The new formats of Parisian Haute Couture

María Luísa FunesMaría Luísa Funes



This season has given them by the white horses. Both in Dior like in Chanel, the models have been accompanied by these animals, a suspiciously similar initiative and with little to do with the world of sewing. Fashion stuff. Brands have fluctuated between shows with few guests, shows without guests behind closed doors, trendy shorts and simple photo shoots. We review the different initiatives.

Virginie viard, creative director of Chanel, returned to use the Grand Palais that Lagerfeld always chose for the shows of the Parisian house. Viard has not wanted to leave behind his most select guests, hired by the house after all, but he has limited them to 30, sitting in chairs widely separated from each other. Among them, of course, Charlotte of Monaco, his last signing, although they were also Penélope Cruz, Marion Cotillard o Lily Rose Depp.

The parade recreated a country wedding inspired by the Camargue area, a beautiful region in southern France where horses are raised and the cowgirl is ridden. The video and the photographs, irrefutable proof that the parade existed, have been in charge of Anton Corbijn, and the collection has been a cast of black or white garments, very common in the house, with a very different format: from the most avant-garde tutus to the strict straight tunics of oriental cut and fabric.


In Valentino have presented their Haute Couture in Rome, prudent and aware that Paris would admit rudeness by not wanting to do without such an emblematic maison. The “Code Temporal” collection was exhibited in a wonderful parade without an audience at the Colonna Gallery in the Italian capital, where Pierpaolo Piccioli chose to show geometric and futuristic garments in a classic setting. The layers-dress with one-color patchwork and the dresses in fluo tones with flight were accompanied by golden shoes with monumental platforms; and painted in gold, many models wore their faces, like that beautiful actress in James Bond’s Goldfinger.

The gold of Valentino, this time transferred to Rome to present his collection.
The gold of Valentino, this time transferred to Rome to present his collection. – Valentino

In Schiaparelli, its new creative director, the American Daniel Roseberry, settled for a photoshoot to present this haute couture collection; but go photos. With striking dresses, as is often the norm around the house, and daring, skintight silhouettes, Schiaparelli made her daring mark with spectacular film-cut models. Roseberry combined silhouettes at night with pants or jackets, alternating knit, silk, leather or neoprene masterfully.

And if they had white horses in Chanel and Carlota of Monaco, in Dior they did not want to be less and added the horses to a beautiful Byzantine court collection that was presented with a photo shoot, attaching an additional shot of Beatrice BorromeoCarlota’s sister-in-law. Maria Grazia Chiuri was inspired in the tarot and in esoteric rites, creating for the occasion a short directed by Matteo Garrone in which the complete repertoire was shown, since there was no parade.

In order not to stop showing Beatrice Borromeo, a photograph was created that had nothing to do with the collection and that showed the Italian dressed in blue work jumpsuit, plush in her hair and black sneakers. The photo was a replica of the images that the US Government used as propaganda during World War II, with drawings of smiling American women dressed in blue jumpsuits and headscarves, workers in ballistics factories who thus supported soldiers in the front. The image of Borromeo in jumpsuit, gorgeous whatever he wears, was not relevant to the rest of the collection, no matter how hard they try to explain it.

The Italian Beatrice Borromeo para Dior.
The Italian Beatrice Borromeo para Dior. – Dior

Jean Paul Gaultier, Georges Hobeika, Maison Rabih Kayrouz y Ralph & Russo have decided – very wisely – not to participate in this edition of Haute Couture, while Elie Saab y Zuhair Murad They have canceled their parades due to the serious situation of Covid-19 in Lebanon, where the confinement is total and the inhabitants are even urged not to visit even the supermarkets. In addition, unfortunately, the explosion in Beirut last August 4 partially affected the Elie Saab headquarters. AND Valli, Fendi -which has premiered with Kim Jones as creative director- and Armani PrivateThey have all paraded behind closed doors.

It is evident that this 2021 will again be a year of transition for fashion, because neither the parades are technically possible due to the prohibitions, nor no matter how much 28 brands are launched to create their Haute Couture collection there is currently a demand for level garments, removing the Lady Gaga model at the inauguration by Joe Biden and the dresses that are shown in the already delayed Golden Globes or Oscars deliveries.

The next sewing season, which will take place in July, promises the return of Balenciaga and Saint Laurent. But it is unlikely that by then it will be back to normal.

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