Paris Couture Fashion Week has been cancelled, but haute couture lives on. Sort of. You’ll find it on Instagram, through the #HomeCouture hashtag: photos of people, quarantined at home, recreating iconic runway looks with what’s already in their closets along with everyday objects.
In one post, a duvet is fashioned to look like a Valentino x Moncler puffer gown; in another, a stack of corrugated cardboard closely resembles a Maison Margiela coat by John Galliano.
Some of the best #HomeCouture looks are curated on @skipdin, the account of the hashtag’s founder, George Serventi. The London fashion writer himself has contributed some, including a pretty remarkable paper recreation of a Molly Goddard tulle frock.
For Serventi and his friends, #HomeCouture began as light-hearted fun in a time when that is in short supply. Perhaps inevitably, it has sparked a DIY fashion movement on Instagram, where most of us now convene as the COVID-19 pandemic keeps us locked away in our homes.
The idea of makeshift fashion isn’t anything new. Previously, actor Tom Lenk, better known as @tommylenk, made a buzz with his homemade recreations of red carpet outfits worn by celebrities like Lady Gaga, Celine Dion and Meghan Markle, which he dubbed #LenkLewkForLess.
But #HomeCouture, while following the same DIY approach, speaks to our current social climate. Or, more accurately, our social distancing climate. There are no occasions to dress up for, so why not channel our styling know-how into an Instagram post for the laughs?
And there are quite a few to be had, especially when out-of-this-world couture looks from the archives of Viktor & Rolf, Alexander McQueen and Commes des Garçons are the inspirations behind the resulting outfits. “The fashion industry is definitely guilty of taking itself too seriously, but what’s great about #HomeCouture is we’re all in it together—taking the piss out of ourselves, each other, and fashion at large,” says Serventi.
#HomeCouture is also part of a larger trend: the wave of creativity that has surfaced in response to our challenging times. Film, music and art are now enjoying newfound appreciation by those of us seeking a source of hope and inspiration.
Fashion brands like Alexander McQueen and Bottega Veneta are also encouraging our artistic impulses, which is especially helpful when the alternative is to obsessively follow all updates on the pandemic with a lingering sense of dread. In the same spirit of #HomeCouture, Jacquemus had earlier launched the #Jacquemusathome challenge, which welcomes all out-of-the-box interpretations of a photo shared by the French brand.
Serventi’s #HomeCouture, then, isn’t exactly revolutionary, but is nonetheless a welcome addition to our Instagram feeds filled with dancing celebrities and throwback travel snaps. You can take part and put your craft skills to the test, or you can browse the hashtag in wonder. Either way, you’ll be reminded that we are all #AloneTogether, as Serventi often tags his #HomeCouture posts.