Indulge in a hearty dose of glamor as we re-cap couture week ‘23. Twice a year the major European houses create the most decadent, most artistic collections in the sartorial world. With opulence in excess, lion heads in audiences and ball gowns like you’ve never seen, this season is nothing short of haute.
At the Valentino ‘Le Club Couture’ show there was no shortage of textures and wispy light as a feather fabric on display. Airy details are put on a pedestal by sky high heels. Some may even say too high, like supermodel Kristen McMenamy, after a full on Carrie Bradshaw runway fall. But like they say, the show must go on, and what a show it was. She got herself right up like the badass she is and carried herself with dignity and barefeet the rest of the runway. Brava Kristen. Bold colors and dreamy pastels sprinkled in felt very true to Pierpaolo Piccioli’s identity. Maximalists looks one after another rolled down the runway. Bows made of taffeta, afros of black tulle, oversized crisp bows and even a dress made from what looks like metallic tinsel. Overall the over the top looks created a collection reminiscent of a very pink party one could only dream of. Powdery pastels donned with lots and lots of lace trim was the dominating theme at the Fendi show. Kim Jones really leaned into a overtly feminine vibe with a focus on sugary dresses. Lots of lingerie inspired gowns with delicate details and sheer draping. Airy silks cascaded over exquisite muted colored lace with silver tone metallics woven in. It was the voluptuous draped taffeta and silk that created the drama effect one expects to see from a couture show. The draping was a necessary detail to keep the aesthetic from typical ready to wear to couture. Couture week is a show at its core and no understands this better than Viktor & Rolf. Southern Bell style debutant ball gowns were shuffled down the runway but absolutely nothing like how’d you expect. Every few gowns were crafted to be skewed on their side, vertical, upside down and topsy turvey. The gowns held their rigid shape perfectly, not a thread out of place. The craftsmanship required to create such absurd 3D wearble sculptures is nothing short of incredible. The engineering and architecture behind these pieces is what make the show so impressive.Tight layers upon layers of firmly sewn tulle, a classic Viktor & Rolf motif, aided in the impressiveness and monumental stature of the sculptural pieces. All the models donned Louboutin kitten heals and maintained the high fashion uniform of a stern semi scowl. The juxtaposition of the grim expressions and absurd twists on such a traditional dress was highly humorous and very tongue and cheek. This was one for the books indeed.The show that broke the internet. Schiaparelli’s collection based on the Inferno of Dante’s Divine Comedy. The artful presentation showed an assortment of voluminous, exaggerated proportions in stunning textiles. Beautiful embellishments like intricate beads, a plethora of shiny sequins, fine fringes and deep emerald jewels donned the runway. The minimal color pallet, very on brand for Schiaparelli was rich with deep black, gold tones and beige. What caused the uproar in the exquisitely crafted collection was the photorealism faux taxidermy that ardorened a few of the models and one very public front row seat. A hyper realistic leopard, wolf and lion head were fasted to the bodies of three looks. In a very literal representation of the animal parrels Dante encountered in his journey. In the current political climate, very predictably, many accused Daniel Roseberry’s big game garments of poor taste and overly colonial inferences.