“An Haute Couture dress is one-of-a-kind, hence the creative process does not involve over-production and over-stocking of materials, which helps keep waste and pollution at a very limited level,” said Giambattista Valli, speaking earlier this year about the Green Carpet Challenge gown he created for Livia Firth to wear to May’s Met Ball. The Italian designer has been a keen supporter of Firth’s sustainability initiative across the years, and for his couture show in Paris yesterday he partnered with Chopard, another champion of sustainability and Green Carpet Challenge supporter, showcasing designs accessorized with the Swiss brand’s haute joaillerie.
As a member of the Fédération Francaise de la Couture, Chopard regularly presents its fine jewelry during Paris Haute Couture week, which as for the high fashion houses, serves as a platform to highlight the talents and exceptional work of its artisans. But the partnership with Giambattista Valli was not only an opportunity to celebrate the synergies that unite the crafts of haute couture and high jewelry, but to give voice to the ethical issues surrounding both industries.
Describing the models that took to the runway at Paris's Pavillon Gabriel as ‘ghetto girls’, Valli’s presentation had a distinctively youthful feel, reflecting the designer’s keen awareness of his new couture customer. “I have a very young customer,” he explained backstage. “They give a new attitude to haute couture.” Thus there were high hemlines and bare midriffs aplenty amongst the more traditional couture signatures, with select looks adorned with diamond and emerald pieces chosen by the designer from Chopard’s ethical collection.
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