The Paris Fall/Winter 2019-20 Haute Couture Week, which ran from 1 to 4 July, was attended by designers, major fashion houses, and celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Kidman, Gigi Hadid, Heidi Klum, Celine Dion, Priyanka Chopra, Nick Jonas, and more. The runway itself featured colour, print, and stunningly unique craftsmanship.
Dior went back to the essential architecture of dressmaking, and the late designer's penchant for black, for a brooding display of archetypally couture gowns. Designer Maria Grazia Chiuri produced a dramatic display, one that was nearly all in black and featured veiled models in couture that celebrated the power of architecture and the sculptural female form. Chiuri was bestowed France's highest civilian award, the Legion of Honor, shortly after the show for her contribution to French fashion.
Ever since the legendary house of Elsa Schiaparelli was relaunched in 2012, design team changes have caused turbulence. With the appointment of its third creative director in five years, Daniel Roseberry, the brand hopes to change that. Roseberry's debut couture collection was sassy, playful and modern. The 30 creations managed to toe the line between the Schiaparelli signatures — the shocking pink, the 30s elegance, and the touches of Surrealism — with an aesthetic that was contemporary and often very sexy.
Chanel's new chief Virginie Viard merged the worlds of two of its most famous couturiers, those of Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld, for a cerebral couture show in Paris set inside a huge circular library. For Viard's first-ever solo couture show, both Chanel, the woman, and Lagerfeld, the house's longtime German-born designer who died in February, were invoked through their well-known passion for books. The theme served to provide a sense of continuity for Viard's couture debut. In her first major calendar fashion show, she demonstrated a distinct artistic flair and vision that will take Chanel confidently into the future.
Poetry was at the heart of a sublimely sensitive display by Givenchy's talented designer Clare Waight Keller. Inside the historic stone interiors of Paris' Musee des Arts Décoratifs, floating feathers contrasted with dropped forms — produced by low-lying crinolines — to produce a collection of couture that literally played with gravity. The unexpected was everywhere. Mysterious piano music held guests, in a mood of suspense during the show that seemed to tap into a dream state. Simply put, Waight Keller is currently producing some of Paris' best couture work.