There is nothing better than turning to the Haute Couture fashion shows for wedding inspiration. The dresses are stunning and the presentations are chocked full of ideas that will make brides and grooms swoon with anticipation of their own special day. The literal translation of Haute Couture is High Sewing— it’s a tradition of made-to-order clothing that is offered to clients twice a year and officially can only be held in the city of lights, Paris. This pinnacle of high fashion performance displays the brand’s artisanal prowess with each garment hand-sewed by expert ateliers and multiple fittings for an exclusive end result.
The similarities are clear; both weddings and fashion shows are themed—both tell a story and have the end goal of creating a jaw-dropping event. There are floral arrangements, rooms to be decorated, seated guests, and of course the most ravishing fashion. For clients or potential clients of Haute Couture, reaching out to the local boutique of the brand is the best way to make this happen. Advisors will happily connect you and start the process of creating your look. It may take you on a plane to Paris for measurments and fittings but that is part of the Haute Couture experience.
This spring the pandemic couldn’t squelch fashion from its imaginative performances. Chanel and Dior are two of the most well-known brands participating in this rarified club. In order to stay within quarantine guidelines, Chanel presented Haute Couture looks to an almost empty venue, and Dior released a fairy-tale story directed by Matteo Garron with lavishly embellished gowns donned by the characters.
Chanel’s Virginie Viard claims a family wedding for the show’s inspiration held at the usual spot—the Grand Palais in Paris. See her quote below.
“I knew we couldn’t organize a big show, that we would have to invent something else, so I came up with the idea of a small cortege that would come down the stairs of the Grand Palais and pass beneath arches of flowers. Like a family celebration, a wedding…” says Virginie Viard setting the tone for the Spring-Summer 2021 Haute Couture collection. I love big family reunions when the generations all come together. It’s so warm. There’s this spirit at Chanel today. Because Chanel is also like a family,” says Viard.
The family of Chanel models sauntered downstairs, passing under a garland archway stringed Carnaval lights onto the rose petal-strewn stage. There were day dresses, pants looks, and dreamy evening looks articulated in beautiful laces, creped georgettes, and organza fabrics. Ms. Viard’s 1920’s bride continues the easy, breezy vibe she infused the collection with since she took over from Lagerfeld. The floral headbands gave a hippie down to earth mood to the airily decorated looks as “BE MY BABY” filled the domed glass room. There were a few choice guests among many empty gold chairs including Penelope Cruz, but otherwise, the Grand Palais was sans an audience.
The show’s finale was a traditional bride wearing a hand-embroidered floor-length coat dress and was ushered in by a white horse for an extra dose of romance.
Christian Dior designer, Maria Grazia Chiuri chose a mythical parable to present her lavish couture gowns. The director Matteo Garron created a narrative of self-exploration. The film begins with the girl seated with a Tarot card reader asking ” who am I?”. This opens Pandora’s box as the girl, dressed in floral lace, saunters through gothic corridors leading to different rooms and encountering mythical characters all dressed in Dior. With its mesmerizing and dreamy music, laughing jesters, sun queens, and evil nymphs, the film ends and more gowns are shown look book style.
The Haute Couture fashion shows encourage an appreciation for craft, for slow fashion that is made by skilled hands, for exquisite fabrics and finishes. It’s high art in its presentation and in the clothing it promotes and is meant to stand the test of time and looked back upon with the fondest memories.