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For over a year and a half, the global fashion industry – and high fashion in particular – has struggled without live fashion and red carpet events. This week, haute couture designers gathered in Paris to present their new collections. Designers, buyers and the international press gathered to see the 33 brands present their collections on the podium.
Some houses have gone for online catwalks, but this fashion week has highlighted why it’s so important that the couture is seen in person. The Fall / Winter 2021-2022 shows emphasized that shows are necessary for the survival of luxury homes – and that designs need to be functional and wearable to thrive in a changing landscape.
Dior, Chanel, Giorgio Armani Privé, Balenciaga, Jean Paul Gaultier, Zuhair Murad, Vaishali S and Pyer Moss have all been featured on physical catwalks, while Azzaro Couture has aired on show. Twenty-four brands ranging from Julien Fournié, Viktor & Rolf to Imane Ayissi were presented digitally, despite France easing restrictions linked to the pandemic in person. Digital presentations – which are cheaper and less labor-intensive than parades – have become standard practice over the past year, and many in the industry are wondering if they could become the norm.
For brands that have decided to show up in person, the City of Lights has become a city-wide track. The exhibition venues included the Rodin Museum for the Dior haute couture parade, the La Samaritaine department store, the recently renovated Hôtel de la Marine on Place de la Concorde and the Musée d’Art Contemporain de la Bourse de Commerce .
Maison Chanel organized its fashion show and a retrospective on founder Gabrielle Chanel at the renovated Palais Galliera. Hosting the show in an emblematic Parisian venue was a show of force. “All of these projects that are coming to fruition today reinforce the city’s unique position as the capital of creativity and fashion,” said Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Chanel. Daily women’s clothing.
Chanel’s latest collection aimed to reclaim the values of haute couture after a period of restrictions. The seasons designed by chief designer Maria Grazia Chiuri were primarily featured through the film. Bringing out the importance of textiles and tactile materials in post-pandemic fashion was the goal of Chiuri and her creative team. Upon entering the exhibition space, the walls were covered with life-size embroidery.
The pandemic has also reset the way some houses choose to show collections on their own terms. Next week, Valentino will launch his haute couture in Venice. And Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia chose to host just one couture show per year – a seasonless collection that includes men’s clothing. In press notes for the show, Gvasalia states that “tailoring is the highest level of clothing construction, which is not only relevant in today’s mass production industry, but even absolutely necessary for the survival and future evolution of modern fashion “.