For Paris Couture Week, feathers, furs, and sequins fashion the finest impression

Published on July 15, 2018

Over this past week, the city of lights glistened in luster, lace, sequins, and feathers galore. For Paris Couture Fashion Week, the lines blur between art and fashion, and style and sculpture. Here’s a roundup of the chic, classy, and conspicuous looks that (practically) flew down the catwalks this week. This three-part series will break down the overarching aesthetic themes presented. Let’s relax, rewind, and revise this past season’s most daring and doubtlessly eye-catching runway shows.  

For the second installment of our Paris Couture Fashion Week roundup, we will cover the ultimate trends of countless prior (and future) couture shows – feathers, furs, and sequins galore. For these five days, feathers took center stage. In the animal kingdom, males use feathers to court potential mates, in the world of haute couture, feathers make fashion-fanatics flock to the stores and their social media feeds – swooning at every turn of a dress’ train.

1. Valentino

If you haven’t seen the viral Instagram post of Kaia Gerber wearing Pierpaolo Piccoli’s breathtaking pink feather ball gown, catch up to speed by clicking here. In addition to Kaia’s ensemble and ultra-high hairdo, this Valentino collection apparently took inspired from James Joyce’s Ulysses. For his “stream of consciousness” couture, Piccoli draped dreamy fabrics, such as silk, organza, lamé, and sequins.

The vibrant, vividly-colored looks were paired for sky-high hairdos. The entire collection, from its origins to its final aesthetic, seems to emulate the ephemeral nature of our dreams and our disarrayed yet harmonious thinking patterns. In essence, the inspiration for the collection is surprising but was executed in a very thoughtful and visually-appealing way. Check out the full fantastical collection here.

2. Schiaparelli

The much-anticipated Schiaparelli collection, designed by creative director, Bertrand Guyon and styled by Love magazine stylist, Katie Grand, showcased a series of animalistic looks that were authentic to the house’s fanciful origins. The design house, which solely creates couture, exhibited ensembles featured a plethora of animal print, silk, and feathered fabrics. Some of these looks were paired with their corresponding animal-faced masks such as this leopard look and this flamingo look.  

With all of the different fabrics and colors at play, this collection reiterated Elsa Schiaparelli’s original vision and aesthetic for the house. While this season’s runway did not display anything innovative and new for the whimsical couturier, the brand always brings a bit of fun to the more rigid and refined of the annual Paris Fashion Weeks.

3. Giambattista Valli

At the Giambattista Valli show, feathers and organza reigned supreme. While couture collections tend to lend themselves better to a more mature-aged clientele, Valli’s latest runway show had an edgy and youthful sensibility. From the feather trims on the majority of the collection’s jackets and dresses to the refined two-piece suits and ball gowns, Valli showed that couture easily can suit individuals in any age cohort.

The runway’s color palette was a mirage of blacks, whites, pinks, green-blues, and yellows. The juxtaposition between the neutral and more daring-colored items created a cohesive aesthetic that further upheld the collection’s overall message and tone. Many of the looks were paired with thin, netted face coverings. Others were accessorized with rabbit-eared headbands – displaying the designer’s playful approach to sartorial precision. Check out the full collection here.

4. Fendi

Finally, we cannot compile a Paris Couture Week roundup without including the iconic heritage house, Fendi. For this season’s couture runway, the fur and organza filled collection shows that fur can be made to look like velvet and vice versa. Karl Lagerfeld, the brand’s longtime creative director showcased jackets with fur-striped detailing, dresses with organza skirts and sleeves, and a series of optical illusions. The house’s elegant aesthetic was jazzed up with some more fanciful elements. The looks were simultaneously modern and timeless – Lagerfeld’s signature. The house, known for its fur creations stayed true to its ethos yet had more fun with different, non-fur fabrics. View the entire collection here.

For the last installment of the Paris Couture Week series, we will explore the collections that fall under the aesthetic theme “cyborg couture.” Check out this feature here. What was your favorite collection for this past Paris Couture Fashion Week season?

Elisa Lewittes is a contributing editor and marketing strategist at Grit Daily. She specializes in the luxury fashion and lifestyle fields. Her other professional interests include business, entrepreneurship, and psychology. Elisa lives in Manhattan, New York.

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