Day one of Couture Week Fall 2018 kicked off in Paris on Sunday with three collections. While you await our in-depth show reviews, read on for the main highlights of the opening day.
Ronald van der Kemp
Couture Week kicked off in Paris with an environmentally-conscious collection from Ronald van der Kemp. Using only upcycled fabric, the Dutch designer sent out a line-up of dresses, pleated skirts, trousers, blouses, and hooded dresses that recalled the pink Alaïa dress worn by Grace Jones in A View to a Kill in 1985.
“I only use existing materials, and I work spontaneously with what I have. It’s the old values of couture, made with leftovers. But my whole thing is this: Leftovers don’t have to look like leftovers,” the designer said in conversation with US Vogue. The sustainable, eco-friendly offering comes at a crucial time in fashion, when the industry’s impact on the environment is vast.
On Sunday, Julie de Libran presented the first-ever Sonia Rykiel Couture collection in the sun-filled courtyard of Paris’ École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. The collection comes nearly two years after the death of the French designer who founded the pret-a-porter maison 50 years ago in the Left Bank as a form of rebellion against haute couture.
Entitled “L’Atelier”, this was not your typical couture show; de Libran chose to pay homage to the late designer by sending out models — including Georgia May Jagger and Kristen Owen— in tuxedo jackets, chunky knits, striped Marinière sweaters, and embroidered tulle leggings. The bridal look featured a corseted dress, feathered, knit veil, and blue, bootcut jeans, which clients will be able to order by appointment at the newly-redesigned Sonia Rykiel flagship on Boulevard St. Germain over the next few days.
Givenchy’s artistic director Clare Waight Keller dipped into the French maison’s archives for Sunday’s thoughtful couture tribute to the late Hubert de Givenchy, who passed away earlier this year aged 91. “Having met him, and the fact that he passed three months ago, he felt very present in my mind; his legacy felt like something that needed to be celebrated,” she told US Vogue backstage.
The collection was entitled “Caraman”, a nod to the 19th century townhouse originally built for the Duke of Caraman where Hubert de Givenchy opened his couture ateliers in 1959. With the show held inside Paris’ 17th century National Archives, Waight Keller touched upon many of de Givenchy’s signatures in the 42-piece collection: beautifully tailored suiting, dresses cinched at the waist, capes, boat necks, and intricately embroidered evening gowns.