Paris Haute Couture Week and things you need to know
Since the decision to withdraw from the Yves Saint Laurent's Haute Couture fashion show in 2002, the designer's partner, Pierre Bergé has been constantly predicting the "death" of haute couture. But in fact, this field rarely grows as strong as it is today.
Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2018/2019 has just officially started on July 1st. Within five consecutive days, the rarest, most subtle designs will be presented to thousands of guests, who are about to jump on a private jet to Paris just to support their favorite designers.
Dior's Spring / Summer Haute Couture 2018 show. (Photo: Ambra Vernuccio)
As always, the Haute Couture Fashion Shows continue to show strong appeal, encouraging many famous brands as well as emerging talents gathering to hold one of the world's most prestigious events in Paris. Especially, this season also marked the 150th anniversary of the Federation of Haute Couture and Fashion (Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode - abbreviation: FHCM), which sponsors for the fashion industry of France. Founded in 1868, FHCM began when pioneer Charles Féderick Worth called himself a designer, rather than just a tailor.
The program of the event, set by the FHCM, consists of 35 shows. Chanel and Giorgio Armani will perform twice. In addition, an equal number of other shows are also scheduled in embassies, high-end or luxury palaces and villas. However, people tend to think that only a few fashion houses are capable of possessing a significant amount of attendees. They are the "Great Seven": Givenchy, Christian Dior, Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Elie Saab, Jean Paul Gaultier and Valentino. The first member to go to the floor is Givenchy, with a performance at the Archives Nationales de France at 20:00 pm on Sunday.
A Haute Couture design by Givenchy for Spring - Summer 2018. (Photo: Getty Image)
In fact, the even had officially started that morning with RVDK, the Haute Couture collection by Dutch designer Ronald van der Kemp. This is also a proof of Paris is always the nerve center of fashion world.
If we look at fashion as a scene, and the people in the fashion industry are just actors, then there is no theater that would be more international than Haute Couture. On the first day, people can attend the Aganovich brand show, owned by the couple Nana Aganovich - from Belgrade and Brooke Taylor - from Monte Carlo. Secondly, they can watch Gyunel's Haute Couture collection, with the founder living in London but born in Azerbaidjan. Third, it is Ulyana Sergennko, a Kazakh designer from Kazakhstan and fourth, Galia Lahav, another Russian designer that comes from Israel.
Not a single Haute Couture Show can be completed without the presence of "Clothing" - Vetements, a brand from Switzerland, founded by Georgian designer Demna Gvasalia. "Workshop" - Atelier, a new fashion line very much expected of fashion house Sonia Rykiel will also debut on this occasion.
The upcoming Haute Couture Fashion Week has some noteworthy departures, such as A. F. Vandevorst, the designer who decided to skip high fashion and launch a collection Ready-to-wear Fashion Week in September. Or Proenza Shouler and Rodarte, 2 brands that landed in Paris since last year and decided to return to their homeland – the US.
Designer Proenza Schouler's fashion show in Spring/Summer Fashion Week 2018. (Photo: WWD)
At 2:30 pm on the opening day, there is a battle between three names outside the main showlist: Polish fashion designer Eva Minge, streetwear brand ANDI.KP, and Hermès – the brand first launched its collection early in the famous shop on Faubourg Saint Honoré street.
Fendi will also be featured in these five days, but with the name Fendi Couture rather than the Fendi Fourrure as announced earlier. Fendi is one of five brands recognized by the FHCM as Couture (a title for international brands, other than France, ranked under Haute Couture), alongside two Italian brothers, Giorgio Armani Privé, Valentino along with Eliee Saab and Viktor & Rolf.
Valentino’s Haute Couture show Spring - Summer 2018. (Photo: Vogue Runway)
The last day of the Haute Couture Fashion Week will be dedicated to another area that also dominates Paris: high-end jewelry. Around the Vendôme Square, ten brands will be presenting their own jewelries, including huge names like Chopard, De Beer, Dior and Louis Vuitton. And again, a series of other ambitious jewelry brands will also be launching products on the same day.
In summary, Haute Couture still holds the position of the "glass door" of the fashion industry, attracting dozens of major brands to participate in this week. Ironically, the most famous name absent on this occasion is Yves Saint Laurent, who has not returned to Haute Couture since the only collection directed by designer Heidi Slimane in 2005. Obviously someone needs to explain this to Pierre Bergé.
By: Emma Chavez