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The Autumn 2023 Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week Highlights
July 15, 2023
The recently-concluded autumn 2023 Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week was a glamorous whirlwind The French fashion houses did not disappoint! Schiaparelli's sculptural show served surreal glamour at its finest on the very first day. The brand stayed true to its artistic origins yet looked modern and new. Chanel, on the other hand, took over the Seine for its parade of classic suits and block-heeled Mary Janes. It was pure Parisian posh at its finest. And let's not forget about Thom Browne's couture debut and Julien Dossena's Jean-Paul Gaultier presentation. These were definitely the highlights of Paris couture week!
For years, Alexandre Vauthier has served as the streetwear supreme of haute couture. While other haute couture houses focused on continuing their labels' classic legacy or going avant-garde, Vauthier's designs always had a streetwise sensibility to them. Not to mention sexy too. His most famous signatures were mini skirts and cut-outs, perfect for the party girls who can afford to go out in €10,000.00-worth dresses. For autumn 2023, however, Vauthier had a more mature woman in mind. She's still confident in her peeks of skin and sharp tailoring, but everything had a more classic bourgeois vibe to them. It's as if the Vauthier girl is now a woman!
“Making clothes is my armor,” said Demna Gvasalia when he presented his latest haute couture collection for Balenciaga this past Paris Fashion Week. Amidst his usual array of razor-sharp and somewhat exaggerated tailoring, the Georgian designer was clearly influenced by the Middle Ages when he designed this new line. Among the most stand-out pieces were the chainmail numbers, glittering against the light as the models walked down the runway. At first glance, they looked like diaphanous dresses fit for any red-carpet goddess. But as one would examine the models further, they obviously held a lot of weight... literally!
Source: Balenciage YouTube Channel
It's only been about four years since Virginie Viard took over the reins at Chanel following the untimely passing of fashion legend, Karl Lagerfeld. Viard served under the late couture maestro for years, so it makes sense that what she offered didn't stray too far from what Chanel has been producing over the years. But after four years, it's clear that Viard's Chanel now has its own identity. And it's very Parisian! As the models walked over the Seine River in a parade of couture-caliber Parisian wardrobe stables (i.e. tweed jackets, little black dresses, tailored suits, etc.), there's no doubt that Viard's Chanel is founded on the French woman's affinity for simple sophistication.
Source: Chanel YouTube Channel
For autumn 2023, Rabanne's Julien Dossena's turn to design for Jean Paul Gaultier. Seeing as he's had his fair share of hits in his current tenure at Rabanne, the French designer was no stranger to reinterpreting and reimagining a couture house's famed legacy. And he did so with gusto at Gaultier this season! Dossena put out all the stops in his couture show for the couture house. He referenced various memorable Gaultier collections of the past, be it the shocking “Rabbi Chic” collection in the autumn of 1993 to the iconic “La Concierge est Dans l’Escalier” show in 1988. All in all, it was a fabulous parade of exquisite tailoring, intricate embroidery, and lavish embellishments. What's not to love?
Source: Fashion Feed YouTube Channel
After a shocking taxidermy-filled spring 2023 haute couture collection last January, Daniel Roseberry was back to his surreal and sculptural roots for autumn 2023. This season, he took a more artistic approach, reminiscent of the brand's eponymous founder who found her footing amidst her collaborations with her time's surrealist masters. And the result? A spectacular showing of craft and design that Elsa herself would be proud of. A particular stand-out is an eye-popping cobalt blue number with a sculpture skirt and a showstopping blue accessory. At first glance, it seems like your typical couture co-ord, but if you look deeper, you'll find that the model's top was all spray-painted on. Magnifique!Source: Schiaparelli YouTube Channel
Thom Browne debuted at Haute Couture Week this season and had the industry collectively exclaiming, “Finally!” Even when the American designer was showing his collections in New York Fashion Week all those years ago, his own unique brand of sharp but almost cartoonish tailoring already had an evident couture sensibility to it. It seemed it was only a matter of time before he would throw his hat in the haute couture ring, especially when he started showing in Paris. So did his debut live up to his legacy? Of course, it did! Set in the opulent Palais Garnier in the 9th arrondissement, he let out his usual parade of greyscale designs, this time more elevated to reach haute couture standards. It was nothing short of breathtaking.
Source: Thom Browne YouTube Channel
You can always trust Pierpaolo Piccoli to bring it every couture week and this season, he did not disappoint! He set his show at the Château de Chantilly, one of the many châteaus near Paris. It served as the perfect backdrop to Piccoli's signature showstopping couture. And boy, was it showstopping! He started the show with supermodel Kaia Gerber in a white shirt and jeans—a signature Parisian look if there ever was one!—and people instantly knew what they were in for. The entire show was filled with his usual pops of color, but instead of gowns, they rendered a series of relaxed and draped looks. This was his most French collection yet!
Source: Valentino YouTube Channel
Special mention goes to Dolce & Gabbana, whose Alta Moda shows have helped Italian fashion rival Paris Haute couture. And for their latest collection, they flew the elites to the huts of Alberobello, one of the most unique destinations in Italy. Located in Puglia, it was the perfect location for a brand that has long embodies southern Italy's sensual spirit. The clothes reflected that too. The various lingerie pieces harkened back to D&G of the 90s, when provocative posh was the design duo's bread and butter. It was a consistent return to form that the brand had started a couple of seasons back, made even more opulent for a couture-ready finish.
Source: Dolce & Gabbana YouTube Channel
The recently-concluded autumn 2023 Paris Haute Couture Week had many highlights. The French fashion houses did not hold back in showing off their amazing designs and innovative visions of how people ought to dress this season.