Read on for all the highlights and best looks from day two of Paris haute couture week spring/summer 2021.
With Penélope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Vanessa Paradis and Lily-Rose Depp all seated (socially distanced, of course), in the Grand Palais – Chanel’s dreamy ‘wedding venue’ location for creative director Virginie Viard’s latest couture offering – a reworked version of The Ronette’s Be My Baby sound-tracked a troupe of model guests as they took a turn around the floor in signature color-flecked tweeds, crocheted chiffon and embroidered beading topped with floral crowns. While the opening bars may have hinted at a 60s mood, there were nods to the 20s (the closing bridal look of ivory embroidered satin with sweeping veil), and the 80s (a polka detail, black sequin mini dress with tulle skirt). Much like a real wedding, Viard was keen to document the pre-event build-up and enlisted Dutch photographer and filmmaker Anton Corbijn to capture Cruz & Co during fittings at Chanel’s atelier on 31 Rue Cambon – it is via these beautiful black and white images that the collection’s finer details can be truly appreciated.
The palatial Galleria Colonna in Rome was Pierpaolo Piccioli’s venue of choice for his latest couture offering for Spring 2021. Entitled Code Temporal, the show features Piccioli in dialogue with British artist Robert Del Naja from electronic band Massive Attack as models – some painted with gold faces – walk the galleria’s halls in towering (and I mean, towering), metallic platforms and spike-heel boots. There’s something slightly unnerving, other-worldly even, about the spectacle of pairing such a melancholic soundtrack with models styled with an alien-like flare – but when it comes to the clothes? Sheer exhilaration. From an oversized fuchsia trench coat to a perforated cape, a full taffeta skirt in vibrant orange to a draped dress crafted entirely from iridescent silver sequins, each look is a celebration – a respectful ode – to the art of couture. Even the quieter pieces – a chocolate brown bourette dress, poplin white shirt, crêpe turtleneck top – were cut with keen precision.
Giorgio Armani returned to Milan in January after spending a secluded year in his home in Forte Dei Marmi in Tuscany and Brioni, for his couture 2021 show in Milan. The collection was filmed in the Via Borgonuovo palazzo and showcased 50 fittingly understated looks. A romantic collection overall, filled with intricate neutrals, soft grey suiting is anchored by strong black trousers and tops with intricate beadwork and elegant crystal trims. The second half of the show brought a more elaborate presentation, showcasing some of Armani’s traditional evening wear in an array of colors that took reference from nature and the depths of the ocean. There was a certain strength to the tailoring that offset the overarching romance of the chiffon dresses, such as streamlined jackets with angular shoulder seams and structured necklines, perhaps hinting of positivity and hope for a more peaceful year ahead.