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Paris Couture Week Beyond the Runway: Prada, Parties & Public Invites

Prada Moda

Prada took over legendary Belle Epoque restaurant Maxim’s for its exclusive two-day members club, Prada Moda, which featured an exhibition and corresponding talks by day and dinners and parties by night. The exhibition, entitled Making Faces, was all about data gathering, surveillance and facial recognition, telling the story of facial capture and analysis from the 19th century to the present day via photographs, pages from physiognomy textbooks, phrenological busts and measurement tools used to study faces and heads over the last 200 years. There were also rather more contemporary digital installations with cameras, which could pinpoint the age of guests — from Gigi Hadid and Kaia Gerber to Miuccia Prada herself — within a five-year range. It may or may not have been rigged for vanity aging.

Prada moda, maxim, members club
Prada takes over the legendary Belle Epoque restaurant Maxim’s.
CREDIT: Chloe Le Reste/Courtesy image

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Giambattista Valli

Having collaborated with Swedish high street chain H&M last year, Valli followed up with a similarly democratic outing for its couture collection. “Sometimes the fashion world is too exclusive and sometimes it’s nice to be inclusive,” said the designer, who issued a public invitation via social media to a showcase held in Paris’ Jeu de Paume museum. Looks took inspiration from the gardens of the Amalfi coast and muses such as Jackie Onassis; they came in the saturated shades of bougainvillea blooms and lemon gardens.

Giambattista ValliHaute Couturesummer 2020
Giambattista Valli spring ’20 couture.
CREDIT: Yannis Vlamos/Courtesy image

Alaia and Balenciaga: Sculptors of Form

The first day of Paris Couture Week brought big news. Demna Gvasalia is to revive Balenciaga’s couture heritage and unveil its first couture collection in 52 years during next season’s Couture Week, in July. The previous evening, however, the Azzedine Alaia Association threw open its doors for the private launch of its Alaia and Balenciaga: Sculptors of Form exhibition. The show, open to the public until the end of June, features ’80s silhouettes from the Balenciaga archive, owned by the late Monsieur Alaia. These are paired with pieces from his own label’s archive. Name of the game? To show the dialogue between the two brands and the shared elements of the creative and design process. The exhibition opened to the public the following day and will run until the end of June at Alaia, 18 rue de la Verrerie, 75004, Paris.

Alaia and Balenciaga: Sculptors of Form
A look from the Alaia and Balenciaga: Sculptors of Form exhibition.
CREDIT: Courtesy image
Alaia and Balenciaga: Sculptors of Form
A look from the Alaia and Balenciaga: Sculptors of Form exhibition.
CREDIT: Courtesy image

Dress by Julie de Libran

Just like last season when she launched, Sonia Rykiel’s former creative director showed her fledgling line in an exclusive salon-style setting — the drawing room of her own rather exclusive Left Bank townhouse. The premise for the collection is a more responsible way of doing fashion. Pieces are made to order from archival or deadstock fabrics, which de Libran hopes will be handed down from mothers to daughters. Alongside “old friends” from last season that were reimagined with new twists, new models included a dress set within a cage of jewels. Another old friend, Manolo Blahnik, helped out again, lending the footwear for every look.

Dress by Julie de Libran, Paris Couture Week.
Dress by Julie de Libran, Paris Couture Week.
CREDIT: Dress by Julie de Libran

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