After a week of terror, Paris is back to being the fashion capital of the world and the couture is fierce. Fashion houses including Christian Dior, Chanel, Versace and Armani showed off timeless designs in forward-looking silhouettes on the catwalk. So far, the spring-summer collections exude a fearless France and Parisian pride at Paris Fashion Week's Haute Couture shows, which kicked off Sunday.
Raf Simons' designs at the Dior couture show Monday featured graphic layers of sequins, lace and tulle in a dreamy color scheme, paired with bright vinyl pumps and set to a David Bowie soundtrack. “He’s a chameleon, able to reinvent himself,” Simons told Style.com. “But he’s also the materialization of something else. Much more than a man -- an idea.” The French brand's spring-summer collection was a playful blend of psychedelic and futuristic, with a sense of '50, '60s and '70s styles. Simons told Reuters he was inspired by “the romance of a near past, when space-age and mind-expanding ideas of a future felt full of possibilities for society, pop culture and fashion.”
The catwalk at the Chanel couture show Tuesday was set inside a giant terrarium, with a centerpiece of life-sized tropical flora made out of white and grey paper. The paper buds opened into exotic blooms of pink, red and yellow as ladylike silhouttes strutted past. Karl Lagerfeld's 73-piece collection boasted bare midriffs, tweed suits, crystal flowers and tulle gardening hats. "The new cleavage is the stomach," Lagerfeld told Reuters of his spring-summer 2015 designs. The color scheme was a mix of dusty, sugary pastels with pops of electric blue, yellow and orange. "Especially after this dark, horrid beginning of the year, there was something like this needed, I think," Chanel's creative director told Reuters, referring to the murderous Jan. 7 attack on Charlie Hebdo, a satire magazine in Paris.
Amid the multilayered designs and storybook sets of other haute couture brands, Donatella Versace's theme was refreshingly simple, uncomplicated yet daringly sexy. Long, form-fitting dresses hugged curves, while transparent cutouts and winding slivers showed legs, shoulders and hipbones. The cuts were plunging and the colors were bold. The 59-year-old Italian designer described the spring-summer collection Sunday as being “about cut, and the curves of a woman’s body … when we started the collection, I said I wanted no straight lines at all. Every seam is curved," according to the Guardian.
Actresses Kristin Scott Thomas and Juliette Binoche sat in the front row of the Armani Prive couture show Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. Giorgio Armani's 68-piece collection for spring and summer featured Oriental prints in delicate structures. Elegant silhouttes, draped in silk and beaded materials, walked down a catwalk with bamboo columns on either sides. The Armani models had sleek ponytails, feminine jackets and oversized accessories. Glittering nude fabrics offset the statement sashes and bamboo motifs.