Another whirlwind Paris Fashion Week Couture came to a close this month. The anticipated week saw breathtaking collections and historic surprise announcements take place, while the couture calendar welcomed a slew of newcomers. During the three-day extravaganza, Iris Van Herpen, J. Mendel, Francesco Scognamiglio, and Giles made Haute Couture presentation and catwalk debuts. While fresh names were introduced to the line up, this couture season also marked Maria Grazia Chiuiri’s last collection as co-creative director for Valentino. Following prolonged speculation, it was confirmed that Chiuri is officially headed to Dior.
The most notable news to spread through couture week, however, was the announcement of the long-awaited launch of Vogue Arabia. This October, Style.com/Arabia will re-emerge as Vogue Arabia, in what will mark the first time that Condé Nast International launches a digital Vogue publication ahead of print (Vogue Arabia magazine will follow in Spring 2017). Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz will take the helm as Editor-in-Chief; Daniela Agnelli will join the team as Fashion Director; and Style.com/Arabia’s Managing Editor, Caterina Minthe, will take on the role of Features Director.
Ahead, we highlight the major moments from the Paris Fashion Week Fall 2016 Haute Couture collections.
Donatella Versace veered from the House’s ultra-sexy silhouettes and sheer cut-outs and opted to play with demure cuts that conveyed a more ladylike demeanor—cue belted, shoulder exposing coats and the long-sleeved, high neckline, fitted gown seen on Bella Hadid. The color palette explored pastel hues, and featured shades of soft lilac, powder pink, and icy blue. While the collection emphasized draping and sculptured details, the designer didn’t entirely shy away from thigh-high slits, bodycon gowns, and crystal-embellished designs.
See the full Atelier Versace Fall 2016 collection here.
Saudi designer Mohammed Ashi (behind his label Ashi Studio) continued to push the sculptural and voluminous aesthetic he is known for. For the Fall 2016 Haute Couture collection, the designer subtly introduced color to the predominantly black and cream line up by way of rich, emerald green and soft, dove gray. A number of looks boasted cocoon-shaped designs that were presented alongside his signature, asymmetric hemlines and brocade-embroidered dresses. A chic, strapless, velvet jumpsuit that featured peplum stood out from the opulent offering and hinted to a sleeker direction for Ashi, who is set to showcase his first runway show for Spring 2017.
See the full Ashi Studio Fall 2016 Haute Couture collection here.
Known for his romantic aesthetic, Georges Hobeika’s Fall 2016 Haute Couture collection drove the designer’s poetic offering home with whimsical gowns featuring impressive embellishments. Multicolored, beaded, floral motifs across knee-length shift dresses, ball gowns, and hourglass silhouettes stood out from a palette of jewel tones that included emerald, amethyst, and pink opal. Notable looks were traced with bows and spotlight crystals across tailored designs.
See the full Georges Hobeika Fall 2016 Haute Couture collection here.
RALPH & RUSSO
Top models such as Adriana Lima, Jourdan Dunn, and Petra Němcová took front row seats at the Ralph & Russo Fall 2016 Haute Couture show. Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo delivered a floral-infused offering that featured 3D petals, delicate embroidery, and intricate beadwork across dramatic organza dresses, chiffon gowns, caped silhouettes, and thigh-grazing shifts. But between a chartreuse, voluminous coat dress and a plunging, pale pink, beaded dress with light-as-air cape, the collection overwhelmed with its array of themes that ranged from bohemian and classic ‘50s to mod and contemporary glamour.
See the full Ralph & Russo Fall 2016 Haute Couture collection here.
Crowned “King of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet,” Elie Saab delivered a collection that Hollywood’s leading ladies will undoubtedly swoop up ahead of the upcoming fall social calendar. Unmistakably inspired by New York City—with the anticipated opening of his first stateside flagship boutique on Madison Avenue set to take place next year—Saab opened his show with sheer, cut-out, velvet silhouettes that featured the NYC skyline. Meanwhile, heart motifs and embellished birds soared across the collection by way of top-to-toe prints and crystal-embellished appliqués. Notably, Saab showcased matching mother and daughter ensembles on the runway—a first for the Lebanese designer.
See the full Elie Saab Fall 2016 Haute Couture collection here.
Boho vibes flourished at Zuhair Murad Fall 2016 Haute Couture. The Lebanese designer—who is on the esteemed panel of judges for the upcoming DDFC/Vogue Fashion Prize—delivered a collection that featured sheer jumpsuits, beaded column dresses, plunging ball gowns, and tiered Chantilly lace dresses styled with hats and thigh-high boots. Murad acknowledged the works of renowned Austrian artist Gustav Klimt through embroidered gowns and asymmetrical dresses that showcased mural motifs. As for his bridal gown, the designer unveiled a gold, off-the-shoulder wedding dress to capture the hearts of glitterati, boho-chic brides everywhere.
See the full Zuhair Murad Fall 2016 Haute Couture collection here.
Maria Grazia Chiuri’s final collection as co-creative director alongside Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino was a poetic tribute to the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. The designer duo delivered an Elizabethan-inspired collection that riffed on ruffled necklines, sheer lattice details, bubble skirt hemlines, and voluminous sleeves. On closer inspection, embroidered pearls delicately pierced a brocade bodice. Meanwhile, a paneled, gold gown lined with pearls encased the model like a protective armor.
See the full Valentino Fall 2016 Haute Couture collection here.
Giambattista Valli unveiled an exceptional collection that brought singer Céline Dion to her feet as she applauded the designer from the front row. Opening the show with a solo from violinist Charlie Siem, Valli featured voluminous sleeves on shifts; mini dresses trailed with tulle trains; caped chiffon gowns; and midriff-baring tops coupled with tapered trousers. Closing the collection were Valli’s signature, larger-than-life, tulle silhouettes. Meanwhile, diamond details (courtesy of Milanese fine jeweler Buccellati) in the form of encrusted buttons were used to secure coats and decorate empire pieces for over-the-top charm.
See the full Giambattista Valli Fall 2016 Haute Couture collection here.
Paris Fashion Week’s growing couture calendar saw New York-based, French designer Gilles Mendel make his debut. Monochrome, mink, perforated silhouettes were unveiled at the outset of the show, which included a parade of opulent fur evening coats. Floor-length, column gowns that featured Mendel’s signature, geometric, embellished motifs complimented a slew of cold-shoulder iterations that were dotted across the line up.
See the full J. Mendel Fall 2016 Haute Couture collection here.
For his third couture season as creative director, Bertrand Guyon dug deep into the brand’s archives to draw inspiration from Schiaparelli’s Spring 1938 circus-inspired runway show. Whimsical characters and astrological beaded motifs danced across a sharply tailored blazer, floor-sweeping gowns, and a tea-length, embellished cocktail dress. As well as featuring tinseled frocks, printed jacquard separates in tapered silhouettes, and draped, silk evening gowns, Guyon unveiled a Picasso-inspired bustier that paid homage to Elsa Schiaparelli’s renowned artist collaborations.
See the full Schiaparelli Fall 2016 Haute Couture collection here.
Another newcomer to Paris Fashion Week Couture is Italian designer Francesco Scognamiglio who unveiled a collection of 19 exceptional looks. The designer—who created a custom, embellished jacket for Beyoncé ahead of her Formation world tour stop in Milan tomorrow—showcased an offering that married traditional couture techniques with contemporary materials; a technique that played a key role in the creation of the fur, embellished PVC opening number. Rich embroidery took center stage, and decorated evening gowns and dramatic pleated ruffles, while feather trimmings delivered ephemeral flair.
See the full Francesco Scognamiglio Fall 2016 Haute Couture collection here.
Russian designer Ulyana Sergeenko (behind her namesake label), took a detour from her playful, fairytale-inspired designs to showcase a collection inspired by the young, Soviet idealists of the 1960’s. She unveiled belted coats and fur robes alongside tailored tweed iterations and glittering Lurex separates. As for eveningwear, Sergeenko loosened her grip on her signature, corseted, waist-cinching silhouettes to reveal long-sleeved, flowing gowns.
See the full Ulyana Sergeenko Fall 2016 Haute Couture collection here.