First day of AW 20 Haute Couture - A Review
Updated: Jul 18
Many people may have assumed that fashion week would have been canceled during the global pandemic, but fashion stops for nothing and no one. So for this Haute Couture week, fashion week has simply gone online. Not only does this mean that there is no risk of spreading the virus but it also means that it is more accessible. You don't have to be invited, anyone can watch the shows.
The videos themselves are not at all what we expected, you could have expected a full show with a catwalk and many, many models. But trying to achieve that during lockdown would have been nearly impossible. Instead, the brands were told to make an editorial video within a certain length of time, but beyond that, the brands had complete freedom. This means that the videos give a more in-depth view in to the inspiration behind the collection. The clothes are given context, which is incredibly interesting for the viewer.
Iris Van Herpen - Transmotion
Iris Van Herpen provided an intense experience through an in-depth display of one outfit. Through the ruffles and ruching of one structure, you find yourself getting lost in the workmanship. As opposed to a show, Iris Van Herpen gave a more intimate experience, with a close-up and personal view of the brand because they had to prioritize what represented the house most through one outfit. The video itself felt like a cinematic masterpiece as every single element of it was well thought out. The combination of intense play with light and shadow and eery music creates an ethereal experience for the watcher.
Christian Dior - Le Mythe Dior
Dior took the opportunity to take the viewer into a mythical world, to transport you to fantasy. The story essentially shows the process of Couture, the House presents looks which clients choose, the designs are then custom made to each client. The entire story feels surreal with the screen filled with natural beauty and luscious views. It takes you from start to finish of the process but the whole time you feel yourself not only in awe of the creativity of the video but trying to soak in as much of the dresses as possible, most details of the dresses are not shown as the focus is on the process, not the dresses. The use of fantasy throughout the video highlights just how special Couture is. Instead of a runway the dresses are shown by mythical creatures running through the woods wearing them. It makes them seem less precious, these are made to be worn, to be loved and cherished, but not hidden away. The collection shoes modern feminism with endless tulle and pleating but the use of rope and braids to create a type of bondage image. The entire collection and the video shows a juxtaposition.
Ralph and Russo
Raph and Russo took a completely different approach with their video, they took the time to speak directly to the camera, to talk through the inspiration and the process of the collection. However, the truly groundbreaking aspect of the video was the consideration of the lockdown and explaining how the lockdown forced the House to change their process. They took it as an opportunity to modernize their process, how they can work remotely on one collection and how the lockdown actually served as inspiration for the collection. This collection was inspired by what the brand was missing during lockdown, primarily travel and nature, this in the end transpired into a focus on the 7 Wonders of the World and the cultures of the countries they are in. Of course, everyone is feeling wanderlust at the moment so this collection will feel relatable for almost everyone. The dresses feature lots of crystal embellishment and feathers so texture was clearly essential to this collection. Which means that of course, tulle was featured a lot as it is incredibly on-trend. We then saw models wearing the dresses for a photoshoot which allowed us to see a true behind the scenes video. It gives a very modern take on couture. A very honest and open way of showing their progress through the lockdown, admitting to the issues with it and speaking about how it forced them to challenge the way they normally present their work. The designs are of course on-trend, and incredibly modern, just like the brand itself.
While the houses this year were given pretty much complete freedom, Giambattista Valli has wasted that freedom. The video that they created was simply boring, it was the sort of video which would have been created anyway paired next to random clips of Paris which did not match the outfits at all. The dresses looked like they were straight out of the 80s with big taffeta bows, but not in a good way! But the main issue with the dresses is the repetition of the main themes, pink and lavender tulle oversized dresses have features in their last few collections. Frankly, the designs this year could have been from any of the collections from the last 3 years or from any brand. Although, we have been in the middle of an international pandemic, so we must cut them some slack!
So with this being one of the most accessible fashion weeks ever, where can you find the 'shows'?
The Schedule of the shows:
Where to watch the shows:
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