin used 250 kilometers of thread for a single woven dress. One standout look was a speckled twist on a pantsuit. Yin’s garments whispered tales of muses stepping out of cocoons and into the silver gleams of moonlight.
Viktor & Rolf cast dancers from the Dutch National Ballet to illustrate their collection of latex dresses. The ballerinas resembled fragile dolls as they followed their music box choreography around the stage. The softest shades of peaches and violets were seen. Viktor & Rolf’s signature bows appeared to be tattooed on the skintight and skin-like garments. Birds were positioned in such a way as to give the allusion that they were carrying the draped fabric in their beaks. Viktor & Rolf handled latex in a soft and innocent way. At the end of the show, the designers revealed their new fragrance for women: Bonbon.
Words / Sheri Chiu
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