Paris Fashion Week

Spring/Summer 2019
  • 02 Feb - 08 Feb, 2019
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Fashion

It was blossoms in a blizzard. The snow was falling, but it was all sunshine, bright colours and glamorous clothes inside the grand Parisian couture salons for the spring collections. Chic tailoring turned out to be one of the big takeaways of the couture week collections. The cut was especially body-conscious at Givenchy and Jean-Paul Gaultier, whose pagoda-shaped shoulders soared sky-high and matched with fitted peplum waists creating an extreme hourglass shape. Gaultier and Armani both played on Oriental themes, with the former using kimono silk motifs, criss-crossing obis and Chinese lantern-constructed corsetry, while the latter recalled the Art Deco glamour of old Shanghai.

At Givenchy, Clare Waight Keller heightened the particularly refined look that she has been subtly putting to work on Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’s wardrobe. The cut of her jackets has been beautifully finessed, but whether the slick latex leggings will appear on a royal any time soon is unlikely. However, the effect was polished and modern.

The tailoring houses Givenchy, Gaultier, Armani and Chanel demonstrate that haute couture is as much about the craft of cut as it is about fluttering evening gowns and lavish embellishment. Swimsuits and shorts designed for parties with long expanses of train were about as sporty as it got, and these were clearly not designed to get wet. It was a key trend among eveningwear specialists such as Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad, while Giambattista Valli and Alexandre Vauthier either opted for puffball or super-short flounced dresses that reveal a lot of leg. Valli was hedging his bets – his dresses were super-short at the front and ended in a long train at the back. Either way, floor-sweeping trains will be a must-have for party girls this season.

Iridescent sequins, as seen in catwalk newcomer Rami Kadi’s show, which clearly caught the eye of his young front row. -Zuhair Murad’s sensuous silvery white pleated gowns shot with ultraviolet shine similarly will shimmer beautifully on the dance floor. His 1980s-inspired mermaid dresses appeared in all shades of blue, sparkling and shining with sequins and beading. Elie Saab, likewise, was inspired by the watery world, with corals and underwater vegetation recreated in sequin embroideries on long gowns, along with some spectacular embroidered nude -organdie-swathed dresses and vast taffeta gowns in editerranean blue that look -Oscar-bound next month.

Alexis Mabille went bold with red, sunshine yellow -(especially the billowing yellow silk cape over a sculpted black gown) and azure blue for his eveningwear collection.

However, if there is one colour that almost every single couture house used it was bright pink, that shocking shade that Elsa Schiaparelli made her own. Naturally it featured in Bertrand Guyon’s collection for the house,

in a white dress embroidered with neon shocking pink petals and the vast coatdress in voluminous tiers of tulle modelled by the heavily pregnant Erin O’Connor, who looked utterly magnificent.