Given its frou and flights of fancy, it’s easy to dismiss fashion as frivolous. This may be the case for some brands, but couture is a different story—one that involves hundreds of petites mains (skilled seamstresses) working for weeks on end to finish one dress.
That Magritte-inspired metallic slip dress at Dior with trompe l’oeil breasts? It took 600 hours to complete, and used thousands of metallic sequins that were attached to the transparent fabric by hand.
In the Spring-Summer 2018 Couture shows last week, several trends emerged. Delicately tinted feathers appeared on collars and sleeves. Huge, glossy bows framed faces while thinner ones were used to cinch waists or edge cap-sleeve tops.
Ornamentation came in the form of crystals and sequins scattered from necklines to skirt hems.
Elie Saab sent some of his models out in bejeweled caps, while Christian Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri tapped milliner Stephen Jones to create her surrealist accessories: mesmerizing masks made of layers of black mesh.
Designer Iris van Herpen’s intricately wrought dresses were inspired by nature, but were made using highly technical processes: foam-lifting, laser-cutting and heat-bonding on invisible tulle.
There were sheer dresses in a range of shades, from nude to pink and sunset orange.
On the opposite end of the spectrum were the Le Smoking suits as interpreted by Jean Paul Gaultier, Dior, and Claire Waight Keller at Givenchy.
John Galliano for Maison Margiela caused a stir with his club-kid separates made of holographic fabrics.
Once the show started, the audience was asked to turn their phones’ flashes on—the better to capture the clothes that lit up like holographic rainbows. It pushed all the right buttons for the IG generation. —WITH REPORTS FROM VOGUE.COM