This spring 2018 Couture Fashion Week was a blast and took Paris by surprise not only with fashion inspiration, but also with issues and topics aplenty to discuss. From cultural appropriation to cultural appreciation, from the (re)definition of modern womanhood to fashion-forward leitmotifs, this Paris Couture Fashion Week gave the best, for sure.
Get ready for a plethora of architectural silhouettes and delicate details, as the best impressions from the spring/ summer 2018 Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week are all presented here!
Schiaparelli Spring 2018 Couture Collection
Let’s begin our haute couture journey with Schiaparelli’s spring 2018 couture fashions, which traveled all the way back to founder Elsa Schiaparelli’s dream and wild aesthetics. For this season, creative director Bertrand Guyon made a bold statement with ancestral African references, getting inspired by iconic Elsa Schiaparelli’s trips to the continent and, more specifically, her notorious Pagan Collection of 1938.
Most importantly, however, Guyon’s Schiaparelli spring 2018 couture collection was all about cultural appreciation rather than appropriation, as he claimed to be “very sensitive to the cultural identity of every country and region, not just those seen as exotic, such as Africa, but also cultural identities within a country, like France.”
Feathers, intricate embroideries, beaded designs, and tons of safari jackets were at the core of his latest efforts, and we must say the feedbacks have all been quite positive so far.
Christian Dior Spring 2018 Couture Collection
Those who loved all of Elsa Schiaparelli’s collections, and know what the Pagan Collection is mainly renowned for, i.e. the surrealist beetle necklace, will surely rejoice to see that Guyon was not the only one who took the surrealistic leitmotif and transformed it to haute couture fashion for spring.
For her Dior spring 2018 couture collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri paid homage to surrealist, avant-garde artist Leonor Fini, who Christian Dior himself chose to exhibit in the gallery he used to work in before becoming a fashion designer.
“She used her image to be regal and powerful,” Chiuri told Vogue backstage. “Surrealism speaks about dreams and the unconscious, and often about women’s bodies. It’s very close to fashion.”
Fini’s nonconformist spirit lives in each one of Chiuri’s creations, whose sensitive lens refined each ensemble with clean lines and elegantly structured silhouettes.
We bet most of the Dior spring/ summer 2018 haute couture outfits will get featured on many red carpets, from now on.
Giambattista Valli Spring 2018 Couture Collection
Speaking of red carpet-ready couturiers, Giambattista Valli comes to mind with his spring 2018 couture collection that was a British dream garden come true. The Italian designer managed to keep couture haute, indeed, yet with a zest of modernity.
“This is, I think, the modernity in haute couture: It’s getting really the best of the atelier and to modernize them – not to have the heaviness, but to keep the lightness, almost like you did it the night before,” Valli explained to WWD backstage, after a show that only featured gorgeously minimalist evening gowns as well as ethereally intricate cocktail dresses, filled with delicate floral embroideries aplenty and cascades of tulle.
Chanel Spring 2018 Couture Collection
Form one garden to another, Karl Lagerfeld took his Chanel spring 2018 couture lineup to an archetypal French garden, overwhelming us with pink, jade, bright blue, and black colors, as well as with a plethora of floral designs and embroideries. To opulently top it all off, he translated Chanel’s signature tweed to haute couture, too, giving his collection’s ensembles structured and harmonized, although often oversized, figures.
Feathers, laced patterns, and pointy lines were other three recurring leitmotifs in this Chanel spring 2018 couture collection, which we bet will “forge” many fast-fashion spring 2018 line-ups from now on.
As for whose garden was better, well, as the saying goes “the grass is always greener on the other side,” and it’s usually up to us to decide which side was better! Couture-wise, we cannot help but praise each couturier’s incredible artisanal skills.
Armani Prive Spring 2018 Couture Collection
While Valli and Lagerfeld favored the earth, Giorgio Armani stuck to the sky, as his latest Armani Privé spring 2018 collection was inspired by “the sky with all its nuances.”
As we browse the collection’s jaw-dropping proposals, we really can’t help but think that everything looked like classic Armani-approved fashions, especially when it comes to the mannish suits, yet with a bit of refreshing new pattern directly inspired by some clouds (or cloudy spirits if you like, which is also more romantic).
Dreamy, slightly surreal, and of course 100% sophisticated, this latest Armani Privé spring 2018 collection will stay on everyone’s lips for a long time, for sure.
Givenchy Spring 2018 Couture Collection
Here we are with a collection almost everyone was waiting for – Clare Waight Keller’s debut couture collection for Givenchy. Starting off with a couture collection doesn’t sound easy at all, but as always Keller made everything go smoothly and, needless to say, sophisticated.
As a whole, the Givenchy spring 2018 couture collection was an ode to womanhood, empowerment, and Hubert de Givenchy’s legacy.
“I wanted to use the strength of tailoring, but in a feminine way,” she said backstage, adding that her aim was to enhance “the structure and graphism Hubert had in his work at the beginning,” too.
Sharp, structured, and minimalist (except for a few feathery accents), Keller’s Givenchy spring/ summer 2018 couture collection gave us some strong ultra-glamorous vibes we hope will keep on growing as Keller takes up her career at Givenchy.
Maison Margiela Spring 2018 Couture Collection
What all these previous collections had in common was the predominance of solid colors. All designers, except for Guyon’s, featured several total-white or black outfits, with the black ones being the majority.
Well, of course, things had to go differently with John Galliano!
Maison Margiela’s spring 2018 couture collection was all about cyber, neon-inspired hues and leitmotifs, with loads of anti-fashion garments dominating the scene.
To catapult us better into his futuristic visions, John Galliano asked for MUA Pat McGrath’s help, which literally covered the models in glitter and metallic appliques.
Needless to say, the social media blew up, and everyone, including us, went crazy about the looks (especially when it comes to the lipsticks. Expect a lot of bold metallic lip tints, from now on!).
Elie Saab Spring 2018 Couture Collection
Another ultra-glamorous motif we all look forward to for the forthcoming spring season is the abundance of Roaring Twenties-inspired patterns creative directors such as Elie Saab treated us to.
Reimagined through a more modern lens, Elie Saab’s way to reinterpret the Twenties fashions with his spring 2018 couture collection was nothing but grandiose, glitzy and well, roaring indeed, with tons of glitter, feathers, and dynamic, yet ethereal figures taking our breath away.
Valentino Spring 2018 Couture Collection
Ok, first things first. Pierpaolo Piccioli’s hat game was strong with this one, and the Internet is legitimately obsessed with the latest Valentino spring 2018 couture collection of his. For the upcoming spring 2018 season, Valentino’s creative director paid homage to extravaganza and professionalism, as he named the dresses after the people who made them.
Right after the show, in fact, Piccioli said that he hates when these men and women are “called ‘petite mains’,” and was not afraid to show the world who helped him create such an astounding haute couture collection.
As for the collection per se, although we must admit the hats tend to draw all the attention to themselves, Piccioli translated the “modern woman” aesthetics to their haute couture counterparts, exaggerating everything from the figures to the detailing (feathers were all over the place!) used.
He also proved to be the ultimate king of pleats, whose patterns were enhanced by his color palette of choice, too.
Hence, if you like bold, casual chic couture fashions that are unapologetically flawless, Piccioli’s Valentino spring 2018 couture collection is definitely the place to go!
Zuhair Murad Spring 2018 Couture Collection
No wonder, we can always count on Zuhair Murad to deliver some of the dreamiest runway looks of the haute couture season.
And to be fairly honest, there’s another thing we could easily take for granted – any Zuhair Murad couture collection will relieve the unrest among many fashion critics. That’s because Zuhair is often accused of cultural appropriation, which is something that happened, again a few days ago.
For his Zuhair Murad spring 2018 couture collection, the designer drew inspiration from the Native American world, the leitmotifs of which were mainly translated to loads of feathers, ancient symbols embroidered on the clothes, crystals, and a solid-colored palette made of only whites, blacks, and (a lovely!) ice lilac.
“For haute couture, it was risky, yes. But I said to myself, I want to go beyond my limits this time; I want to do a challenge,” Murad explained to Vogue backstage. “Most of the time, I am inspired by the past, and this is a kind of an homage and respect to the people who left us a very beautiful heritage of art, craftsmanship, and design.”
With all the clothes being undeniably well-crafted and the main leitmotif that causes controversies, indeed, opening up the doors of communication (which is always a good thing, especially if it makes us discuss important topics), we hope the fashion industry will take the issue academically delivering valid references to talk about.
Photos via Vogue