There’s nothing quite like the start of a new year to foster feelings of hope, change, promise, and the vague feeling you may ditch your resolutions come March.
The year kicked off in Paris with Spring 2018 Haute Couture Fashion Week, which included showings from evergreen French fashion houses like Jean Paul Gaultier, Givenchy, and Christian Dior, along with other recognizable global brands like Valentino, Viktor & Rolf, Elie Saab, Armani Privé, and more.
Gaultier, the man behind the eponymous label, has spent his life working in fashion, and the years of practice are reflected in his perfected craft, like on the garments shown at his Haute Couture show. Gaultier worked for many years as the creative director at the inimitable, legendary French fashion house Hermès, where he cut his teeth on directing a beloved fashion house.
The Jean Paul Gaultier collection featured classic – yet daring – looks in a mixed palette, heavy with whites, blues, blacks, and reds. Swinging fringes from sleeves on a black satin business suit was one of many looks which mixed classic and boundary-pushing.
Powerhouse house Dior may have been making a subtle cultural statement with its choice of a palette heavy with the color black. Look no further than the recent Golden Globes ceremony to see its significance, as women on the red carpet all wore the color black, in solidarity with the survivors of sexual assault. Structured black and white dresses ruled the Dior runway, along with a few feathery and fishnet-y creations, and one impressively ornate white cape that looked hand-plucked from the wardrobe department on the Game of Thrones set.
Whimsical looks by Elie Saab transported show attendees to a magical, faraway, cotton candy land, full of glitter and sparkles and golds and pinks. The designs called to mind this quote from The Great Gatsby: “In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.” The 1920s-reminiscent fashions invoked a post-Belle Époque Paris, fused with America’s Roaring Twenties.
Speaking of champagne and the stars – Armani Privé’s collection was declared by Giorgio Armani as to have been inspired by “the sky with all its nuances.” The collection was full of celestial colors like airy lavenders, shimmery silvers, radiant sky blues, and glittery, sparkling, star-like sequins. Armani’s vision transmitted perfectly from his head to the head-to-toe looks of the runway models. The Privé show drew big names, too, like French megastar actresses Marion Cotillard and Isabelle Huppert.
At Givenchy, the brand’s first female creative director, Clare Waight Keller (whose design background was with French house Chloé), brought down the house. She told Vogue: “I wanted to use the strength of tailoring, but in a feminine way.” In preparing the collection, Keller poured over Givenchy designs from years past, to fully get a grasp of the iconic brand’s tone, voice, and, of course, style. Keller spoke about being inspired by the look of gardens at night: “The idea of the moonlight catching the dresses.”
So here’s to the moonlight catching many more dresses (or whatever look you go for), on evenings out, nights in, and in the days ahead to come.