Home Arts & Leisure Paris Fashion Week: Armani spins harlequin patterns into ballgowns for haute couture...
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PARIS — Giorgio Armani took to the haute couture catwalk in Paris last week with evening wear spun from a traditional, diamond-patterned harlequin motif in pale pastels.
Models moved steadily down a glossy runway carrying the motif, their clothing echoing the colors underfoot — pale pink, green, and purple. (See the show here: Privé – Haute Couture Fashion Show SS23 | Giorgio Armani ).
The show opened with elegant trouser ensembles — black, satin pants paired with bolero jackets in pink as well as in emerald green.
Slim gowns followed, the diamond patterns delineated with sparkling beadwork that shimmered with movement, often worn with matching shoes and mini handbags.
At the end of the show, the 88-year-old Italian designer took his bow in a dark velvet suit jacket and tie, waving at the crowd before exiting with one of the models.
Dior designer Maria Grazia Chiuri paid homage to Josephine Baker with her spring haute couture show last week, sending out a dazzling lineup featuring golden jacquards, crushed velvet and beaded fringes that swayed and sparkled down the runway. (See the show here: Spring-Summer 2023 Haute Couture Show – DÉFILÉS HAUTE COUTURE – Women’s Fashion | DIOR ).
“She immediately understood the power of fashion,” Ms. Chiuri said of Baker, the famed French-American jazz singer and dancer.
The designer looked beyond Baker’s stage style, also considering her love of suits and the uniforms she wore as a member of the resistance in France during the Second World War, as well as more intimate garments, including body-enveloping robes worn after a performance.
The show of the LVMH-owned label opened with a luxurious robe-like coat, thrown over a satin bodysuit. A black velvet jumpsuit followed, strapless, the legs cut wide, before moving into a series of enveloping coats worn on top of long, pleated skirts.
Artwork by Mickalene Thomas lined the set, larger-than-life portraits of Black women, including Donyale Luna, Eartha Kitt, and Naomi Sims who built on the path opened up by Baker, said Ms. Thomas.
She sought to depict the beauty and confidence of these women, Thomas told Reuters, describing the challenge of whittling the list down to 13.
“All of these women were socially active and either they used their stage, their voice or their performance to really tell a story or a narrative about their personal life and about also the demographic that they were from,” said Ms. Thomas.
The exhibit, which was set up in a temporary show space at the Rodin Museum in Paris was open to the public through Jan. 29.
CHANEL HITS PLAYFUL NOTE
Chanel creative director Virginie Viard took a spirited direction for the French fashion house’s spring haute couture show, sending models out of hulking, stylized animals crafted from cardboard and wood. (View the show here: Spring-Summer 2023 Haute-Couture Show | CHANEL ).
They emerged, one at a time, circling the towering statues like ringmasters, in bouncy, cheerleader miniskirts, floral jumpsuits and shimmery tweed jackets.
The opening look set the tone — an ivory, double breasted coat, buttoned snuggly across the chest before flaring out, the feathery fringe of a miniskirt poking out below.
On her head, the model wore a black top hat, its brim gently sloped, while flat sling-back shoes accentuated her long, bare legs.
Ms. Viard pared down the superfluous often associated with haute couture, offering mostly trim silhouettes, with just enough flounce, when it came to fuller skirts, or restricting the color palette when it came embellished looks, like a full-length ivory coat covered in ruffled pleats.
An elephant-shaped structure rolled in for the finale, and out stepped the bride, in an airy, ivory tulle bustier dress that fell below the knee, paired with gold boots that rose above her ankles.
During her bow, Ms. Viard drew artist Xavier Veilhan, who designed the set, out from the risers while the audience cheered.
IMANE AYISSI ADDS AFRICAN TOUCH
Imane Ayissi wove African textiles into his haute couture collection shown in Paris on Thursday, mixing raffia-lined garments in bright colors with dresses coated in sequins or airy silk fringes. (Watch the show here: Imane Ayissi Couture Collection SS 23 “ Agnieup” – YouTube).
“This is a window to show techniques of African artisans,” said Mr. Ayissi.
Models walked down a runway in an ornate mansion near the Arc de Triomphe, parading sculptural dresses and sequin-coated tops that were trimmed with raffia.
A fitted minidress in splashes of orange, red and green featured a traditional tie-dye technique, with a sprinkling of orange Swarovski crystal embellishments added for sparkle.
“We’ve gone through some very difficult times, with the COVID-19 pandemic that was hard for everyone; it’s time to try to rebound,” said Mr. Ayissi, gesturing towards a hot pink dress.
The Cameroon-born designer, who is based in Paris, is currently featured in the Victoria & Albert Museum exhibit Africa Fashion in London.
MAISON RABIH KAYROUZ RETURNS
Maison Rabih Kayrouz took to the runway last week for the first time in three years, showing an elevated collection that toyed with the boundaries of ready-to-wear and haute couture fashion.
For his namesake label, the Lebanese designer sent models ambling through a maze of rooms in a Paris mansion, heels resonating on the wooden floor, in chic evening dresses and tailored suits.
There was just a sprinkling of sparkles, with embroidered embellishments, high around the waist and the neck of a sleeveless dress. But most looks came in single colors such as ivory or black, as well as a bright marigold yellow.
Mr. Kayrouz, who is known for a clean, understated elegance in his styles — often seen on the red carpet — said he imagined a woman after a full day, brimming with confidence.
“For me, haute couture is not one style, not one situation — it’s know-how,” he told reporters after the show.
Mr. Kayrouz also said that since the pandemic he has been interested in the role of clothing as protection, which he offered in his capes, jackets, and dresses which served to cover the body.
Jackets were wrapped snugly across the waist, forming folds, while trousers carried a crisp crease down the middle, slightly flared at the bottom.
For the finale, models walked in pairs, carrying glasses of champagne, offering them to members of the audience as the rooms erupted in applause.
The Paris haute couture shows, which include some of the most prestigious names in fashion like Giorgio Armani Prive, Jean Paul Gaultier and LVMH-owned LVMH.PA Christian Dior, ran through last Thursday. — Reuters