Home Arts & Leisure Paris Haute Couture Shows: Juana Martin brings Andalusian style; Viktor & Rolf...

Paris Haute Couture Shows: Juana Martin brings Andalusian style; Viktor & Rolf retools the suit; Chanel goes casual; and Dior takes a folksy turn

PARIS —  Spanish designer Juana Martin took to a gravely runway in a Paris school yard Thursday for her haute couture debut in the French capital, sending out a collection that drew on flamenco references while recasting traditional styles. (Watch the show here: (8) Juana Martín Fall Winter 2022/23 Full Show Andalucía — Haute Couture collection — YouTube.

Actress Rossy de Palma opened the show, which paid hommage to Spain’s Andalusia region, wearing a long, ivory overcoat covered with white beadwork.

She wound around the garden at a snail’s pace to the traditional singing and guitar strumming of live performers, including singer Israel Fernandez, halting to greet them with a dramatic twist of her hand — flamenco style.

With the other looks that followed, Ms. Martin played with volumes, tossing bolero jackets over long, black skirts made from piles of ruffles, and a short, bouncy tutu so full it turned upwards. An all-ivory look paired fitted shorts with a wide puffed jacket that had short cape sleeves.

Some models wore prominent silver rose earrings, a pattern that also appeared engraved on a leather dress with matching gloves.

Ms. Martin is the third Spaniard to take part in France’s official haute couture schedule, following Cristobal Balenciaga and Paco Rabanne — and she is the first Spanish and Gitana woman to do so.

“It is not only historic for me but also for the fashion industry in Spain,” said Ms. Martin, speaking through an interpreter. She said she would like to continue showing her haute couture line in Paris. “I have a lot of stories to tell and I’d like to do it here,” she said.

Thursday was the closing day of haute couture shows in Paris this season.

Viktor & Rolf focused on suits for the label’ s haute couture runway show in Paris on Wednesday, showing a collection of them in outrageous proportions before reshaping them into feminine silhouettes.

Transformation was the point of the Dutch design duo Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, whose eponymous label belongs to Italian fashion group OTB.

“We wanted something rigorous, something rigid, so we looked to men’s tailoring,” Mr. Snoeren said in an interview. “We didn’t just want to show an extreme silhouette, of course. We wanted a new silhouette.”

The show opened with age-old classic pinstriped, navy blue and white suits. The first jacket was slightly cropped and paired with pleated trousers, the next one double-breasted.

Then proportions changed, with jacket shoulders splaying out to the sides like shells floating around the models’ bodies. Some shoulders were bare, while other looks had collars up to the chin.

Models stomped down the runway in chunky platform heels to pulsating techno music in shimmery tuxedo jackets and trench coats and crisp, striped men’s shirts.

Halfway through the show, the music stopped and the designers attended to a lone model onstage, pulling out wiring from her jacket, gently replacing her heels with flats and turning up the extra fabric that became an upright ruffle.

“It’s important for us to show the power of transformation,” said Mr. Horsting.

Men swept down Elie Saab’s haute couture runway on Wednesday in voluminous capes teeming with feathers and glittering beadwork — adding extra flash and new energy to the Lebanese designer’s lineup of signature, red carpet-ready dresses for women. (See the show here: ELIE SAAB Haute Couture Autumn/Winter 2022-2023 Collection ).

“People who come to us for this type of style, they want to be spectacular — it’s the same for men and women,” Mr. Saab said in an interview after the show, as guests swarmed around to greet him. “We have a lot of demand from clients, but this is the first time we’ve shown it on the runway.”

The designer strutted out his men’s looks fast on the heels of the wide-skirted dress that opened the show. The first male model entered in a sweeping cape adorned with long red and black feathers that curled up at the ends, arranged in a stark zig-zag pattern.

Other male models followed with embellished coats and capes thrown over black or gold suits, sprinkled into the collection of the label’s distinct, feminine styles.

For women, there were sheer, fitted dresses dripping with lace and glittering beadwork while long, floor-sweeping ballgowns had puffs of ostrich feathers augmenting the shoulders. Embellishments ran down to the fingertips, applied to sheer, skin-colored gloves.

One particularly striking men’s coat had a stylized python pattern, delineated in beadwork, both grand and reptilian.

Known for intricate craftsmanship, haute couture houses are increasingly catering to men.

In a high profile example, Balenciaga designer Demna Gvasalia introduced made-to-measure pieces for men and women last year when he resumed the Kering-owned label’s couture line for the first time in over half a century.

Giorgio Armani welcomed guests to Paris for his haute couture show Tuesday in a minimalist, intimate setting, showcasing a polished collection drenched in rhinestones, sequins and glitter. (Watch the show here: Privé — Haute Couture Fashion Show | Giorgio Armani

The Italian designer, whose creations are worn by royalty and Hollywood stars, sent out models in tiered black tulle dresses, elegant jackets with added sheen and sheer tops with flower details.

Models in floral-printed jackets and blue jodhpur-style pants cut from iridescent fabrics strutted down the runway, while others showed off puffy tops or jackets, covered in pink tulle ribbon bows by the dozens.

An awards ceremony is never far off, and Armani offered a selection of glamorous dresses, slender or voluminous, silky or velvety, strapless or covered in sequins, in colors ranging from Barbie pink to deep blue.

At the end of the show, Mr. Armani, almost 88, barely emerged from the darkness for his customary bow.

Paris Fashion Week is a prestigious showcase for a select group of fashion houses whose clothes are meticulously hand-sewn by highly skilled artisans. While haute couture accounts for a small proportion of sales for luxury brands, it is a major marketing driver for the industry.

Chanel creative director Virginie Viard opted for a low-key rendition of haute couture for the French fashion house’s fall-winter runway show on Tuesday, sending out a mix of long, full-skirted dresses and tweed ensembles with slightly relaxed fits. (Watch the show here: Fall-Winter 2022/23 Haute Couture Show | CHANEL ).

The label took to a horse arena on the outskirts of Paris, building a set that played with optical effects, with geometric patterns running at a slant while large silver globes hung from the ceiling.

The show opened with a projection of Pharrell Williams playing a drum set, with grinding electronic music in the background.

When the soundtrack suddenly switching to soothing vocals, out came a wavy-haired model in a lime green skirt and jacket kicking off the fashion line-up. Others followed, zig-zagging across the floor, in beige, pale pinks, and all-black looks.

Jackets were paired with loose trousers or skirts that swished around the ankles, with pockets and rows of buttons punctuating the house’s signature tweeds, in various patterns, including stripes.

Low heels and floppy hats added to the casual flavor of the lineup, shimmery embellishments kept to a minimal.

Closing the show, even the traditional bride in an all-white wedding dress looked relaxed, her hands thrust in front pockets. A simple white bow placed on her head, the tails of the ribbon left streaming down behind.

Giambattista Valli went full throttle for his namesake label’s Paris fashion show Monday night, marking 10 years on the official French haute couture calendar by sending mountains of tulle and billowing trains for a spin under bright lights, and the gaze of cheering fans. (Watch the show here: Haute Couture 23 — Giambattista Valli | Haute Couture).

Models drifted out from a wall of shiny, party balloons — pink flamingos squeezed against rainbow ponies — wearing wide cat-eyed sunglasses and teased-out hair extensions. They lifted their skirts as they crisscrossed the runway and rounded the mirrored columns while a robot camera rolled back and forth.

Silhouettes were ample and varied, with volumes that shifted. Sleeves puffed out from the shoulders, and skirts were cast wide, built in tiers like layered cakes, or fitted, then suddenly splayed out at the bottom in a burst of yellow, pink or turquoise.

In a nod to his signature topiary dresses, Mr. Valli sent out a shimmery, silver sequined body suit with rings of white ostrich feathers around the legs.

“It’s like the generosity of the hug. It’s a hug of flowers, a hug of feathers, a hug of tulle. There are all these bouquets that hug you; it’s this kind of pleasure to share happy times together,” Mr. Valli told Reuters.

The collection was about living in the moment, he explained. “I don’t look too much in the future, or too much in the past,” he said. “I think this is the big lesson from the past couple of years.”

Popular with socialites and known for serving the red carpet set, the label has financial backing from the Pinault family holding Groupe Artemis. It broadened its consumer base with an H&M collaboration in 2019.

Dior designer Maria Grazia Chiuri set aside the shimmery jacquards and coatings of sequins — standard fare at Paris fashion shows — and homed in on craftsmanship of the needle-and-thread variety, applying elaborate, folksy-flavored flower embroideries to her haute couture lineup for the fall-winter season. (Watch the show here: Autumn-Winter 2022-2023 Haute Couture Show — DÉFILÉS HAUTE COUTURE — Women’s Fashion | DIOR ).

“It’s really a project that has inside this idea that art and artisan are at the same level,” Ms. Chiuri told Reuters.

Models swept down the runway Monday in loose braids and patchwork opera coats, trim jackets and long dresses with billowing sleeves. The garments served as blank canvasses of sorts, in soft, neutral colors — beige wool gabardines, cotton canvas and black velvet — for the stylized floral embroideries that trickled down shoulders and wound around skirts, rising up from the hemlines.

Ukrainian artist Olesia Trofymenko filled the show venue in the garden of the Rodin Museum with artwork, towering photographic images of landscapes overlaid with embroidered flowers, outlining the shapes of people who might have been there. The French fashion house, one of the labels owned by LVMH, will leave the exhibit open to the public, in keeping with a tradition it started with a Judy Chicago display in 2020.

The artwork and the fashion carried an underlying theme — the tree of life, a universal symbol interpreted in different styles across cultures. Ms. Chiuri described the notion as carrying a mystical quality that people can turn to “in difficult times.”

The patterns had a slightly retro flair. Ms. Chiuri considered local traditions and how flower patterns are interpreted around the world.

“I think all these dresses have some aspect in common. Very often they are in embroidery, very often they are ornamented with flowers. There really is a connection with life,” she said. — Reuters