Everything You Need to Know About Paris Couture Week: Chanel, Dior, Valentino & More

July 4

Dice Kayek 

The sisters Ece and Ayse Ege behind Turkish demi-couture label Dice Kayek chose Paris Couture Week to open their first boutique in the city, and also to launch their debut shoe collection. In keeping with the couture philosophy, the shoes are hand-made in Italy in very low production numbers. The five launch models, chunky soled platforms — no spindly heel could balance out the bold architectural volumes of the apparel — will form part of the permanent collection.

One iteration, in satin, features a heel frosted in tiny strass crystals. “They are individually hand-embroidered onto the fabric which is then sent to assemblage to be applied to the heel,” Ece Ege told FN. “It’s very difficult which is why hardly anyone does it but I like the challenge.” While said embroidery takes a month, the shoe line has taken nine from inception to production, she said, “like a baby.” The store itself, set over two floors of a former art gallery, 15 Rue Saint Benoit, in Paris’ Saint-Germain-des-Pres quartier, has been designed by Bernard Dubois. In a nod to Mies Van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion, it its backdropped by a dramatic floating wall of marble.

Dice Kayek sisters Ece and Ayse Ege.
Dice Kayek sisters Ece and Ayse Ege.
CREDIT: Dice Kayek

July 3

Valentino

Fluttering down the runway, vibrantly hued sandals resembled birds of paradise. Thanks to their clever transparent straps, both the bows and the soles of looked as though they were floating on the feet of Gigi Hadid, Kaia Gerber and the rest of Pierpaolo Piccioli’s model cast.

Gigi Hadid, Valentino Haute Couture spring 2019.
Gigi Hadid, Valentino Haute Couture fall 2019.
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Valentino Haute Couture spring 2019.
Valentino Haute Couture fall 2019.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Happy Moments with Tod’s and Alber Elbaz

Tod’s hosted a party to celebrate the Tod’s Happy Moments capsule designed by Alber Elbaz involving a brass band, lip-shaped DJ booth and plenty of cake.

Tod's Happy Moments party.
Tod’s Happy Moments party.
CREDIT: Tod's

The collection, unveiled at the event, puts a contemporary twist on the label’s famous driving shoe complete with poppy colors and sneaker-inspired soles.

A shoe from Tod's X Alber Elbaz Happy Moments capsule.
A shoe from Tod’s X Alber Elbaz Happy Moments capsule.
CREDIT: Tod's

Christian Louboutin

The Christian Louboutin express train rolled into Paris, scooped up its passengers and headed for Bhutan. Let us explain. The shoe designer has a penchant for Bhutan — so to highlight the bespoke leg of his label, he created a Bhutanese-inspired atelier collection and devised an immersive experience to show it off.

The Christian Louboutin "Loubhoutan' Express.
The Christian Louboutin “Loubhoutan” Express.
CREDIT: Christian Louboutin

Read the full story here

July 2

Givenchy

Clare Waight Keller titled her collection ‘noblesse radicale’ which roughly translates as a radical aristocracy, namely one that is not bound by its traditional codes.

Kaia Gerber, Givenchy Haute Couture, fall 2019.
Kaia Gerber, Givenchy Haute Couture, fall 2019.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

When it came to her footwear, this Perspex pump and fishnet stocking combo was the perfect expression of the notion.

Givenchy Haute Couture fall 2019.
Givenchy Haute Couture fall 2019.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Alexandre Vauthier & Amina Muaddi

An exuberant Celine Dion aside, the collection married bourgeois and androgynous with exaggerated tailoring and the occasional injection of flamboyance. Footwear by Amina Muaddi featured classic pumps, thigh-high stretch boots and architectural ruffled sandals.

Alexandre Vaultier Haute Couture fall 2019 with footwear by Amina Muaddi.
Alexandre Vaultier Haute Couture fall 2019 with footwear by Amina Muaddi.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Muaddi’s favorite shoe, though, was a little Mary Jane with a 6-centimeter crystalized block heel. “It felt like it had the ‘Dorothy’s slippers’ kind of magic,” Muaddi told FN backstage. “I love it because it’s a daytime shoe because of the heel height, but it’s also very glamorous at the same time.”

 

Celine Dion

Fashion icon Celine Dion and Alexandre Vauthier had the ultimate love-in after the latter’s show today in Paris. When the designer took his finale bow, he made a beeline for her seat, and following the show she went backstage to tell him again how much she adored the collection. Thus far, she’s attended Miu Miu Cruise and the Iris Van Herpen and Schiaparelli couture shows. Expect more to come.

 

Chanel

Chanel creative director Virginie Viard turned the city’s famous Grand Palais venue into a library, casting Kaia Gerber and friends as sexy librarians. The majority of the shoes were flat or low of heel — appropriate to the bookish surroundings. As anyone who has worn a pair of high heels to walk the wooden floors of an old-fashioned library can attest, they don’t half make a racket.

Kaia Gerber on the catwalkChanel show, Runway, Fall Winter 2019, Haute Couture Fashion Week, Paris, France - 02 Jul 2019
Kaia Gerber walks in the Chanel Couture show for fall ’19.
CREDIT: Swan Gallet/Shutterstock

Click here to read the full story about the Chanel show

July 1

Midnight00

Midnight00 designer Ada Kokosar hosted a soirée in the top floor VIP space of Galeries Lafayette’s Champs-Élysées outpost on Monday night.

The department store’s creative director, Clara Cornet, told FN that she’d first come across Kokosar on Instagram: “The brand struck me because it felt like nothing I’d ever seen before, and for me that is so rare.”

She added, “When we first met, Ada told me about the night she decided to make her first shoe using a pink satin sleeve she wrapped around the base and then how she went into the kitchen and wrapped a bag around it. That was how she created the brand. And I thought, wow, if that’s not different then what is?”

Christian Dior

In a novel twist on Maria Grazia Chiuri’s favorite slogan T-shirts, Dior’s fall ’19 couture show opened with a white toga posing the question “Are clothes modern?” As the toga hails from a good millennia or two BC, the collection’s ensuing 1940s-’50s vibe felt positively contemporary by comparison. Which was surely the point, no?

Footwear smartly riffed on the ancient vs. modern theme with crosses between gladiator sandals and fishnet tights. The final look involved a sandwich-board style replica of Dior’s storied 30 Avenue Montaigne façade (the original Paris location of the maison, and also this season’s show venue), which came teamed with what appeared to be a fishnet body stocking.

Christian Dior Haute Couture, fall 2019.
Christian Dior Haute Couture, fall 2019.
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Christian Dior Haute Couture, fall 2019.
Christian Dior Haute Couture, fall 2019.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Manolo Blahnik

Following yesterday’s cameo appearance at Julie de Libran’s salon show, Manolo Blahnik’s shiny new boutique opened in the Galeries du Palais-Royal for real.

Set over two floors, the 45 square meter bijoux hideaway is a little oasis of calm amid the bustle of the city. The airy ground-level shop, which leads right out onto the colonnades of the Palais-Royale, houses the mainline women’s collection, plus a nine-piece capsule exclusive to the Paris store. And the upper floor, with its wooden paneling and clubbable vibe, is dedicated to men’s. A charming spiral stairway leads between the two, with the walls decorated by Mr Blahnik’s colorful sketches.

Manolo Blahnik's new Paris boutique.
Manolo Blahnik’s new Paris boutique.
CREDIT: Dominique Maitre

Schiaparelli

New Schiaparelli designer and Thom Browne alumnus Daniel Roseberry has injected a new verve into the fabled Parisian couture house. A Hedi Slimane or even a Bruno Sialelli type he is not. There were no vestiges of his previous career here. Instead, there was a dynamic yet sympathetic take on the Schiaparelli aesthetic.

Schiaparelli Haute Couture, fall 2019.
The stocking pant, Schiaparelli Haute Couture, fall 2019.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Many designers approaching a house with this sort of heritage will simply mine the archives for tropes, reheat them and serve them up afresh. Again, not Roseberry. He found the essence of Elsa Schiaparelli’s storied house, beyond all the surrealist hearts and key motifs, and retold its story with contemporary references that are relatable for today’s audience.

The house founder was an inventor, as is Roseberry, and he’s just invented the stocking pant — basically taking the idea of a stocking and turning it upside down, and, in one case, embellishing it with 80,000 crystals. That’s the thing about surrealism: It’s not so far from reality. Just a few degrees away. Think the “Upside Down” of “Stranger Things.” What could be more surreal than that?

80,000 crystals went into this legwear. Schiaparelli Haute Couture, fall 2019.
80,000 crystals went into this version, Schiaparelli Haute Couture, fall 2019.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Dundas

One designer with a healthy tradition of showing ready-to-wear during Paris Couture Week is Peter Dundas. For his spring ’20 collection, the jet-setting designer transported us to a Caribbean party island circa late 1970s or early ’80s. Feminine met androgynous with tiered gypsy dresses and oversize tuxedo jackets, and when it came to the footwear, sandals with asymmetric ruffles met pumps with dramatic bows to the rear. If you’re looking for the ultimate exit shoe, it was right here.

Joan Smalls at Dundas spring '20.
Joan Smalls at Dundas spring ’20.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

June 30

Azzedine Alaïa: The Tati Collection

On the first day of Paris Couture Week, the maison Azzedine Alaïa staged a preview for a new exhibition, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Tati Collection.”

Naomi Campbell, 2010, Thierry Perez.
Alaïa Tati Exhibition: Naomi Campbell, 2010, Thierry Perez.
CREDIT: Alaia

For those unfamiliar, “Tati” was a collection the late designer launched for spring 1991, inspired by the well-known Parisian budget store. Originally modeled on the runway by Alaïa girls including Naomi Campbell, it riffed off the signature pink and white Vichy check-print fabric associated with the low-price chain found in Paris locations popular with a North African clientele.

ALAÏA COLLECTION ÉTÉ 1991, Mannequin : Farida Khelfa.
ALAÏA COLLECTION ÉTÉ 1991, Mannequin: Farida Khelfa.
CREDIT: Guy Marineau

In addition to the runway collection, Monsieur Alaïa, who himself came from working-class roots in Tunisia, also produced a low-priced capsule collection consisting of a bag, T-shirt and a pair of espadrilles which was sold at the Tati stores.

“What excited me was to attach my name and the world of haute couture with this brand that represented bargain clothing and bargain prices,” he said at the time. “When I flew home to Tunisia, I saw travelers at Paris’ Orly airport with huge Tati bags, full to the brim. I wanted to design something of good quality for this clientele who until then could not afford fashionable clothes.”

A forerunner to the high street trend for designer diffusions, it’s worth remembering that Alaïa’s Tati collection launched practically 15 years before Karl Lagerfeld’s debut with Swedish high street chain H&M in 2004.

Dress by Julie de Libran

Former Sonia Rykiel artistic director Julie de Libran chose the first day of Paris Couture Week to unveil the debut collection from her new eponymous label, Dress by Julie de Libran — and it was quite the entrance. She launched her line with an exclusive salon-style show, held at home in her Left Bank townhouse, and she tapped her old friend Manolo Blahnik to provide the shoes.

Click here to read the full story about de Libran’s first collection.

June 28

Chanel Hosts a Private Vanessa Paradis Gig

As a little Haute Couture Week amuse bouche, Chanel hosted a private gig with Vanessa Paradis at Paris’ famous Olympia concert venue. The house ambassador performed tracks from her latest album, “Les Sources” along with her, still legendary, first hit, “Joe le Taxi.” The costumes, (fall ’19 Chanel) were a given.

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