The absence of a runway didn’t stop the haute couture collective from showcasing their talents in creativity, craftsmanship, and especially in this season’s case, forward-thinking presentation techniques.
Some chose film (Elie Saab, for example, who just released a video “paying homage to artistry” and “the abundant beauty of nature” with teasing snapshots of intricate beadwork, or Azzaro’s Olivier Theyskens who commissioned Belgian director Lukas Dhont to create a promotional film starring musician Sylvie Kreusch), others offered a glimpse into a collection’s evolution via sketches (Daniel Roseberry for Schiaparelli dreamed up a “collection imaginaire” to portray his “story of a collection that could have been”), and Dior transported us back to the future with an online trunk show presented on scaled-down mannequins.
Normal times, these are not. What is reassuring – and uplifting – is the fact that imagination and artistic drive is completely defiant. Consider the dress made from more than 80 meters of ribbon and 320 meters of cord that Rabih Kayrouz visualized for his single-piece collection, Giambattista Valli’s unapologetically extravagant volumes, Chanel’s signature tweeds reworked with an 80s punk spin, Balmain’s dip into the house archives to unearth some serious masterpieces from the past, or Ronald van der Kemp’s joyful mash-up of looks created by reusing materials from previous collections.
What we can take away from this month’s couture preview (aside from a burning desire to own Chanel’s Look 3), is a reassurance that fashion is more than just the clothes on our backs: it is art, escapism, fantasy, joy and so much more. If you need any further evidence, simply scroll through our top 12 and start dreaming up a BIG wardrobe budget…