Alexandre Vauthier

Salma Abu Deif Nails Summer Chic in a Series of Standout Dresses

Salma Abu Deif Nails Summer Chic in a Series of Standout Dresses

With holiday mode officially in full swing, celebrities are giving us serious summer-style inspiration. On the lookout for a neon swimsuit? A dress for a sunset session? A baseball cap or bucket hat? A quick scroll will reveal who is wearing what and where.

Take for example fashion-conscious Egyptian actor Salma Abu Deif, who has been making the most of her summer days in style. Her fashion choices include a stunning royal blue dress with cut-out details, a print mini with bolero sleeves, and a timeless black floor-length gown with a thigh-high slit.

Print, bold colors and maxi dresses are go-to options this summer, whether you’re heading out for a brunch or a sunset party by the beach. Look to Lama Jouni’s body-con midi dress, Zimmermann’s chiffon mini (perfect for a day picnic), and Alexandre Vauthier’s metallic flecked gown (for an elegant dinner with friends) – dresses that combine versatility and longtime appeal. Paired with the right accessories, you’re all set to look your very best this summer.
Scroll through to see 10 of our dresses inspired by Salma Abu Deif’s summer style…
Read Next: 20 of the Best Jeans in Every Kind of Style

All the Highlights from Day Two of Paris Haute Couture Week Fall/Winter 21-22

All the Highlights from Day Two of Paris Haute Couture Week Fall/Winter 21-22

Armani Privé, Ronald Van der Kemp, Chanel
The world’s most skilled designers continue to present their latest masterpieces in a combination of both virtual and physical shows in Paris. Read on for more highlights from day two of haute couture week and check back for more updates.

Ronald Van der Kemp

Ronald Van der Kemp’s 35 pieces in this fall 2021 couture collection are rarer than ever. The Dutch designer known for being a sustainability advocate created the collection with used denim, felted textile trash, and recycled fabrics proving that sustainability can look modern and timeless.

“It’s also a sort of a metaphor of a clean slate from where to start anew after all we’ve been though,” said Alexandre Vauthier about his fall 2021 couture collection. The pieces unveiled, are sprinkled with crystals in a monochrome palette belonging in the dream closet of every woman. From feathered ponchos, embroidered black leather perfectos to sequined bodysuits and see-through pleated chiffon capes, Vauthier once again balanced dramatic access and sophisticated restraint.
Chanel

Virginie Viard took us back to the 30s in Chanel’s fall 2021 haute couture collection. The pieces were characterized by a lightness of touch, inspired by impressionist artist Berthe Morisot and the Cubist Marie Laurencin. Bouffant skirts made from nothing else but tweed are married with delicate bustiers of pale pink embroidery or delicate lace in addition to Viard’s “little deshabilles” lingerie-like pieces. To end the collection on a high note, the bridal look personified by Margaret Qualley in soft pink satin worn with a dreamy sequined veil transported us to the era of Gabrielle Chanel.
Armani Privé

Powerful, bold, and colorful, Armani Privé’s collection called Shine included all the colors of the rainbow; hints of red, blue, green, splashes of pink and purple. This year’s fall (which may look like spring to some) couture collection incorporated mercurial silk organza that moved effortlessly and fluid-like across the runway, as well as elegant and playful draped chiffon, and tulle dresses. The fresh, glowy pastel palette was seen throughout the show, from feathered jackets, to flowing silk gowns.
Read Next: All the Highlights from Day One of Paris Haute Couture Week Fall/Winter 21-22

Cover Story: Celebrating Enduring Couture That Continues to Thrive in an Era Rocked By a Pandemic

Cover Story: Celebrating Enduring Couture That Continues to Thrive in an Era Rocked By a Pandemic

Just like a century ago, when haute couture persisted through world wars, it continues to thrive today in an era rocked by a pandemic – albeit forever changed.
Malika El Maslouhi wears dress, shoes, Iris Van Herpen; headpiece, Iris Van Herpen X Casey Curran; nail artwork, Iris Van Herpen X Eichi Matsunaga. Photographed by Thibault-Theodore for Vogue Arabia
If haute couture had a patron goddess, she would have to be Demeter’s daughter Persephone, who cyclically died only to be reborn. As long ago as 1965, when what Diana Vreeland termed the “youthquake” was rattling the planet, the New York Times noted that “every 10 years the doctors assemble at the bedside of French haute couture and announce that death is imminent.” Around the same time, French actor Brigitte Bardot rejected Coco Chanel’s offer to dress her because haute couture – the bombshell complained – “was for grannies.”

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Bardot’s snub was understandable. Haute couture had been predicated on “older, outdated ideas,” Schiaparelli’s creative director Daniel Roseberry says. Chanel was a hoary 82 and haute couture itself – a government-controlled appellation – was more than a hundred years old. Though the antecedents of the haute couturier go back to Louis XIV in the 17th century, the French profession’s true founding father was Charles Frederick Worth, who in the 1800s introduced such novelties as the designer label and seasonal live presentations.
Malika El Maslouhi wears dress, Alexandre Vauthier. Photographed by Thibault-Theodore for Vogue Arabia
Though, like a fairytale enchantment, the maison Worth lasted one century, it was the venerable master’s spawn – the fantasist Paul Poiret, the functionalist Chanel, the purist Madeleine Vionnet – who ushered haute couture into the modern age. Persevering through the first world war, the Spanish flu, and the Great Depression, the French couturiers not only dressed “tout-Paris,” but also exported hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of their coveted handsewn confections. “History teaches us,” Dior creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri observes, “that couture is extremely resilient and, above all, adaptable.” The second world war and the Nazi occupation of Paris, however, posed a nearly terminal threat to the industry. Vionnet’s vast operations closed permanently in 1939. Chanel shuttered her doors. Her rival, the avant garde Elsa Schiaparelli, escaped to the US. But the enterprising Lucien Lelong stayed open, defiantly thwarting Hitler’s grandiose scheme to transplant all of Paris fashion to Berlin or Vienna. So miraculous was the Lelong-orchestrated wartime survival of haute couture that in 1945, Diana Vreeland exhorted an assistant to return from Paris with a single fabric rose as evidence of the rarefied institution’s continued existence.
Malika El Maslouhi wears dress, Fendi Haute Couture. Photographed by Thibault-Theodore for Vogue Arabia
More than Vreeland’s handmade rose (probably from the fournisseur Guillet), what bloomed from the ashes of the second world war was a fecund garden of “women- flowers,” wrote Christian Dior, who founded his maison in 1946, all wearing sumptuous “skirts like petals.” Before long, the Dior empire accounted for three-fifths of all haute couture sales. The remainder came from the other fabled houses of haute couture’s post-war golden age – Fath, Dessès, Heim, Balmain, Griffe, Rochas, Balenciaga – whose workrooms were as intricately structured as their lavish dresses, and whose formidable directrices were as lofty as a ballgown’s price.
Malika El Maslouhi wears dress, Ashi Couture. Photographed by Thibault-Theodore for Vogue Arabia
Haughty personnel and intimidating invoices were just two elements of the old-school haute couture culture that drove legions of women in the 60s and 70s out of the storied salons and into brand- new, funky boutiques selling ready-to-wear. Yves Saint Laurent had initiated the pret-a-porter movement in 1966 with the opening of the first Rive Gauche store, on Rue de Tournon. Trendsetting shops, some as far afield as London and New York, soon usurped haute couture’s function as (in Viktor & Rolf’s words) “a laboratory of ideas and experimentation.” Predictably, by 1973, the doomsayers of Time magazine were reporting that the enterprise of haute couture was “breathing very hard.”
Malika El Maslouhi wears dress, Guo Pei Couture. Photographed by Thibault-Theodore for Vogue Arabia
As before, the rumors of haute couture’s extinction were greatly exaggerated. During the bullish decade of the 80s, Karl Lagerfeld revived the ailing Chanel empire with his cheeky reinterpretations of the house’s hallowed codes. And with a heady eleven francs to the dollar, nouveau riche Americans flocked to Paris on the Concorde, frenetically buying up whole collections and fervently embracing newcomer Christian Lacroix. Haute couture reclaimed its magical ability to serve – to invoke Roseberry’s metaphor – as a “love language” spoken between designer and client.
Malika El Maslouhi wears dress, Viktor & Rolf Haute Couture; earrings, Hugo Kreit. Photographed by Thibault-Theodore for Vogue Arabia
In the 90s, after a market crash, recession, and Gulf war had yet again incapacitated the industry, LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault played Prince Charming to haute couture’s Sleeping Beauty. Arnault’s ingenuity lay in transforming haute couture from an entity that served not just private customers, but a brand. A demographic even larger than Arnault might have calculated began participating in haute couture’s previously esoteric rites – viewing collections, judging them, sharing them, and buying spin-off, logo-emblazoned status items, via the proliferating digital platforms that propelled fashion into the 21st century.
Malika El Maslouhi wears dress, Viktor & Rolf Haute Couture; earrings, Hugo Kreit. Photographed by Thibault-Theodore for Vogue Arabia
Responding to the rapidly changing environment, the antiquated trade organization Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture morphed into the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode and safeguarded its future by modernizing its rules of admission, essentially unchanged since the time of Lucien Lelong. As a result, its roster of haute couturiers expanded from about 15 members in the early 2000s to 100 today. This updating of the bylaws has allowed many esteemed out-of-towners, such as Iris van Herpen, Elie Saab, Fendi (under Kim Jones’s direction), and Victor & Rolf to become “correspondent members,” and Guo Pei, with her new studio in Paris, and Christophe de Vilmorin, fresh out of design school, to become “guest members.” Rallying in the face of the pandemic and lockdowns this past January, 28 of the Fédération’s houses resourcefully presented collections during the three-day SS21 haute couture showings (albeit virtually).
Malika El Maslouhi wears Lion Vénitien Necklace, earrings in 18ct white gold set with diamonds, Chanel High jewelry. Photographed by Thibault-Theodore for Vogue Arabia
Paradoxically, rather than hamper designers, the limitations imposed by Covid-19 freed them to explore new formats and engage with artists in other media. “Covid forced us to break through traditional barriers and explore new ways of presenting our conceptual ideas,” say Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren from Viktor & Rolf, whose creations addressed sustainability as well as the need for a “lighthearted escape into fantasy.” And, just as Elsa Schiaparelli, in the 1930s, enriched her own work by collaborating with Leonor Fini, Jean Cocteau, and Christian Bérard, so the present-day couturiers overcame Covid-induced constraints by merging their imaginations with the aesthetic worlds of filmmakers Anton Corbijn (Chanel), Nick Knight (Valentino), Matteo Garrone (Dior), and Christophe Tiphaine (Schiaparelli). “Fashion has always been the realm of the imagination,” Chiuri explains, “So it is natural for me to turn to a film format to express my project through visual stories.” For Roseberry, whose sensual collection was cleverly compressed into an Instagram-friendly three minute, 52 second video, the goal was “to create a format and a way of showing the collection that really lets the viewer experience it.”
Malika El Maslouhi wears dress, headband, earrings, rings, Dior Haute Couture. Photographed by Thibault-Theodore for Vogue Arabia
The pandemic may have simply accelerated an inevitable evolution. Viktor & Rolf plans to “become more digitally focused, creating content that caters to each platform.” Elie Saab foresees a “mix between smaller, less hectic, live fashion shows and digital content.” Twenty-four-year-old Vilmorin, who gave birth to his brand during lockdown, doesn’t even see a need for “all that mise-en-scène and spectacle” of a runway event. Says Roseberry, “It’s a total reset.”
Malika El Maslouhi wears dress, shoes, Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture. Photographed by Thibault-Theodore for Vogue Arabia
No longer a resource-draining marketing exercise, haute couture – the ultimate “slow fashion” – now has the capacity to turn a substantial profit, as robust economies around the globe generate new clients, whose fittings might even take place through Zoom. “Covid has made people rush less and appreciate more the value of things,” Saab reflects. Among the freshly minted devotees of the most extravagant finery on earth are the very young, and – in a development that the sybaritic Sun King himself would surely appreciate – men. Fendi, Valentino, and Vilmorin all showcased their offerings on male and female models. As Ralph Toledano, president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, stated, “It seems that there are no longer any boundaries to couture.”
Read Next: Editor’s Letter: Why Our May Issue is Dedicated to the Highest Artistries and Haute Couture
Originally published in the May 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia
DOP and video editing Cheyne Tillier-DalyPhotographer Thibault-ThéodoreStyle Lisa JarvisFashion director Katie TrotterHair Charlie Le MinduMakeup Annabelle Petit at Wise & TalentedNails Lora de Sousa Creative producer Laura PriorProduction Weird Fishes StudioProducer Réda Ait Retouching Curro VerdugoAnalog operator Maëlle JoignePainter Damien CacciaStudio assistant Tom KleinbergStyle assistant Francesca Riccardi Set assistants Antoine Dugrand Castaignede, Amin Bidar, Thomas JardinProduction assistant Adélina Bichet ElzeyModel Malika El Maslouhi at Viva Model

The Best Bridal Looks from Paris’s Haute Couture Week SS21

The Best Bridal Looks from Paris’s Haute Couture Week SS21

Luxurious silk, frothy tulle, and delicate lacework — behold the best bridal dresses from this year’s couture catwalk.
Courtesy of Fendi

As fashion season kicked into high gear with Paris’s Haute Couture Week SS21, we were taken into high-glamour fairytales told through fashion films and digital shows, such as Dior‘s mesmerising exploration of self through tarot card characters and Valentino‘s mix of royalty and club-kid punk.
Throughout the week, we’ve witnessed couture’s exciting bridal transformations, including layers upon layers of tulle at Giambattista Valli and ruffle collars at Alexandre Vauthier. Meanwhile, the art of storytelling was transformed as shows fully immersed their virtual audience in beauty and elegance (think of Virginie Viard’s finale where the Chanel bride — wearing a silk-embellished, white-buttoned gown — rode in on a white horse). Aptly, this year’s offerings brought us creations that reinforce the purity of human connection and the emotion of being together — all of which we will hopefully be able to experience again, soon.
From Valentino to Fendi, these are the best bridal looks from Paris’s Haute Couture Week SS21.
1. Valentino
Courtesy of Valentino

2. Fendi
Courtesy of Fendi

3. Giambattista Valli
Courtesy of Giambattista Valli

4. Giambattista Valli
Courtesy of Giambattista Valli

5. Chanel
Courtesy of Chanel

6. Chanel
Courtesy of Chanel

8. Alexandre Vauthier
Courtesy of Alexandre Vauthier

9. Antonio Grimaldi 
Courtesy of Antonio Grimaldi

10. Antonio Grimaldi
Courtesy of Antonio Grimaldi

11. Dior
Photo: Elina Kechicheva. Courtesy of Dior

12. Dior
Photo: Elina Kechicheva. Courtesy of Dior

13. Armani Privé
Courtesy of Armani Privé

14. Viktor & Rolf
Courtesy of Viktor & Rolf

Read Next: All the Highlights from Day Three of Paris Haute Couture Week Spring/Summer 2021
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk

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