The fall 2018 Paris Couture Fashion Week has ended, and we’ve seen all of the new amazing collections. Many designers this year, including Armani and Maria Grazia Chiuri for Dior seemed to have the royal wedding on their mind, with elegant collections replete with eveningwear that would appeal to a more conservative style.
On the wilder side of things, we had Giambattista Valli who courted a young, affluent, and party-loving clientele, and Pierpaolo Piccioli simply doing whatever he pleased.
Check out all of the most outstanding pieces from the fall 2018 couture runways, along with my thoughts about each and every collection.
Fall 2018 Haute Couture Fashion Week: Contents
• Schiaparelli Couture Fall 2018 Collection
• Christian Dior Couture Fall 2018 Collection
• Giambattista Valli Couture Fall 2018 Collection
• Chanel Couture Fall 2018 Collection
• Armani Privé Couture Fall 2018 Collection
• Elie Saab Couture Fall 2018 Collection
• Fendi Couture Fall 2018 Collection
• Valentino Couture Fall 2018 Collection
Every season, Bertrand Guyon takes inspiration from a different part of Elsa Schiaparelli’s life when designing a new collection, so the Schiaparelli Couture fall 2018 collection is no different. The grandiose show took place at the Paris Opera House.
Animals were a key part of the show, with Schiaparelli’s signature butterfly elements gracing many of the opulent gowns. Zebra and leopard prints were also incorporated into the fall 2018 couture collection, particularly into daytime suits and structured jackets. Fascinating headpieces created by milliner Stephen Jones represented all kinds of animals and pushed the collection in an eccentric direction.
Both for day and evening, we saw draped dresses with a cinched silhouette that perfectly elongate and flatter the body. This timeless design choice was popular with Schiaparelli herself ever since the ‘30s.
While the daywear was somewhat more reserved, with many solid options and just a hint of print, not to mention all of the structured jackets, Guyon went all out for the eveningwear, with gorgeous long dresses decorated in loud prints, appliques, feathers, and reflective glitter.
Simple, elegant, and expensive are the words that instantly come to mind from the Christian Dior Couture fall 2018 collection. Maria Grazia Chiuri presented us with a serious collection that manages to astound in its precision.
On the runway, we saw a plethora of solids – expensive fabrics that would have been sullied with the addition of print. The color palette evoked nature, with many nudes and blacks, as well as navy, olive green, and earthy yellow. Chiuri was inspired by the Haute Couture process of collaboration with a well-to-do client, and the focus on perfect, customized tailoring.
While the collection was made up primarily of dresses built with elegant silhouettes – dresses we will surely see all over the red carpet in the coming year – my favorite elements of the show were the well-structured jackets and monochrome pantsuits.
For his fall 2018 couture collection, Giambattista Valli took note of his youthful client base, and created playful outfits and pieces perfect for budding pop stars.
The collection starts off with mini dresses healthily embellished with tulle, ribbons, and feathers, as well as some high waisted pant options that are timelessly chic. We saw both skirt and pantsuit options with high waists and a bare midriff, which I think Valli’s fans and customers will love.
As the Giambattista Valli Couture fall 2018 collection took flight, we started seeing Valli’s youthful take on the ball gown. Lush tulle dresses were shaped as ballerina skirts at the front, while the back part featured a decadently long train.
Voluminous mermaid and empire dresses were a more traditional offering for the red carpet, although I must say I found some of the floral prints suspect.
Paris was Karl Lagerfeld’s inspiration for the Chanel Couture fall 2018 collection. The outfits in this collection evoke a city built of stone, topped with gray skies. For eveningwear, the inspiration is Paris at night, the lights of the city reflecting against the shimmery black color of the Seine like stars.
As befitting any Chanel collection, the show begins with models sporting tweed suits in various gray and light blue shades. While there are some tight fits, draped long jackets and skirts are what really stand out.
Zippers made for a playful, sexy element in the collection. Many skirts and dresses had a sexy slit along the side, below which a miniskirt could be seen. Those slits could be zipped down for the sake of momentary modesty.
Night-inspired dresses started showing up for eveningwear, made of chiffon and velvet, with many shimmery elements.
Few designers can get away with a half-hour fashion show, but thankfully, Giorgio Armani is one of them. The Armani Privé fall 2018 couture collection included 96 different looks, meant to represent what Armani calls “the authentic essence of luxury and perfection.”
The regal collection, possibly inspired by the recent royal wedding, kicks off with draped pant and skirt suits made of velvet and silk. The reigning colors in this collection (pun fully intended) are creams, whites, and blacks, with a brief break where loud, color-blocked turquoise, pink, and black numbers make an appearance.
Once the suits fade away, we are treated to a collection of couture dresses that radiate luxury. While the pink sticks around, the understated creams and austere blacks remain the primary colors of the collection.
It is impossible to pinpoint a specific silhouette, as the large amount of dresses come streamlined, cinched at the waist, with even a few empire cuts.
It is only natural for fashion designers to take inspiration from architects. For his fall 2018 couture collection, Elie Saab took his inspiration from a master who stands out for one-of-a-kind creations that perfectly echo the natural world: Gaudí.
Models graced the runway in outfits that flew one into the next with an ombre effect. Each dress was structural and chic, with a flowy femininity that is also mature and elegant.
The organic elements of the Spanish architect came both in the smaller details and in the larger construction elements. While intricate yet mature dresses were the main part of the collection, unique takes on evening caped pant suits also deserve a mention.
Delicate embroideries shimmered as they ran over outfits, looking like desert earth after it has dried out under the hot sun. Draped and folded layers of silk echoed flower petals in both subtle and more explicit ways.
This year’s Fendi Couture fall 2018 collection was a departure, starting with the fact that in the past, these shows were technically fourrure, or, in other words, all about the fur. While fur coats, jackets, and shawls were part of the collection, there were also many dresses and some skirt suits.
Material wise, the collection was an opportunity for a guessing game. What is fur, and what isn’t? Different materials were cleverly assembled in ways that mimicked fur, like frayed chiffon, organza, and even heat-shrunk sequins!
The outfits in the collection were more suited to daywear than many of the other fall 2018 couture collections, with the majority of dresses and skirts ending somewhere between the knee and the ankle. Designs were colorful and feminine, with a lot of fringe and sheer elements, fitting of Fendi.
In the Valentino fall 2018 couture show, designer Pierpaolo Piccioli somehow managed to make a theme-less collection that is cohesive. I’m not sure if I see it as dreamy, although other descriptors like non-linear and dramatic certainly fit.
The colorful collection is easiest to split into two parts: layered, color-blocked daywear that sits heavy and looks warm, and draped eveningwear dresses that are primarily solidly colored, although some prints and embroideries do show up. Perhaps volume is another running theme, with models swimming in ballooning dresses.
Despite what might sound harsh, I actually find this colorful collection quite beautiful, with many pieces that I would be happy to own. It’s just that… it doesn’t really seem like a single collection.
Photos via Vogue