schiaparelli

Bella Hadid’s Cannes Look is Straight Off the Couture Runway

Bella Hadid’s Cannes Look is Straight Off the Couture Runway

Photo: Getty
As the first major in-person film festival to take place since Venice last year, Cannes has seen plenty of agenda-setting looks hitting the Croisette red carpet this week. Still, it isn’t Cannes until the supermodels start arriving—and tonight, Bella Hadid brought all the high fashion glamour you could want.
This wasn’t just any red carpet gown, but a bold statement piece from Daniel Roseberry’s fall 2021 couture collection for Schiaparelli, which premiered just six days ago as a salon presentation at couture week in Paris. While Hadid attended the opening night of Cannes, she made a brief mid-week detour to the French capital to attend the Balenciaga show, and presumably to get a last-minute fitting for her major Schiaparelli moment.
Photo: Getty
While the base of the look was a form-fitting black gown with padded shoulders, the star was one of Roseberry’s sculptural jewelry designs that have become one of his signatures since taking over the legendary French house in 2019. Designed to resemble an anatomical cast of bronchi and crafted from gilded brass, the necklace was placed over the open neckline of the gown, for something a little more provocative.
That Hadid would opt for one of the collection’s most avant-garde looks comes as little surprise. Despite being one of the fashion world’s most recognizable faces, Hadid has never shied away from embracing and supporting the designers she personally finds most exciting. The Cannes red carpet might already be having a bumper year, but Hadid just raised the stakes once again.
Read Next: From NYC to Place Vendôme: Daniel Roseberry on Reviving Schiaparelli’s Playful Spirit
Originally published on Vogue.com

34 Wedding Dress Ideas from the FW21 Couture Shows

34 Wedding Dress Ideas from the FW21 Couture Shows

Chanel FW21 couture. Photo: Go Runway
With real life shows (oh hi, FROW) and an abundance of romance on the runways, the FW21 couture season didn’t pull any punches when it came to show-stopping gowns or knife-sharp tailoring. Brides who have endured the anguish of serial postponements or stalled planning over the past 18 months can take comfort in the knowledge that the world’s greatest designers are championing a bold new era in matrimonial dress, destined to inspire an exultant return to IRL wedding celebrations.    
What to want now? Tough call. We’d place our bets on a worldwide sweep of ornately regal Bridgerton-esque dresses, were it not also for Balenciaga’s imposingly modernist tact (ideal for any bride wary of covert social media coverage) or the sheer drama of Schiaparelli’s deliciously voluminous proportions. Giambattista Valli, true to form, delivered blockbuster frou capable of charming those who always swear they’re minimalists at heart, while over at Fendi, Kim Jones crafted a line-up of modern classics –– think subtle asymmetry and sinuous cuts. Crucially, FW21 couture is also shaping up to be a vintage year for superlative tailored looks, with luxuriously trim suiting challenging the dominance of sweeping gowns.
From sumptuous adornment to abbreviated hemlines, this is your rundown of the best wedding looks to grace the FW21 couture runways.

Abbreviated Hemlines

Modern Classica

Regal Adornment

Sheer

The new simplicity

Tailoring

Textures and trimmings

Volume

Read Next: The Best Modest Looks Seen at Couture Week Fall/Winter 21-22

Why it’s Showtime for Big, Bold, and Very Brilliant Costume Jewelry

Why it’s Showtime for Big, Bold, and Very Brilliant Costume Jewelry

It’s showtime, as the spotlight lands on big, bold, and very brilliant costume jewelry.
Yasmine Sabri wears earrings, Oscar De La Renta
When Lady Gaga performed the US National Anthem at President Biden’s inauguration, her dreams for her country’s future sang out loud and clear. ­That message was delivered not so much in her words as in the gilded dove of peace pinned to her gown. With a customary olive branch in its beak, this sculptural, golden bird captured the spirit of the moment, reflecting how the pop star – and many of those watching – were looking forward to a period of healing for a divided nation.
Lady Gaga at the 2021 US Presidential inauguration. Photo: Getty Images
­The brooch was designed for the occasion by Daniel Roseberry, the American-born artistic director of Schiaparelli, a couture house that has dealt in drama since its founder, Elsa Schiaparelli, first delighted Paris with her fantastical, surrealist creations in the 1920s. “Jewelry is there to heighten the fantasy of haute couture
“You wouldn’t be able to wear or afford something that big if it were made in real gold,” says jewelry historian and author Vivienne Becker of Gaga’s brooch. Becker, who has always had a soft spot for costume – or haute couture, as fans prefer to call it – jewelry, notes how fitting it is that such a piece should define a day representing peace and democracy. “It’s not about wealth or status, it’s a wholly democratic art form,” she explains. ­ The likes of Schiaparelli may have popularized costume jewelry in pre-war Europe, but it was in America during the 1950s, Becker says, where it truly boomed, as women entered the workforce and began to want inexpensive versions of the jewels hitherto worn only by the rich and famous.
Iris Apfel. Photo: Getty Images
Such appeal has yet to fade. Take, for instance, the omnipresence of costume pieces in the brilliant wardrobe of nonagenarian style icon Iris Apfel. “­ There’s so much joy in wearing costume jewelry,” says Giovanna Engelbert, global creative director at Swarovski. “It’s not a display of wealth but an expression of who you are. It can be chic and bold, or effortless and relaxed, depending on how you’re feeling,” she explains over Zoom, bedecked in multiple necklaces and kaleidoscopic crystal bracelets from her debut collection Wonderlab. “You might be dressed casually, but you can just throw on some jewelry to be more out there,” she laughs.
Ring, Swarovski
Necklace, Panconesi
Also pushing the boundaries of costume jewelry is Marco Panconesi, who designs his own line alongside collections for Fendi and Fenty. He says, “I’m constantly in conversation with jewelry history in my research. I integrate old techniques and apply them to contemporary fashion.” Panconesi’s latest work is inspired by the exuberance of his garden in Morocco, where he lived during last spring’s lockdown. He took the complex 18th century technique of en tremblant, in which diamonds were set on tiny springs to quiver with the wearer’s every move, and transferred it to semi- and non-precious gems of his own creation. Reflecting the wild colors and textures of Moroccan flora, these hybrid gems sparkle from dramatic, oversized ear cuffs and necklaces. He says, “It’s not about cut, color or the number of carats. It’s a metamorphosis whereby even humble materials take on an emotional value that can be enjoyed by the wearer and the onlooker.” Costume jewelry is also an important chance to convey brand DNA. Take, for instance, the giant, interlocking Gs of Matthew M Williams’s gender-neutral chains at Givenchy, or Simone Rocha’s constant reinterpretations of the pearl in chandelier earrings, hairnets, and dress trims.
Earrings, Giorgio Armani
For Maria Sole Ferragamo, scion of the Italian luxury accessories dynasty, costume jewelry is also a way to be more eco-conscious, although she is careful not to describe her brand, SO-LE Studio, as sustainable. “Sustainability should be taken for granted at this point,” she says. Her collections are made in small, exclusive quantities, owing to the limited supply of offcuts she uses, and combine architectural form with featherlight repurposed leather. “I want to use beautiful materials that are already there, it’s a creative stimulus to me,” she explains. “We don’t need all this stuff. We do need beauty, so that’s what I strive to create.” Currently, the pleasure derived from beauty and the escapism provided by limitless imagination feel particularly poignant. As Schiaparelli said, “In difficult times, fashion is always outrageous.”
Read Next: AirPod Jewelry is Now a Thing
Originally published in the April 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia

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

From NYC to Place Vendôme: Daniel Roseberry on Reviving Schiaparelli’s Playful Spirit

From NYC to Place Vendôme: Daniel Roseberry on Reviving Schiaparelli’s Playful Spirit

In just a few seasons, and at the peak of a global Covid crisis, Daniel Roseberry has revived Schiaparelli’s house and playful spirit. And not a single lobster in sight…
Daniel Roseberry photographed by Julien Vallon for Vogue Arabia March 2021

In one of those incredulous and unpredictable moves of destiny, Daniel Roseberry was in his Chinatown studio, jobless, and with no plans, when he received a call that led him to something he recalls as an “out-of-body experience.” After working 10 years alongside Thom Browne, in an important but almost invisible role he had held since graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology, the time had come for Roseberry to come out of someone else’s shadow. In April 2019, he was announced as artistic director of the mythical couture house of Schiaparelli. The transition from the raw and noisy streets of New York City to the heart of Schiaparelli’s pristine Place Vendôme headquarters might sound like a fashion fairytale, but Roseberry didn’t have time to wait for any magic to happen. With his move to Paris done in just two weeks, his debut couture runway presentation would take place in two months hence, and the world had its eyes on him.
Schiaparelli SS21 couture photographed by Julien Vallon for Vogue Arabia March 2021

“When I started it was such a rush to put that first collection out… And I had to have a real crash course in couture,” he recalls on our Zoom call. “I came in as a total unknown, as an outsider, and couture was not part of my experience as I’m not classically trained in it,” he continues. “On my first day, I had a suit on as I was trying to dress up a bit for everyone at the Place Vendôme atelier, and my heart was beating in my throat. I came modestly, but at the same time, I knew I had to come in strong and give the team a vision they would believe in, enough to follow a guy coming from the United States who had never done couture before.”
Schiaparelli SS21 couture photographed by Julien Vallon for Vogue Arabia March 2021

A sleeping giant of the fashion firmament, the house of Schiaparelli was originally launched by the eccentric Italian aristocrat Elsa Schiaparelli, Coco Chanel’s forever rival who had no technical training whatsoever, but compensated with an incredible magnetism that allowed her to surround herself and collaborate with some of the most iconic artists of her time, such as Salvador Dalí and Jean Cocteau.  Her surrealist designs are museum worthy and instantly recognizable, from the lobster dress to pieces adorned with statement zippers (before then, zippers were always hidden), or the creations she would wrap directly and instinctively on a mannequin, many times in what became a signature shocking pink. After shutting its doors in 1954, the label has been trying to come back to its glory days ever since its 2014 relaunch by Italian tycoon Diego Della Valle – first with Marco Zannini at the creative helm, and most recently Bertrand Guyon. Would Daniel Roseberry, a 33-year-old with only one design job behind him, be up to the challenge?
Schiaparelli SS21 couture photographed by Julien Vallon for Vogue Arabia March 2021

Roseberry was cautious, but not scared. For a start, he had a clear plan in his mind. “To be totally honest, I’ve always felt that this was coming, and I’ve spent my entire life preparing for this moment,” he confides. “Previously, when I was out of employment, my mother reminded me that I had to take a leap of faith, so I spent six months of uninterrupted creative time for myself, researching, looking through everything, and building a thesis of what I wanted my vision to be. When Schiaparelli came into the picture, I had a period of time to explore what moves me, and I figured out really quickly how to apply it to the maison.”
Schiaparelli SS21 couture photographed by Julien Vallon for Vogue Arabia March 2021

It was with this confident attitude that for his first runway show at Schiaparelli, Roseberry positioned himself literally at the center of the action, sitting at a drawing table placed in the middle of the runway, headphones on. As the models paraded around him in extravagant designs, it was as if the action was unveiling poetically in his head and in the sketch book in front of him. If anyone was expecting to see lobsters and other literal Schiaparelli inspirations, they would have been disappointed. “I had no interest in echoing the archives,” Roseberry justifies. “In the past few years, the brand has been heavily inspired by its heritage, so, in order to change the conversation, it was important that there were no references. It was more about capturing the spirit and the bravery of Schiaparelli.” On the runway, this reflected in a kaleidoscopic color spectrum, avant garde cutting techniques, and silhouettes with blown-out proportions.
Schiaparelli SS21 couture photographed by Julien Vallon for Vogue Arabia March 2021

If Roseberry is successful in evolving the Schiaparelli narrative, his work leads the industry to dive into much wider topics, such as rethinking how couture should look today, and how its clientele has progressed. Just have a glimpse at his latest collection, catapulted to Instagram stardom after Kim Kardashian wore one of the key looks to a Christmas party: a skirt with a dangerously high slit paired with a solid bustier of warlike inspiration, creating the illusion of a muscular, almost masculine, torso. I move on to read his own words, quoting a previous interview – “If you want to look like a cupcake, go somewhere else”– and he laughs. “Our eyes are trained to look at couture in a certain way, full of these ballgowns produced to make women look as feminine as possible,” he asserts. “Elsa Schiaparelli had a very interesting expression, ‘hard chic.’ When I was creating that look, I thought, will people understand the muscles? But I love to blur the lines and I believe that women and men today are much more interested in pushing the boundaries of everything, couture included. Many of our clients don’t see themselves in these huge dresses anymore…” Born in Texas, Roseberry is the son of a pastor, and shares that he was “pretty hard on myself growing up.” In love with the world of fantasy, his dream was to become a Disney animator, and he was always dragging his family to Disney World. But an interest in fashion eventually took over, most notably after attending his brother’s wedding in Lubbock. His sister-in-law wore a dress that “was a copy of a Carolina Herrera gown,” and when it was time to do the 14-hour drive to return home, he drew wedding dresses for the entire ride. “Then it was kind of, that’s it, I know what I want to do.”
Schiaparelli SS21 couture photographed by Julien Vallon for Vogue Arabia March 2021

Along with always supporting his talents, Roseberry’s parents also offered him a well-grounded education, where the sense of mission and care for others was not forgotten. In fact, the designer spent some time in the Middle East, part of a small missionary team administering supplies to Iraqi refugees. And just like that, the exploration of the region started, with other visits to Jordan, Israel, and Pakistan. “Very often I didn’t feel safe, but personally, I had an incredible time. I was blown away by the generosity of the people. I was also stunned by how beautiful the men and women are.”
Schiaparelli SS21 couture photographed by Julien Vallon for Vogue Arabia March 2021

Back in Paris, with no thanks to Covid, fashion brands are struggling to create those “wow” moments that allow them to be part of the zeitgeist, but at Schiaparelli, things couldn’t be going better. “Our CEO came into the room where I was working and said, ‘Daniel, I need to talk to you for a second,” remembers the designer when I ask him about the headline-making dress he recently designed for Lady Gaga, worn during the most important event in recent American history. The statement navy blue and red look, adorned with a golden dove, was one of 11 sketches submitted by Schiaparelli for Gaga’s national anthem performance during Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration. Roseberry didn’t want to get his hopes up, since other brands had also created looks for the singer. When the moment came and Lady Gaga took to the stage for one of her most iconic performances, it was another out-of-body experience for the young designer. “I didn’t know she had chosen us until she walked out and I saw her on TV. It’s hard even to describe it,” he remembers fondly. “It took me 30 minutes to even check my phone, as I just wanted to absorb the moment and be with the team. We were finishing a collection and even if she hadn’t worn our dress, the process just brought us closer together. It is an honor of a lifetime, and I’m just humbled to also be part of this moment of American history and of Lady Gaga’s career.” Not that Daniel Roseberry seems like the type of designer who needs anyone’s approval, but if you ask us, no doubts that Elsa Schiaparelli would be proud.
Read Next: Editor’s Letter: Why Our March and Fourth Anniversary Issue Celebrates Creativity
Originally published in the March 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia

5 Major Fashion Moments to Remember from the SS21 Couture Catwalk

5 Major Fashion Moments to Remember from the SS21 Couture Catwalk

Take Valentino’s glam-rock platform boots, add Fendi’s supermodel lineup and the return of one of fashion’s most-loved designers, Alber Elbaz — here’s how Couture Fashion Week SS21 came through with the haute energy we need for 2021.
Photo: Courtesy of Fendi

Drama, decadence and a whole load of attitude — Couture Fashion Week unleashes a welcome dose of escapism at the best of times, let alone in 2021. 
From Kim Jones’s romantic Fendi debut (simultaneously his first-ever womenswear show) to Chanel’s wedding-party-themed runway gathering (complete with a white horse to transport the bride) and the long-awaited return of former Lanvin creative director, Alber Elbaz — the SS21 couture runways delivered the kind of dreamlike glamour that we could all use right now.
These are the five need-to-know fashion trends from Couture Fashion Week SS21.
1. Haute reality
AZ Factory, Chanel, Schiaparelli

“I wanted to work on new technology to develop some smart fabrics with factories [to make] beautiful, purposeful, and solution-driven fashion,” Alber Elbaz told Vogue as he unveiled his new eponymous label, AZ Factory. The essence of his new design proposition? “[It] is for everyone.” The fuss-free, grounded spirit of the charismatic return to fashion was echoed elsewhere. At Chanel, Virginie Viard teamed a casual, untucked silk shirt (the sort you might be wearing with pilates pants as you read this) with a full ballerina skirt and morning-after-the-night-before sunglasses, while Schiaparelli’s Daniel Roseberry made the elasticated-waist pant the epitome of modern elegance. 
2. Electric prints 
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How does the world’s grandest fashion week strike a rebellious note? It ushers in the jeunesse energy of new talent. Enter recent fashion graduate Charles de Vilmorin, whose explosive hand-crafted designs pay homage to couture’s more outré ambitions. As Vogue Runway’s Nicole Phelps reports, De Vilmorin painstakingly painted his textiles by hand. His adage? “You don’t need a special occasion to wear something extra.” 
3. The big pink
Giambattista Valli, Armani Prive

Is it even Couture Fashion Week if there isn’t a multitude of gigantic blush gowns? We think not. The SS21 couture gospel according to Giambattista Valli? “Go big and stay home,” as he told Vogue via a video call. Valli’s plumptuous pink dresses alluded to the intoxicating effect of a bouquet of fresh peonies. Schiaparelli too fell for fuchsia, unveiling the outrageously surreal ‘earring gown’ (modelled with aplomb by Maggie Maurer), while Armani Privé made a persuasive case for matching your handbag to layers of confectionery tulle.
4. Burnished gold
Valentino, Fendi, Dior

Is our collective obsession with glowing skin crossing over into fashion? Yes — if the couture runways at Valentino, Fendi and Dior are anything to go by, a radiant wardrobe is set to be just as much a part of your beauty arsenal as a 10-step skincare regime. At Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri enlisted director Matteo Garrone to once again capture the cinematic glow of her designs, which, this season, took inspiration from the mysticism and burnished feel of the historical Visconti-Sforza tarot cards. Over at Fendi, Kim Jones made the case for opulent ‘cheekbone highlighter’ hues that mirrored the all-natural luminosity of supermodel Christy Turlington, who made a surprise runway appearance as part of Jones’s friends-and-family show lineup, alongside Kate and Lila Grace Moss, Bella Hadid and Naomi Campbell.
5. 3D florals
Chanel, Giambattista Valli, Fendi

If sunny floral motifs were at one time the stuff of fashion cliche (“Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking”), the resurgence of characterful blooms made a welcome appearance in the SS21 couture collections at Chanel, Giambattista Valli and Fendi. It would be impossible to ignore the respite (and design inspiration) that nature has offered during the various lockdowns that have become an all too familiar part of daily life. As fashion shows temporarily take place virtually, or minus their usual rapturous audiences, some industry rituals have remained. Notably, the giving of enormous floral bouquets, which, through the wondrous 3D designs grown out of Paris’s hallowed ateliers, were symbolically gifted to viewers all around the world this season.
Read Next: The Best Bridal Looks from Paris’s Haute Couture Week SS21
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk

All the Highlights from Day One of Paris Haute Couture Week Spring/Summer 2021

All the Highlights from Day One of Paris Haute Couture Week Spring/Summer 2021

Read on for all the highlights and best looks from day one of Paris haute couture week spring/summer 2021.
Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli artistic director Daniel Roseberry is having fun – that’s obvious. His now signature surrealist jewels, grand draping and artistic ‘gilding’ was on full show once again for his latest spring 2021 couture offering: a 25-look collection of otherworldly pieces with an 80s underscore. If lockdown has left you a little soft around the edges, fear not – the designer’s fuchsia mini dresses and latex cocktail gowns carved out of muscular torsos are your fast-track to a burly body. It is, in fact, the body that seems to occupy Roseberry’s mind, whether his focus is on re-shaping something or artfully accentuating it with halo-like draping, spliced tailoring trimmed with ornate embellishment or trains of fabric hanging from arms, ears or the tails of a jacket. Wonderfully eccentric with an unnerving dystopian twist (Look 7 is straight out of Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange), the collection is a trip down Schiaparelli’s fantastical rabbit hole – giant padlock bags included.
Iris van Herpen

Entitled Roots of Rebirth, Iris Van Herpen’s latest collection explores the symbiosis of modern technology and artisanal craftsmanship. At once strikingly beautiful and heartbreakingly melancholic, the designer’s creations tap into the current zeitgeist and our desperately flawed relationship with the natural world. Picture an entangled empire of fungi, reimagined as rust-orange tendrils on a sweeping evening gown, or capillary-like embroidery coursing through the body of a dress, giving it life and exquisite shape. Fitting then, that this was also Iranian-born singer Sevdaliza’s runway debut – an artist celebrated for her rawly emotional and often melancholic songs. Her look, a blood red gown with aggressive, fan-like chiffon framing her neck and arms, serves as a reminder of Van Herpen’s obsession with innovative cutting techniques and her unwavering ability to embrace the darkness in all its disruptive glory.
Dior

Maria Grazia Chiuri once again enlisted the help of Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone to help bring her designs to life via a fairytale-like short film titled Le Château du Tarot. Inspired by Christian Dior’s love for the divinatory arts, the collection evokes the characters seen on tarot cards — particularly, a 15th-century tarot deck created for the Duke of Milan — with dramatic embroidered capes, brocade robes, delicate sweeping dresses, as well as a translucent veil that sits on top of a sequined dress. The iconic Bar jacket also has its own presence, as it features revisited curves, in the form of a black velvet suit. The creative director’s work along with the film is nothing short of an invitation to a mystical world, speaking to the power of fashion in aiding escapism and fantasies, at a time when things are seemingly bleak.
Read Next: Kim Jones Will Present His First Fendi Couture Collection January 27

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