Report: Autumn/Winter 2016 Haute Couture

  Photo: vogue.com

Photo: vogue.com

Despite some of the questions about the efficiency of the fashion week calendar, and the general issues surrounding commercialism versus creativity, we’re glad that (at least with haute couture) some things never change. There is still very much a place within fashion to celebrate beauty and craftsmanship, and this couture season’s headline collections were ever more fantastical.

  L-R: 1 Chanel, 2-3 Giambattista Valli, 4 Versace / Photos: businessoffashion.com

L-R: 1 Chanel, 2-3 Giambattista Valli, 4 Versace / Photos: businessoffashion.com

Karl Lagerfeld’s show for Chanel was a timely reminder of the importance of artisans to haute couture, as his entire atelier, from the seamstresses to the sewing machines, had been transported to the Grand Palais to serve as the backdrop to his autumn/winter show. Deft hands were also in evidence at Giambattista Valli, where lavish embroidery included elegant bird motifs, also seen at Valentino and Elie Saab; and at Versace, where sculptural draping served as the show’s signature.

  L-R: 1 Giambattista Valli, 2 Valentino, 3 Elie Saab / Photos: vogue.com

L-R: 1 Giambattista Valli, 2 Valentino, 3 Elie Saab / Photos: vogue.com

Red, or more precisely Valentino-red, is a familiar feature of the Italian design house’s runway, and the historically themed collection delivered by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli included several floor-sweeping scarlet gowns.

The same color added a sense of drama to Giambattista Valli’s catwalk, and the soft, flowing styles provided a perfect contrast to his more structured tulle showstoppers.

  L-R: 1-4 Valentino, 2-3 Giambattista Valli / Photos: vogue.com

L-R: 1-4 Valentino, 2-3 Giambattista Valli / Photos: vogue.com

Florals for winter continue to be a thing, particularly when kept to a minimum, in the form of ornate embroidery and embellishment.

  L-R: 1 Giambattista Valli, 2 Valentino, 3 Chanel / Photos: vogue.com

L-R: 1 Giambattista Valli, 2 Valentino, 3 Chanel / Photos: vogue.com

More drama was created by the dominance of black on the designer runways.  However, many lightened the mood by incorporating sheer fabrics or intricate pleating within their designs, the latter as seen at Givenchy, or by adding embroidered accents.

  L-R: 1-3 Valentino, 2 Elie Saab, 4 Givenchy / Photos: vogue.com

L-R: 1-3 Valentino, 2 Elie Saab, 4 Givenchy / Photos: vogue.com