Every year we can witness the evolution of Haute Couture - new fashion trends, new collections. And if you search for a response to the question 'What is haute couture in the modern world?', here it is. High fashion, and especially couture, it is a unique world of dreams and fantasies. It is a way to escape from unending news about violence and wars to a peaceful place where beautiful people wear handmade apparel and stroll along the Champs Elysées.
But we have to face the fact that today this term is not associated only with something ideal and magical. Let's remember what is haute couture definition. 'Haute' is a French word meaning high, elegant, and 'couture' initially meant sewing. At the end of the 1700s, Denis Diderot placed dressmaking alongside science and arts of that period. And in the mid-1800s, dressmaking was transformed into high fashion by Charles Frederick Worth, whose genius gave birth to haute couture as a marketing phenomenon. Eventually, the House of Worth started to create perfumes, millinery, shoes, and other branded things known today as elements of lifestyle branding.
Couture houses create very expensive gowns that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, which is affordable for only about 2000 people in the world. So, haute couture itself is not about profit. But the impressive runway shows and celebrities on the red carpet wearing apparels by haute couture brands attract huge attention. They help the houses profit by selling their fragrances, makeup, bags, shoes, and other branded items. Haute couture brands also create less expensive collections to sell a dream of exclusiveness, chic, and beauty that more people can approach by buying their products.
So, what types of dreams did TOP 10 fashion designers in the world offer in the fall of 2019? Valentino's creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli continues embracing individuality and diversity of ages, races, and cultures. He draws inspiration from portraits by Richard Avedon, canvases by Rosso Fiorentino, and advertising shots by Guy Bourdin. Piccioli's fall 2019 collection includes cheerful colors, decadent silhouettes, floral décor, and emphases on craft and human touch.
Fendi dedicated the fall 2019 collection to Karl Lagerfeld and his attitude towards breaking rules and pushing boundaries. The couture show included 54 looks. Each look for every year of Lagerfeld's collaboration with Fendi. The collection was half-fur and half fur-free. It is a significant step for the house known for its devotion to fur.
Jean-Paul Gaultier's fall couture collection had no fur at all. The Master chose to give up using real fur. Gaultier demonstrated further break with tradition. His comic-book silhouettes and visual gags, 3-D attachments on the sleeves of tuxedo jumpsuit, and tent-like veils on the hats show that there are no limitations in his world.
Givenchy's haute couture collection flashed with the feather gowns and ultra-glam ball dresses diluted with metal sequins.
The couture collection by Chanel paid homage to the roots with long tweedy jackets, suits, and little black shoes. Among innovations, there were oversized jackets over dresses, gowns with sheer chiffon and bows, and elegant sophisticated sparkle.
Armani presented various gorgeous looks to his couture clientele. Inspired by the 1980s, the collection offers technicolor dresses of faux fur and tulle and raises its femininity with tiny rose hairpieces and bows.
Dior's dark and moody collection was presented mostly by little black dresses and gowns with tule and feather details.
New colorful collection by Schiaparelli made an impression with its dramatic ruffles and billowy sleeves, headpieces of silk, ballgown skirts, and dresses with cloud-like flair.
Ralph & Russo demonstrated the brand's most feminine and romantic collection. It included gamine shoes, high skirt hemlines, encrusted bodices, and feathers subbed in for draped silk.
Giambattista Valli's collection is easy to recognize for its grand volumes, high-low ballgowns in fluorescent pink, and handmade florals making the models look like they bloom from head to toes.
Couturiers create amazing gowns and keep surprising with unexpected and bold designs. What should we expect next?