Sofia Achaval’s Fall 2019 Paris Couture Diary, Day 2
The Daily Front Row‘s Paris correspondent, Sofia Achaval de Montaigu, attends the shows at Couture Week and lets us know what is going down on the biggest runways in the City of Lights.
Chanel’s fashion show took place at the Grand Palais, which was set as if it were a big library, where the models walked among large shelves full of books. Virginie Viard, who collaborated with Karl for many years, took on Chanel’s creative director post after Lagerfeld’s passing.
The brand also had some of its classics like the tweed suit, one of them worn by top model Kaia Gerber in coral with embroidered white flowers, while other models wore long tweed dresses with bare shoulders. The long velvet dresses where without a doubt my favorites, specially one with a cleavage in the back, buttoned cuffs and a belt at the waist. The accessories went along with the library theme, and some of the models carried reading glasses while for shoes, some of the models wore low heels with bows in black and white, my chosen ones for this season. Among the personalities in attendance were Margot Robbie and Araya Alberta Hargate, both of them wearing Chanel and dazzling the photographers.
For Armani Privé’s show we were invited to the Petit Palais Musée des Beaux-Arts of the Ville de Paris, a dreamy place for a dreamy collection. We sat at a great hall with an amazing floor: an unbelievable piece of art in itself, made of mosaics over which the models walked. Among the guests was Nicole Kidman, wearing a black paillette dress and a white
coat that stole every look before the beginning of the show. The beauty of the dresses was highlighted with the amazing handcrafted embroideries, while pastel colors contributed to create harmony. Among the different designs, the ones made
with a kind of net allowing the skin to be seen added sensuality to the romanticism of the collection. My favorite dress was a turquoise one with a voluminous skirt and a paillette top in compose with a fishnet embroidered top over it and gauze ruffles in the cuffs.
For the finale of the day, Givenchy summoned celebrities like Zendaya and Nicole Kidman and her husband Keith Urban to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs to present its high fashion collection with a proposal for men and women. On one hand, the proposal for men included floral motifs, which stood out. On the other hand, feathers were most eye-catching item in the women’s proposal, and they were present not only in accessories like headgear but also on shoes and dresses that seemed to float when models walked, the most impressive one being the one Kaia Gerber paraded in a degradé green.
Paris’ Haute Couture Fashion Week started with Schiaparelli at the Place Vendôme, with guests as special as Celine Dion, who caught every photographer’s attention when she got there with a black dress and a big headdress. Isabelle Huppert and Olivia Palermo, among other fashion world personalities, were there as well.
The models walked in a slow pace down the runway followed by a light that gave off a theatrical vibe while at its center, an artist reflected on a piece of paper the designs that were presented live. On the speakers, New York’s subway.
The collection had dresses with big volumes but also included sparkles and some floral prints. My favorite was a pink asymmetric dress that wrapped the model in a pink cloud while combined with a silver top. For the eveningwear, there were surrealist touches, from animal print drawings embroidered with stones to a multicolored dress with a voluminous tail and metallic patches that covered the nipples.
Towards the end, every model posed in front of the audience while the artist finished his performance, and when he finished, he grabbed his little hat and his backpack and exited the runway. It was an altogether great show to start a great week.
Ralph & Russo
Ralph & Russo’s show took place at the United Kingdom’s Embassy park with white chairs and a great white runway that crossed the whole garden surrounded by the trees decorating the place. At the entrance, there was a big sign with the brand’s name where celebrities like singer Pixie Lott –who wore a sexy dress with ruffles– posed. Marisa Tomei, Violet Chachki, and Araya Alberta Hargate were also in attendance. We all got fans as a gift that had the brand’s initials to face Paris’ hot weather.
The collection stood out because of its freshness, romanticism, long tailed dresses that seemed to float with the models’ pace, floral prints and pastel hues that gave a feminine touch. For evening looks, there was embroidery and lace, but my favorite look was a set composed by white pressed pants and a top made of pearled stripes that created movement and allowed for the skin to be seen, which added sensuality: a perfect balance between sexy and sophistication.
Dior presented its collection at its headquarters in Paris, which were transformed by the artist Slinger into a garden of roses through which the models walked and a black forest that decorated the salon with a tree at its center that went up the emblematic stairs of the place where a quartet of women played the violin. On this occasion, several celebrities attended the show, including Nick Jonas and his wife Priyanka Chopra, Natalia Vodianova, Olivia Palermo, Gal Gadot, Bianca Jagger and Shailene Woodley. I sat next to singer Juliette Armanet. We were on the verge of tears when the show ended.
The collection gave off serious gothic vibes, with velvet dresses, custom capes and cocktail dresses tight at the waist. Most of the looks were finished with berets and veils with fishnet stockings and flats.
The most eye-catching outfit was the finale one: fishnet stockings and a golden dollhouse covering the torso, inspired by Penny Slinger’s piece “dollhouse”. The other interesting look was the first one, where a T-shirt with the quote “are clothes modern?” questioned the concept of modernity.
It was a moving event for many reasons, particularly because that day, creative director Maria Grazia was given La Legion de Honeur.