IT FELT STRANGE and wonderful to see fashion filling our social media feeds once again, after so much time away. Some shows were projected to our screens in the form of live video streams, some were artistic films, while others still were small live shows in front of Parisian audiences for the first time in ages. Fashion always makes us dream, which is a lovely thing during these uncertain times, and dream we did. Here are a few of our favourite settings, thoughts, and looks from the Fall 2021 haute couture season…
Maria Grazia Chuiri has been the Creative Director at Christian Dior since 2016 and I think that I’ve loved everyone of her collections for the house. This Fall 2021 haute couture collection is no exception. When she first arrived at Dior, she made history by being the first ever woman to lead the house in its 69 years. It was also Chiuri’s first solo appointment after over twenty years working with Pierpaolo Piccioli. This collection is an ode to the actual craft of couture, the work of the skilled artisans, the embroiderers and makers of silk who make it possible. I loved the diaphanous sheer pleated silk evening gowns, of course, but I also loved the hand-loomed tweedy day looks with matching hats equally.
Daniela also included Dior in her round-up last week. Here are a few of my favourites from this collection.
Above & left, a Cristóbal Balenciaga presentation circa 1954
“For his debut haute couture presentation @balenciaga creative director #demnagvasalia@demnagvasalia has painstakingly recreated #CristobalBalenciaga 1937 salons at 10 Avenue George V, as though left untouched since Balenciaga retired in 1968, complete with water damage and flaking plasterwork.” ―@hamishbowles
Right: the salons as originally unveiled in 1937 / photo via @hamishbowles
Still processing how I feel about Demna Gvasalia‘s first ever couture collection for the house Balenciaga, but I do know that I am stunned by the painstakingly beautiful recreation of the 1937 salons at 10 Avenue George V. The collection itself–while it had the de rigueur elements of couture such as sumptuous fabrics and intricate embroidery–also included couture bathrobes, blue jeans, and hoodies. Streetwear, it would seem, rather than becoming a passing fad, is not only here to stay, but in Gvasalia’s world, has been elevated to couture. Rather than giving us fantasy through couture, the designer shows us how it is has been, and how we are.
Zuhair Murad’s atelier was one of the horrible casualties of the explosion in Beirut last year It was almost completely destroyed, the designer’s archive engulfed in flames, causing the loss of 20 years of work. And all of this before the pandemic hit. But after all that, Murad is back with another beautiful couture collection, stating that “Resilience is deeply ingrained in our culture.” It was work that made him happy and it showed: “I wanted to show it in a physical format as a celebration of renewal and hope”.
Fendi Couture Fall 2021
Kim Jones’s second haute couture collection for Fendi was presented as a film, a digital premiere that was shot by Call Me by Your Name director Luca Guadagnino and featured Kate Moss, Christy Turlington, and Amber Valletta. The film was inspired by “Pasolini’s neorealistic Roman cinema, every architectural era of the city visible on its mock horizon. The fabrics and textures were informed by the buildings and pavements of Rome, some employed in statuesque lines that underscored the theme.” (Vogue) Here are a few of my favourite pieces from the collection.