Why is the Haute Couture runway important for brides to peruse? The bespoke fashion shows presented in Paris twice a year to an elite audience of high net worth clients, friends of the designers and press, has an elitist reputation. But beyond the snobby appearance, lies the pinnacle of creativity in clothing design. Designers ramp-up and exaggerate their ideas and create a spectacle of looks—sometimes they are outrageous and sometimes subtle and beautiful, but always fun to see. We may not be sitting in the audience but we are all invited to view on-line and for brides planning their wedding look, there is a wealth of dramatic inspiration.
Brides no longer buy a dress off the rack but are increasingly involved in the design of their wedding look and want maximum individuality in every aspect of their wedding. They take features from one dress add to a favorite silhouette from another like a lunch buffet, taking the creative process into their own hands. Paris’s Haute Couture is a well-spring of ideas for brides since many of the the looks weigh heavily on evening dresses and lavish jewelry creations are also presented. Take for example, Balenciaga’s recent couture show where Nicole Kidman sauntered down the aisles in a tinfoil-like goddess dress with opera-length gloves. It’s not often that she’s done that for a fashion event but for Couture, she seems to have thought it worth the walk. Or the first Indian designer to show at Haute Couture, Rahul Mishra whose gilded bubble sleeves look like mammoth wings of flight. The embroidery and embellishments are next level.
Giambattista Valli returned to the runway after a 2-year hiatus with his voluminous floor-sweeping dresses— brides would be astounded by the way he literally sculpts shapes into gowns with tulle fabric.
At Fendi, Kim Jones played with transparency and illusion which is not a new idea for the red carpet but one that is ripe for more mass appropriation. Delicately beaded sheer fabrics revealed jeweled bikinis beneath. Not a look that will work off the runway but the ideal of playing with sheerness and bejeweling undergaremtns is worth considering in your wedding dress. Other looks were pared down in simple but lavish pastel which kept the focus on design instead of embellishment.
Virginie Viard at Chanel continues to keep her models sweet and demure with accessible, yet exquisitely crafted runway looks with mass appeal. But a closer look reveals that the ideas are plenty— big bows decorate the heads of models like a cake topper, the use of cowboy boots gives an air of casualness and T-strap pumps look very fresh. Each look can be assessed on its own individual merit like the use of Kelly green beaded overlay on a white tulle dress which is an interesting accent color for a wedding gown. Sounds like a strange mix but the proof is in the image—it’s delicately beautiful.
The high jewelry world also gets into gear during Paris Couture Week. Legacy jewelers like, Chopard create over the top pieces with an extravagant use of gemstones. It’s super-fun to examine the pieces and imagine the baroness or Cannes celeb who will wear them. The grouping will travel to exotic locations all over the globe in hopes of finding a buyer who will put out the cash for this one-of-a-kind piece of bling. But here too is an opportunity to see state-of-the-art jewelry which can be fashioned with lesser gemstones or even made into costume pieces for brides.
Brides have so many resources to dream-up inspiration for their unique wedding look. Pinterest, Instagram and all social media is a good place to start but media outlets and magazines like World Bride show you a more diverse world of fashion ideas. Haute Couture is not just for the elite— everyone is invited to the party to ogle the dramatic designs that strut the runway. The masters in fashion put out a spectacle of amazing work for all to see and for brides, it’s worth delving into.