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Haute highlights: Couture Fashion Week in review

This January, designers and models gathered to showcase the world’s most extravagant designs down the Paris runways for Haute Couture Fashion Week.

“Haute couture” describes the epitome of style.

The words are protected by law in France and defined by the Paris Chamber of Commerce, allowing only the most elite names in fashion to call themselves a couture house.

Notable among those designers are Dior, Valentino, Elie Saab and Chanel, whose collections did more than meet expectations; they left high-heel footprints in them.

Each fashion house produced works that suggest art and fashion aren’t just interconnected but one in the same.

With handcrafted pieces and thousands of hours logged into making the collection happen, each dress is a moving, wearable work of art.

As Haute Couture Fashion Week came to a close on Friday, Jan. 27, here’s an overview of the most astounding Haute Houses and what they brought to the runway this year.

Dior:

Fashion

(Photo courtesy of Vogue via Yannis Vlamos of Indigital.tv)

Maria Grazia Chiuri, who is the newest head designer in the Dior couture house, created a reservoir of looks that are straight out of a fairy tale, with models who looked like woodland nymphs in flowing, mystical gowns.

The runway was transformed into a garden with overgrown hedges and moss strewn about.

Models wore black ensembles with tailored jackets and ankle-length skirts. Their mesh eye covers — in the shape of butterflies, moths and other flying insects — gave them a dark-fairies-from-the-colonial-era look.

Many models wore headdresses as well as dark jewels around their eyes.

In the show, Chiuri emphasized designs inspired by gypsy fortune tellers and astrological superstition, depicting suns, moons and symbols like the Taurus.

Overall, the look was wooded and whimsical, a standout amongst the shining opulence featured in other collections.

Valentino:

Fashion

(Photo courtesy of Vogue via Yannis Vlamos of Indigital.tv)

According to Vogue, Pierpaolo Piccioli’s debut solo Valentino show looks were inspired by Greek mythology, as mythology was the beginning of placing names to our intricate, innate human feelings.

The Greek goddess vibe was prevalent in many looks, as models donned flat sandals and long, sweeping pleated gowns in pure white.

These loose, high-neck, floor length garments were a contrast to sheer outfits worn with only jackets over exposed chests.

The fresh, baby-faced models wore flowing floor-length dresses, many with shimmery lace and neutral or pastel colors with the exception of the occasional deep red and one standout dress in a shining magenta.

Elie Saab:

Fashion

(Photo courtesy of Vogue via Yannis Vlamos of Indigital.tv)

Lebanese designer Elie Saab displayed gowns fit for a princess.

Models glided down the runway in silk material in decadent colors with beige and royal blue dominantly displayed.

Elegance exuded from each look, many of which featured silky headwraps and large gem-encrusted sunglasses.

Diamond accessories were a staple for the silk garments. The rest of the gowns were shimmering in their own regard, using jewels over sheer, flowing floor-length dresses.

The dresses and the models were magical to look at, and the collection will likely be the most popular amongst starlets and socialites for the upcoming awards season and many fashionable events to come.

Chanel:

Fashion

(Photo courtesy of Vogue via Yannis Vlamos of Indigital.tv)

You can’t begin to daydream about Paris couture without Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel coming to mind.

He certainly knows his niche, making tweed skirt suits that your affluent grandmother might own.

Matching hats, pussy bows, collared shirts and shiny classic heels accompanied the tailored pastel skirt suits.

The models walked in a room full of mirrors in garments that were classic and clean-cut.

The line transitioned from skirt suits to ball gowns and incorporated peplums, ruffles and knee-high diamond-encrusted boots.

The line reached its climax when models began entering the runway in outfits bursting with pale pink and white feathers adorning their shoulders, hips, arms and ankles.

Each sequined feathery dress was the epitome of Chanel.

About The Author

Julia Browning

Julia Browning is a senior studying journalism at Florida Gulf Coast University. She’s lived in Florida her entire life and plans to expand her geographical horizons after graduation, writing about her experiences along the way. Aside from writing articles for entertainment and lifestyle, she also enjoys writing creatively and is always in the process of researching a story. If Julia’s not in the newsroom she’s probably buried in a book, in a Netlfix binge that’s gone a little too far, or cheers-ing with her friends at happy hour.

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