Chanel Haute Couture image courtesy of Vogue
Lagerfeld’s SS14 couture collection was all ethereal femininity and athletic modernism, with models strutting and skipping to the sounds of Sébastien Tellier in exclusively designed Massaro trainers, bejewelled elbow and knee guards and – naturally – matching bum bags. Slim cut suits, column dresses and oceans of sheer iridescence were shored up by an ‘adventures in pastel’ colour palette and bejewelled adornment (literally) from head to toe. An array of preppy two-pieces, cropped to emphasise fabric bound waists, demonstrated an evolution of the classic Chanel suit, a fresher, lighter take with T-shirt sleeves, moulded curves and A-Lines. The collection slowly filtered into elegant evening wear, from drop-waist floor length gowns in whites and nudes, liberally emblazoned with shimmering crystals and sheer panelling, to black netted frocks dripping in feathers and sequins. It was a confection collection, couture for those who like it sweet, with a younger and more carefree feel than we have seen from Chanel couture previously, reflected as much in the simple white set as in the sporty, flat footwear.
Chanel Haute Couture images courtesy of Vogue
Zanini certainly had his work cut out with this first season. How can you sum up a label with as much vibrant exoticism as Schiaparelli into one collection? From the clashing bright prints and intricate embellishments, through to the flowing skirts and gargantuan sleeves, there was an unwavering sense of theatre, which bubbled away throughout the entire show. Although homage was paid to the Schiaparelli archives via 1930s evening gowns and Seventies disco dresses, every piece of the eclectic collection felt fresh and contemporary. The beauty of the whole was its unpredictability, there was no telling what would come next, a creative decision that reflects the sensibilities of iconic Elsa Schiaparelli perfectly.
Schiaparelli Haute Couture images courtesy of Vogue
With an aim to ‘liberate couture’, Raf Simons created a tactile sensation of a collection. Our focus was firmly drawn to the use of textures, from ruffles and minuscule chiffon flowers to the intricate cut-out detailing that peppered the looks. The largely monochromatic colour palette, featuring only injections of navy, mint and nude-pink for colour, served to emphasise the light and airy breeziness of Dior’s silhouettes, which comprised fluid and aerated lines. Banishing the restrictive shapes that have traditionally been associated with couture, Dior’s collection felt liberating and powerful, whilst maintaining a feminine and airy aesthetic.
Dior Haute Couture images courtesy of Vogue