Take your front row seat and catch up on all our favourite digital shows from Paris Haute Couture Week Fall/Winter 2020.
As we continue our fight against the CoViD-19 pandemic, the fashion industry has been forced to pause, reflect and adapt to unprecedented challenges as travel bans and social restrictions remain in place.
Physical shows for fashion weeks have had to be called off, with some taking the digital-only format for the very first time. That includes Paris Haute Couture Week for the Fall/Winter 2020 season, which has recently concluded its much shorter three-day schedule. This season, we’ve seen many houses embracing the changing times, letting go of rigid structures — be it format or quantity — and presented extraordinary presentations that continue to enchant and delight.
Missed out on live-streamed presentations from your favourite brands? Not to worry. Sit back and take your front row seat as we bring you our favourite FW20 couture shows below.
Paying homage to the 1945 Théâtre de la Mode — a touring exhibition during WWII featuring doll-size couture creations by top Parisian couturiers in an effort to promote haute couture around the world — Dior created miniature versions of the house’s latest couture collection, presenting them through a short film that transports us to a fantasy universe.
Titled ‘Le Mythe Dior,’ the short surrealist film by Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone takes us on an magical journey through an enchanted forest, where we meet a few Greek mythological figures, who are each presented with Dior’s spellbinding collection.
According to the show notes, creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri wished to “perpetuate and reinvent, during these unprecedented times, a spirit of freedom and renewal in the name of the creative energy passed down by Monsieur Dior.”
Viktor & Rolf
Viktor & Rolf is taking on these challenging times with great humour, creating three mini-wardrobes that each symbolise a different state of mind amid current events. Instead of a traditional catwalk, the brand showcased its collection in a presentation complemented with a humorous voice over by British singer-songwriter Mika, guiding us through the inspirations and design elements behind each piece. Highlights include the huge and elaborately embellished coats that guarantee your safe personal space, along with what is globally recognised as the smartest accessory of the season: The humble but mighty face mask.
We can all agree that the identity of the house of Chanel is no less a legacy of Karl Lagerfeld than of Gabrielle Chanel, so after last season’s haute couture collection inspired by Coco’s childhood at the Aubazine Abbey, creative director Virginie Viard presented a new couture collection influenced by her memories of the late German designer.
“I was thinking about a punk princess coming out of ‘Le Palace’ at dawn,” reveals Virginie Viard. “With a taffeta dress, big hair, feathers, and lots of jewellery.”
Picturing the eccentric, sophisticated and elaborately dressed women Lagerfeld used to accompany to the Théâtre le Palace, Viard presented a 30-look collection evoking a desire for shimmering opulence. Highlights included precious tweeds embellished with sequins, artificial rhinestones, stones and beads; ink-black trouser suits adorned with diamond-like braiding and more. Our favourite? The three-piece tweed suit in vibrant pink featuring a jacket and skirt worn over flared trousers.
Iris van Herpen
Challenging the limits of physics, technology and other complexities, Iris van Herpen has been known for her innovative approach to couture that challenges the conventional idea of what a garment should look like and be composed of. This season, the designer puts the focus on one single dress, titled Transmotion, that continues her conceptual exploration of nature. Taking advantage of a digital-only showcase, the dress is presented on actress Carice van Houten in a short film that gives a nod to Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher and his mind-bending works that challenge physical perspectives.
Rather than debuting an entirely new collection, Balmain‘s Olivier Rousteing paid tribute to the house’s archival creations for its 75th anniversary. Staged on a barge that cruised along Paris’ Seine River, models dressed in archival Balmain creations and newer ones by Rousteing were joined by French singer Yseult and a 50-person dance troupe. The entire show, titled #BalmainsurSeine, was exclusively live-streamed on Tiktok, which is a first (and certainly not the last) for the social platform. While regrettably we can no longer gain access to TikTok, you can still watch the highlights on YouTube, embedded above.
While many fashion brands embraced the opportunity for change with smaller collections, Schiaparelli has presented not a single finished product at all as a result of heavy lockdowns. Instead, the brand has adapted to the scenario and presented a video showing artistic director Daniel Roseberry, who’s been stuck in Manhattan, sketching out the entire couture collection. The collection is a tribute to the work and obsessions of founder Elsa Schiaparelli, and a portion of these sketched creations will be produced at a later date.
“The world of Schiaparelli has never felt more reflective of our time,” shares Roseberry, “Elsa’s commitment to the surreal, her fascination with inverting our everyday reality, has never been more timely.”