With Men’s Fashion Week coming to a close, we turn our gaze to the French capital for Paris Haute Couture Week. The fashion festivities kicked off on January 21 in the City of Light with shows from the likes of Schiaparelli, Iris Van Herpen, Georges Hobeika, Dior, and more. Read on for the five major talking points from the first day of the couture shows.
#1. Farida Khelfa Makes Her Runway Return
Nearly a decade after her last runway appearance (Hermès Spring 2011), French-Algerian model, filmmaker, and all-around muse, Farida Khelfa made her catwalk return at Schiaparelli’s Spring 2019 Haute Couture showcase on Monday. The former Vogue Arabia cover star made her glorious comeback wearing a black, A-line coat accessorized with a floral brooch and leather cowboy boots. Khelfa previously served as a brand ambassador for the storied Parisian maison for several years before abruptly stepping down from her role in 2017. The 58-year-old’s surprise runway appearance has led to speculation on whether or not this means Khelfa will be re-assuming her role as a spokesperson for the brand. Only time will tell.
#2. Middle Eastern Designers Take Paris by Storm
Arab couturiers Tony Ward and Georges Hobeika presented their Spring 2019 Haute Couture collections during the first day of Paris Couture Week on Monday. Lebanese-Italian couturier Tony Ward presented his newest couture at Paris’s l’École-de-Médecine in Paris offering in the French capital. Inspired by the dragonfly, more specifically its wings, Ward’s collection featured a plethora of red carpet-worthy gowns accessorized with handcrafted headpieces from London-based milliner Yana Markova.
Meanwhile, Hobeika, who has shown his couture collections in every biannual Paris Couture Fashion Week since 2001, displayed his lineup of Marie Antoinette-inspired creations to editors, clients, and brand loyalists at the National Theater of Chaillot in Paris. The collection boasted opulent gowns, sequined jumpsuits, and slinky evening-wear bursting with embroidered botanical patterns, regal silhouettes, and plenty of intricate feather detailing that are sure to find fans with his Middle Eastern clientele.
#3. Here Comes the Bride…
Hobeika’s spectacular show closed with the final bridal look: A stunning crystal-laden creation with a transparent, sequined top and a dazzling A-line skirt, that had the entire front row pulling out their iPhones. The wedding dress was equipped with a long, floor-trailing veil that boasted thousands of tiny beaded, jewel-like embellishments through-out — no kirakira app necessary.
#4. Maria Grazia Chiuri Transforms Musée Rodin Into a Circus
For Dior’s Spring 2019 Couture show, which unfolded on Monday afternoon in Paris, Maria Grazia Chiuri transformed the Musée Rodin into a literal circus, complete with a big top lined with strings of lights, a rainbow-tile runway, and female acrobats. The runway presentation kicked off with London’s all-women troupe of circus acrobats carrying one another down the runway on their backs, shoulders, and even upside down, setting the stage for the dramatic playsuits, mini dresses, three-piece suits, and accessories that would follow.
#5. And Nora Attal Walks the Runway, Obviously
Nora Attal is back in town, Paris that is. The Moroccan-British model graced the circuit at the menswear shows (Moschino and Versace) in the build up to haute couture, and has just walked for Dior Haute Couture Spring 2019 on Monday. Wearing a graceful evening gown with exaggerated circus-inspired eyeliner flicks by makeup maestro Peter Philips, the former Vogue Arabia cover star proves to be a Dior runway fixture and continues to top our model watch list season after season.
#6. Maison Rabih Kayrouz Presented Its First Collection as an Official Member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture
On Monday, Maison Rabih Kayrouz presented its first collection as an official member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. The Lebanese couturier, who was elected as a guest member in 2016, gained official entry into fashion’s elite club at Paris Couture Week earlier this month. The womenswear label became one of the 17 fashion houses that are officially on the haute couture calendar, alongside Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, and more. For his debut collection as a fully-fledged member of Haute Couture, the couturier sent out a lineup of Bohemian-inspired clothing in a vivid color palette that ranged from canary yellow and fucshia to lavender. Standout pieces include a breezy mustard-colored kaftan with a high-neck, a slinky, form-fitting emerald evening gown, and a white tiered column dress.