Twice a year the pinnacle of fashion specticles takes place in Paris called Haute Couture. The literal translation of this French phrase is “high sewing” which involves painstakingly detailed dressmaking techniques using opulent fabrics, innovative designs and hand finishes. Fashion houses unleash their design prowess at the couture shows and create the most elaborate and challenging creations. It’s like the Super Bowl, the Olympics and the Tour de France of fashion all rolled into one.
The way it works is a client sees a look she likes (at the show) and makes an appointment for a fitting at the Atelier. The look is then made to order with her exact measurements. These are not pieces you will see in a retail shop—it is a unique garment, made to fit one body only. Minions of dress-makers at the designer’s Parisian atelier are at the ready to hand sew, fit, embroider and tailor the garment to fit like a glove. It’s a painstaking process but the end result is a unique look with lavish detailing and exquisite fabrications. It’s kind of like a bridal fitting on steroids.
There are only a few handfuls of fashion brands that show couture and Chanel, with its wealth of resources and Karl Lagerfeld’s genius at the helm is certainly one of them. The show was held at the usual spot, the Grand Palais in Paris, which was set up like an English garden with a fountain as a center piece, cross-wood trellises filled with climbing flowers ( probably camellias), ivy filled urns and archways. A carpet of grass surrounded the fountain and served as an apt color contrast against the pastel spring looks. Models sauntered out with ease in low heeled shoes and boots.Tweedy skirt-suits had matching tweedy boots, and each model had a veiled headpiece with a cupcake of flowers on the very top.
The tweed parade was followed by a few chiffon dresses in a kelly green,electric blue, black and orange. Although you would think those brights would jar you out of this dream they somehow worked seamlessly in the show. The evening looks, began in a pallette of ballet pink, whites and pearl gray. A stand-out was a deconstructed tweed suit worn with copious yards of tulle for a skirt. The tradition of a bride at the end of the show was not lost here. A feathered sculpture was worn atop of a white slim pant and vest and made for a stunningly unique bride.
For a bride-to-be there is lots of inspiration which can be taken from this show. The veil alone could be a chic and modern addition to a wedding look and seems very doable to recreate. Buy fabric and cut to a square shape. Top with a small grouping of your favorite flowers and secure to the middle of the veil fabric and voila! The idea of adding black gloves with pastels translates well with your bridesmaids. Use feathers to accent your bouquets or to the trim of a dress.
Chanel’s Haute Couture show is a session in creativity more than anything for brides to be— there is a wealth of ideas to cull from, for the wedding ceremony and for your bridal look. It’s a delight to see the mind of Mr. Lagerfeld at work with his 360 approach to fashion shows. It’s not just about the clothing but the sets, the venue, the music and of course the fashion which come together to create one awe-inspiring experience. A fashion show is similar to a a wedding— there is a theme, decor to fit the theme, music and the parade of well dressed people, all to create a memorable event that people soon won’t soon forget.
View the show video here
Photos courtesy of Chanel