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The Top Fall 2021 Haute Couture Collections From Paris
July 17, 2021
This past July 5 to 8, 2021, the famous haute couture shows went on in Paris. Since France has since reopened this summer, the French capital welcomed guests from all around the world, many of whom were eager to see what the best of the best in French fashion has to offer. And boy, did they shatter expectations! From voluminous shapes to lots of sparkle & shine, the fall 2021 haute couture collections reminded the world of Paris' supremacy in high fashion. Among the many that were shown, here are the ones that stood out!
Although Giorgio Armani is among the top Italian designers in the world, he has also taken Paris by storm with his Armani Privé haute couture label. In his latest fall 2021 collection, he continues to showcase his mastery of cuts and form, trotting forth an army of powerful shoulders and strict silhouettes. Pair that with his fine finishes that range from deep velvet to iridescent silks and you get that signature Armani shine that has captivated many since his heyday in the 1980s.
Source: Armani YouTube Channel
Above everything else, Olivier Theyskens is known for his fantastical romanticism. His references always roamed around Victorian-era influences to early 20th-century styles. However, as he has now taken up the mantle at Azzaro, it's clear he intends to challenge himself to come out of his comfort zone. And he did just that with the label's fall 2021 haute couture collection. Going back to the house's disco origins, Theyskens decorated his signature tailoring and bodycon silhouettes with metallic glamour, sheer sex appeal, and even some feathered fancy!
Source: Azzaro YouTube Channel
Without a doubt, Demna Gvasalia's debut haute couture collection for Balenciaga was the huge fashion moment of the entire week. The Georgian-born designer has always been famous (and infamous) for pioneering the current streetwear movement, so to see him take on haute couture was nothing short of amazing. The result? A perfect marriage of Gvasalia's oversized aesthetic with Cristóbal Balenciaga's iconic influences. From the precise tailoring to the dramatic shapes, it was the most 'Balenciaga-esque' collection he has ever done for the luxury French label.
Source: Balenciaga YouTube Channel
In the words of fashion blogger Bryanboy, the Chanel fall 2021 haute couture show was 'pretty.' Though the word may seem lacking, it does perfectly describe the essence of the collection. Head designer Virginie Viard went back to basics when it came to her latest offering, putting forth all the classic codes of Coco Chanel and even referencing the legendary designer's own style herself. And with a color palette that relied on light greys and pastel tones, with feather trims and embellishments, you can't help but feel that the collection really is 'pretty.' But the undeniable star of the show? The divine cream-colored wedding dress at the finale!
Source: Chanel YouTube Channel
In her first in-person haute couture show for Christian Dior since the pandemic started back in early 2020, Maria Grazia Chiuri had a clear message with her latest collection. All the grey tweeds, camel cashmeres, and hiking boots pointed out one thing: it's time to go outside. Although the legacy of Dior haute couture has always been its magnificent evening wear, Chiuri continues her own practical aesthetic of dressing the modern-day woman in functional haute couture. The finely shaped coats, well-tailored suits, and even the free-flowing tulle dresses all allowed agency as much as fantasy.
Source: Christian Dior YouTube Channel
With a cast that featured the likes of Christy Turlington, Kate Moss, and Amber Valletta, Kim Jones's second haute couture show for Fendi was the talk of the town. But it wasn't just the supermodels that caught everyone's attention. It's also the designer's intricacy and softness that resonated with a lot of fashion fans. The menswear designer has finally realized his feminine side, putting forth a parade of haute couture looks that can tickle any girly girl's fancy. The pastel fur ballgowns at the end would likely appear on the red carpet soon!
Source: Fendi YouTube Channel
Speaking of femininity, Paris' king of flou, Giambattista Valli, did not disappoint this fall 2021! Taking inspiration from the recent Netflix hit, 'Emily in Paris,' the Italian couturier put forth a Parisian wardrobe any princess would covet. His signature tulle confections came in the sweetest candy tones, from the punchiest of tangerines to macaron-like pastels. Draping also came into play here, as chiffon and satin were wrapped around the body, highlighting one's shape against the dominant trains and ruffles. What's not to love?
Source: Giambattista Valli YouTube Channel
Jean Paul Gaultier
Although denim has always been a Parisian wardrobe staple, who knew it'd make its way on the haute couture runways? But then again, would you expect anything less from a provocateur like Jean Paul Gaultier? In the iconic French designer's artisanal collaboration with Sacai’s Chitose Abe, his latest couture collection combined his tongue-in-cheek approach with the Japanese designer's utilitarian appeal. The result? A parade of signature French aesthetics, ranging from deconstructed Breton shirts to voluminous outerwear.
Source: Jean Paul Gaultier YouTube Channel
John Galliano is no stranger to experimentation, especially when it comes to his artisanal haute couture collections for Maison Margiela. In his fall 2021 collection, entitled 'A Folk Horror Tale,' the iconic British designer did not pull back from playing with silhouettes, converging different textiles, and even jumbling up the references that he got for inspiration. It's only natural that he presented this latest offering via a short film, as only through the prism of surrealist cinema will his unorthodox vision truly come to life.
Source: Maison Margiela YouTube Channel
Speaking of surrealism, the couture house that practically founded it, Schiaparelli, remains ever steadfast in going outside of the box with its haute couture. In his latest fall 2021 presentation, creative director Daniel Roseberry put forth look after look of wearable yet avant-garde styles. Baroque and rococo styles reign supreme, not just with the motifs, but with the elaborate silhouettes as well. Yet for all the chic Parisians out there, the little black dresses gilded with golden flowers will likely catch their eyes!
Source: Schiaparelli YouTube Channel
Dreamy doesn't even begin to describe Pierpaolo Picciolo's immaculate 'Valentino Des Ateliers' fall 2021 haute couture show. Set in Venice, one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world, the Italian designer trotted out many of his most recognizable hits: voluminous shapes, bright colors, some tinges of sportswear, feathered hats, and more. Each and every exit looked phenomenal, perfect for any red carpet or evening gala. Who'd ever forget that finale? That parade of gorgeous gowns, each bigger and brighter than the next, took everyone's breath away!
Source: Valentino YouTube Channel
If there's one thing that the fall 2021 Paris haute couture shows proved, it's that fashion still moves forward no matter what happens. In its first full fashion week past-pandemic. Paris haute couture remains a paradigm of startling creativity in ultimate luxury.
If you ever get lucky to go to Paris to see these amazing haute couture shows, pick a luxury apartment for your home here!