Last Sunday, 550 journalists from 25 countries gathered in Paris among hundreds of fashionistas and (wealthy) high-fashion consumers for the unveiling of the Fall-Winter 2017-2018 Haute Couture collections. At the opposite of most fashion events, Paris Haute Couture is a stand-alone event with just three days and six shows per day.
Numerous highlights and some absences
This is new season is certainly notable for its absences. In fact, the trendy label Vetements won’t be a part of this high fashion week. In the other hand, new fashion houses joined the schedule while others are celebrating their milestone like Dutch designer Iris van Herpen’s whose futuristic 3D silhouettes are highly anticipated. Other unmissable highlights include shows from Schiaparelli, Christian Dior, Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Alexandre Vauthier, Maison Margiela, Elie Saab, Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino, Zuhair Murad and Fendi.
The industry is shifting toward ready-to-wear
First outlined in 1945 after World War II, Haute Couture Fashion Week was at the beginning a sacred institution reserved for designers awarded by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. Each house must have an atelier in which a team of 20 or more artisans with recognized savoir-faire realize custom-fitted garments. Today, there remain only 15 brands with these features like historic maisons Chanel and Christian Dior, but also relatively new couturiers as Giambattista Valli and Ulyana Sergeenko. In order to widen their audience and to keep up with the industry’s shift to ready-to-wear, high fashion deciders are welcoming a a growing number of houses outside the strict confines of haute couture. “We are in a time when it could be possible for haute couture to be considered passé, but today people are looking for individualism and uniqueness mixed with a strong aesthetic dimension”, Pascal Morand, executive president of the French Federation of Couture tells Vogue.