University of Fashion Blog

Category "Fashion Shows"

15 Best Looks from Paris Couture Fashion Week SS17

- - Fashion Shows

While we are currently in the throes of international Fashion Week 2017, we thought we would take a look back at 2017 Couture Week, to get a better perspective of what we are seeing on the ready-to-wear runways and to offer a contrast. Couture will never die as long as  as fashion luxury conglomerates like LVMH and Kering need it to hype their handbags and perfumes. Those of us in the fashion community are grateful, because the couture preserves the art and craft of fashion. Where would we be today without the talented petits mains who so skillfully work their magic in designers’ ateliers? However, this past couture season offered up an interesting mix. Sure there was the ‘over the top’ frou frou of ruffles, embroideries and feathers, but a few new-to-couture designers, introduced bold color, cleaner lines and even minimalistic silhouettes. These elements went a long way in creating memorable couture evening wear that we can’t wait to see on starlets at this weekend’s Oscars.

We selected both timeless and avant-garde looks from Paris Couture Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017 . Let’s take a peek:

Sheer, Embellished and Appliqué

Feathers, sequins, beadwork, embroidery and appliqué set the trend as adornments on evening dresses at Paris Fashion Week. Elie Saab showcased embellished sheer gowns in a beige, pale gold and blue color palette. These dresses were accessorized with slim belts, decorated sunglasses and matching hair scarves.

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Elie Saab (Image Credit: ElieSaab.com)

Givenchy’s cream-colored gown with feathered touches

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Givenchy (Image Credit: Givenchy.com)

Leaving pastels behind, Armani Prive’s collection showcased bright orange as its summer color.

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Armani Privé (Image Credit: Vogue.com)

Minimalistic

While some couturiers were committed to showcasing embellishments, in the true couture tradition (let’s face it, who else but fans of the couture can afford these labor intensive clothes?), Valentino’s collection, in contrast, came as a surprise. Valentino designer, Pierpaolo Piccioli’s red column gown with cut-out slit armholes, focused on clean lines and less structure.

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Valentino (Image Credit: Valentino.com)

At Schiaparelli, Bertrand Guyon is also feeling a more modern couture aesthetic. His white gown, devoid of embellishments, adds drama to this clean shape with the addition of cape that hangs from the shoulders giving the appearance of being suspended from nothing!

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Schiaparelli (Image Credit: ShilpaAhuja.com)

Bridal Gowns

Couture bridal gowns are ‘big’ business. At Paris Fashion Week this selection didn’t disappoint. Zuhair Murad’s offered a peplum-shaped embellished white layered gown with a long sheer veil, something that could also adorn a wedding cake. Victoria’s Secret model, Angel Alessandra Ambrosio, walked the runway wearing Ralph & Russo’s embroidered bridal gown, complete with a full length feathered cape.

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Zuhair Murad (Image Credit: ZuhairMurad.com)

Ralph & Russo : Runway - Paris Fashion Week - Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2016-2017

Ralph & Russo (Image Credit: ShilpaAhuja.com)

The Fantasy Theme

Maria Grazia Chiuri chose a fantasy and fairytale theme for Dior’s new collection, with a pastel color palette, colorful intricate floral appliqués, garden-inspired accessories and tall headdresses.

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Dior (Image Credit: ShilpaAhuja.com)

True to their ‘over-the-top’ reputation, Viktor & Rolf’s SS17 Couture show featured avant-garde Cinderella-like dresses, embellished with randomly shaped patch-work pieces on voluminous tulle skirts.

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Viktor & Rolf (Image Credit: Viktor-Rolf.com)

The Royal Inspiration

Guo Pei’s Marie Antoinette-inspired collection walked the line between museum-worthy and wearable.

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Guo Pei (Image Credit: Vogue.com)

Jean Paul Gaultier, one of fashion’s original ‘bad boys’ and the designer of Madonna’s iconic Conical Bra (which sold at auction for $52,000  in 2012), served up his unique brand of couture with this sheer dress complete with stand-up ruffle collar, circa 16th century. A successful mix of queenly vintage and modern style.

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Jean Paul Gaultier (Image Credit: Vogue.com)

Art Takes the Runway

At Maison Margiela, John Galliano collaborated with tulle artist Benjamin Shine for his artisanal couture collection, featuring a white floor length coat with Shine’s black tulle portrait of a woman dramatically placed across the front of the coat. Does it get any better than this?

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Maison Margiela (Image Credit: MaisonMargiela.com)

Futuristic Fabrics

Dutch designer Iris van Herpen’s couture collection was entitled “Between the Lines.” Van Herpen, known for her artistic collaborations, teamed up with Berlin artist Esther Stocker to explore the design elements of negative and positive spaces, gaps and contours, light and shadow. Laser-cut fabrics and Soft 3D hand-casted PU fabrics were hand-painted in another collaboration with architect Philip Beesley.

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Iris van Harpen (Image Credit: irisvanherpen.com)

Ruffles

At Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld channeled ‘ruffles,’ while attempting to targeting millennials, as his final look was presented on French kid star (Johnny Depp’s) Lily-Rose Depp. A baby pink gown with all over ruffles looked like the perfect prom dress for the wealthy girl whose parents have money to burn.

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Chanel (Image Credit: Chanel.com)

Giambattista Valli’s ruffles adorned the shoulders and hemline. A real show-stopper that is red carpet-worthy, for sure.

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Giambattista Valli (Image Credit: Vogue.com)

Chanel once said, “It is the unseen, unforgettable ultimate accessory of fashion that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure.” Surely today’s designers are creating couture that can’t be forgotten even after the wearers’ departure.

Long Live Couture!
[Top Cover Image Credit: Chanel.com]

Top 20 Looks from Fashion Weeks for Spring Summer 2017 Ready-to-Wear

- - Fashion Shows

The quickest way to understand the upcoming season’s trends is to take a look at the collections from the international fashion weeks – New York, London, Milan and Paris. The meccas of fashion – they set the mood for imminent style. The fashion weeks just ended, so it comes as no surprise that we pick out our top 20 favorite looks from fashion weeks for Spring Summer 2017 to mark the beginning of conversations about next season.

Some of the looks were about redefining everyday things. Let’s see two such looks by Alexander Wang and Versus Versace. The former look has pajama stripes and collar style to create an asymmetric wrap dress with a thigh-high slit. The dress is paired with white fringe sneakers, which the brand designed in collaboration with Adidas. The latter look is all about brazenness and shock. An orange bandeau top is designed like a belt, and paired with a matching jacket and pants.

Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang

Versus Versace

Versus Versace

This trend brings us to the topic of athleisure. This look from Mugler SS17 RTW collection gives a party dress the cut of a sports-bra, mixing the theme of 70s glamour with it.

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Mugler

The other athleisure look is by Versace. An asymmetric skirt held together with a buckle is worn over an energetic mesh and ultra-lightweight nylon dress, paired with heel-socks.

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Versace

Emporio Armani paired blue track-pants with a matching plunging-V-neck top, a red bag and earrings for a fun yet comfortable look.

Emporio Armani

Emporio Armani

Art was another theme we observed in the SS17 collections. In a dress by Alice+Olivia, a painting depicting Italian towns and landscape takes center-stage.

Alice + Olivia

Alice + Olivia

Another gorgeous dress is this one by Valentino. Inspired by Italian medieval art, the gown has sketchy painting all over its white and pale pink fabric.

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Valentino

Rahul Mishra’s novel machine-washable hand-embroideries feature flora and fauna. The black cotton dress with patchwork birds on it, paired with a zipper jacket with three-dimensional floral applique on the shoulders.

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Rahul Mishra

Another look by Fendi pairs a floral patterned ruffle-neck bodysuit with a sheer organza skirt.

Fendi

Fendi

Some of the collections had specific themes. Moschino, for example, had models dressed as paper-dolls. In this unmissable look, a crop top with a bra-print is paired with a pencil skirt that has prints of logo-waistchains, complete with paper-doll-like hair and makeup, and folding tabs.

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Moschino

Dior had a feminist message in its collection. Maria Grazia Chiuri, the fashion house’s new Artistic Director made headlines with the tee shirt that proclaimed “We should all be feminists” – one of Paris Fashion Week’s most talked-about looks.

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Dior

Dolce & Gabbana took the theme of tropical Italy, focusing on Italian foods and music. This look is royal with a younger taste. An embellished black hoodie is paired with a tiara-like embellished headband and sheer knee-high socks.

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Dolce & Gabbana

Gucci’s 18th century-inspired look with ostentatious earrings, large Colonial hat and a floral silk coat and a bag with a contrasting message – Future!

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Gucci

On the other hand of the spectrum, Chanel, with its data-center themed show, catered to the millennial generation with its candy-colored coordinated set and matching baseball cap.

Chanel

Chanel

In this tropical forest themed look by Max Mara, a forest-like skirt with large leaf print is paired with a fuzzy sweater that has a large lemur-motif.

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Max Mara

Gowns and evening dresses came as pretty, shimmery and embellished as ever. Our top three include this one by Alexander McQueen – an unconventional gown with a wave of silver sequins rising up from sea-foam-like train, and going up to the neckline.

alexander mcqueen

Alexander McQueen

This Marchesa gown is similar, but more red-carpet-suitable. Silver sequins cover the top half of a tulle gown that creates an uneven artistic texture, leaving the bottom-half sheer.

marchesa

Marchesa

The third one is a Monique Lhuillier gown in mint-blue that comes with a rose-creeper embroidery on shoulders and sleeves.

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Monique Lhuillier

This Elie Saab mini-dress has a 70s theme to it, but presented with a modern taste –pockets and full-slashed sleeves rolling up into the belt.

elie saab

Elie Saab

This Zuhair Murad cocktail dress in petal-pink is urban-royal with every inch embellished and three-dimensional rose-shaped sleeves.

zuhair murad

Zuhair Murad

Image Credits: Versus Versace, Alice+Olivia, Rahul Mishra

Fall/Winter 2015 NYFW Trend Report

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

From pleats to plaids to oversized puffers, New York Fashion Week is in full swing. It may be the freezing temperatures and biting wind chill here in New York, but bundled up, big and cozy seem to be on par for not only fashion week spectators, but on the runway for Fall/Winter 2015 as well. In terms of color palette, much like those in line at the theaters, the runways seem to be filled with 50 shades of grey (and well, camel). Though NYFW fashion week has a few shows left to go, here are the trends we are spotting so far for Fall/Winter 2015. Read More

NYFW Spring 2015 Round Up

- - Fashion Shows

New York Fashion Week seemed to be about anything and everything other than the actual clothes this season.   Performances such as Opening Ceremony’s one act play  and Gareth Pugh’s New York debut spectacle took center stage.  Street style photographers occupied as much real estate outside of Lincoln Center as the subjects they shot and serious fashionistas complained about “Lincoln Center Loiterers” (see Jimmy Kimmel’s Lie Witness News to join this conversation).  All the while, designers packed their front rows with celebrities and shouldered the cost of showing at NYFW in hopes of growing their commercially viable businesses.  New York fashion week is often described as “commercial,” as compared to that of London, Milan and Paris fashion weeks.  However, with the sheer cost of showing coupled with a buying public with mass market, inexpensive pieces readily at their fingertips, including a large percentage of commercial pieces may be the ticket to staying in business for American designers. Read More

Couture: No More? Or Changing the Score?

- - Fashion Shows

In a time when fashion is so fast, it is hard (as a designer) to imagine having the luxury of working on a collection, piece by piece, detail by painstaking detail – knowing that my one of a kind creations will most likely adorn elite clientele from China, Dubai or the like. This season, more so than others, the conversation questioning the modernity of Couture has been on the tip of every fashion journalist’s tongue as the line between Ready-to-Wear collections and Haute Couture collections blurs. The Couture client has changed. Her lifestyle has changed. Her income and desire for exclusivity has remained the same. In an effort to give their Couture clients options for every event in their jet setting lives, we see a shift in the Couture designers’ FW 2014 collections.

In Nicole Phelps review of Raf Simons latest Couture collection for Christian Dior, she states, the “thing that keeps Simons out ahead is his assertion that Couture need not be for special occasions. True luxury is spending five or six figures and wearing something not once or twice, but incorporating it into your daily wardrobe.”  From gowns to jumpsuits, Simons seemed to cover dressing for every occasion in his clients’ lives in his 62-look collection.

Leave it to Karl Lagerfeld to design an exquisite skirt and short combination perfect for the  NYC Couture client who wants to ride a Citibike through Central Park.  And it seems that Lagerfeld has thought of all stages in the lives of his clients as he sent a 7-month pregnant Ashleigh Good down his Couture runway in a stunningly shaped bridal gown.  Tim Blanks asserted of the most recent Chanel Couture collection, “That twistedness was the key to the collection. The word couture implies cutting and seaming. There was none of that here. Everything was molded rather than seamed.”  And even Lagerfeld himself mentioned (albeit with tongue in cheek), “It’s Haute Couture without the Couture.”

Despite trends and discussions surrounding Couture, I cannot help but be reminded of the art and craft of fashion design as I flip through each Couture show (and especially the detailed photographs).  The hand-stitching, the beading and the intricate embroidery make me long for a slower time in fashion.  In a recent article for the Business of Fashion, Angelo Flaccavento asserts that “couture should be treated as a creative laboratory for beauty.”  I agree, and believe that in today’s changing society, that beauty can be expressed for the purpose of play OR a once in a lifetime occasion in the Couture atelier.  We encourage you to turn your home into a creative laboratory using the University of Fashion’s video library to guide your Couture vision.  Slow fashion, anyone?