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Issue 17 Out Now

Couture Week Review 2024

Updated: Feb 22

Do you hear the bells tolling? It is time for 2024 Couture Fashion Week!


Couture week is the time of year when designers allow themselves to indulge in their wildest fantasies fully. However, it is often criticized by comments such as “Who would wear that?” or “How is that considered fashionable?” and often, “That looks very uncomfortable. " In its essence, couture week does not serve a rational purpose but is rather a display of wearable art instead of something you can purchase to wear around town.


Couture Week is infamous for running fashion houses dry. As none of these looks are readily available to buy, design houses spend thousands of dollars crafting their creations, with little to no financial compensation in return. Couture week serves as mainly a PR opportunity, with the celebrities sitting front row and posting, and the wildest creations imaginable serving as the ‘talk of the town’.


This topic of couture has sparked various disagreements, as some fashion houses prefer to dial back the absurdity and focus on more wearable garments that can be sold. Does it stray from the purpose of couture week? I would say so. Does it make sense for fashion houses that need to turn a profit? I would have to agree with that as well. At the end of the day, the purpose of fashion houses is to show consumers what they should want, what they should need, and what they should look forward to seeing in the mass market soon.


So far, we have seen some incredible creations by the typical veterans of couture week; Schiaparelli, Maison Margiela, and Marc Jacobs. We have also seen a few of the ‘couture underdogs’ making their mark and showing they can play in the big fashion leagues.


Schiaparelli


It's one of the first shows of the season, and we sure got a strong start! As we live in the age of technological advances, why not integrate it into fashion? The two ‘robotic’ looks brought varied opinions from viewers, but if Schiaparelli, the Queen of Couture, is going to do anything, it is to make a statement.


The uncle of Elsa Schiaparelli, Giovanni Schiaparelli, was fascinated with extraterrestrial beings after discovering a large series of channels covering the surface of Mars. He coined the term “martian,” and his fascination never ceased. This collection was said to pay homage to everything beyond this planet, translated into earthly form.



Margiela


If you have seen any images from Couture Week, I bet you it has been there. The most notable piece of this show? The makeup. Pat McGrath, legendary makeup artist, created ‘glass skin’, allowing each model to portray a porcelain doll.


John Galliano, creative director of Margiela, created a collection that will surely be talked about as a pivotal moment in fashion history. With corseted waists, full skirts, and underwear with sewn-on hair peeking through tulle, this collection will be one to remember.

Women’s Wear Daily described it best as “a theatrical tour de force akin to a Toulouse Lautrec painting come to life” (Socha, 2024). The show was set in a post-impressionism venue with worn wooden floors, mismatched chairs, and low, soft lighting, emulating a pub-scene from the 1880s.



Charles de Vilmorin



We rarely see young, fresh brands being invited to show for couture week, especially not brands just budding on the 3-year mark. Charles de Vilmorin happens to be an outlier to this statistic. Vilmorin began his brand in just 2020 after becoming the artistic director of Rochas. His brand focused at first on bringing light to the world during the pandemic, offering creative freedom from the shackles of current reality.


Starting a brand during one of the greatest economic downturns of the century is no easy feat, but Charles de Vilmorin has had great success creating an incredibly well-known brand in no time at all. His first collection was created by a recent college graduate who had difficulty finding an internship. An anonymous buyer purchased the entire collection, which allowed him to begin his own brand.


His couture collection continued to exhibit a light in the darkness and a breath of fresh air. Playing with exciting silhouettes, incredible fabrications, and invigorating details, de Vilmorin’s first couture week was a huge success in my book.

Imane Ayiassi




Imane Ayiassi is not a new name in the fashion or couture industry, but his 2024 couture collection definitely brought the name back to people’s minds. As the first sub-Saharan African designer to show during couture week in 2020, he made history then and will only continue from here.


The designer got his start as a model for notable brands such as Lanvin, Givenchy, and Dior. His modeling experience fully immersed him in the fashion industry and started his love for African traditions and textiles.


His collection from this week was nothing short of astounding. Between the feathered detailing, the compelling silhouettes, and the bright, bold colors, his show exhibited his eye for detail, loyalty to his roots, and desire to express his creativity and passion for the industry.

Overall, this couture week was a success all around, and it only builds the excitement for what we will see this upcoming week for Ready-to-Wear Fashion Week.




Sources Used:


Bateman, K. (2022, January 29). Meet the new guard of haute couture designers. Harper’s BAZAAR. https://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/fashion-week/a38915060/new-haute-couture-designers/

CHARLES DE VILMORIN — Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2023–2024 | FHCM. (2023, July 3). https://www.fhcm.paris/en/collection/charles-de-vilmorin-haute-couture-fallwinter-2023-2024

Haute couture Spring-Summer 2024 — LOOK 18 | Maison Schiaparelli. (n.d.). Schiaparelli. https://www.schiaparelli.com/en/haute-couture/haute-couture-spring-summer-2024-1/looks/look-18

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