A beautiful tension existed at last week’s Fall Couture Week between the pillar fashion houses and the invading rebels. Fendi, Valentino and Chanel presented outstanding collections that distinctly acted as reminders of their legendary statuses. Chanel used the show to focus the attention on the house’s famous atelier staff and their petit mains. Fendi staged a larger-than-life performance at the Trevi Fountain in Rome–in celebration of the house’s 90th anniversary– in which the models walked on water and the house closed off the entire square for the occasion. Valentino hosted an emotional show, as rumours of one half of the Creative Director duo, Maria Grazia Chiuri, would be moving to Dior circled the room. The dramatic effect of honouring Shakespeare’s life through Elizabethan-inspired gowns added to the heightened emotions.
On the rebellios side, Vetements and, holding their place as the original boundary pushers, Viktor & Rolf gave Couture Week a dose of skilled casualness. Vetements presented their Spring 2017 collection during Couture Week as a means of changing the demands of the fashion industry schedule. Showing at the Galeries Lafayette, the shopping centre of Paris, fashion’s most alluring brand unveiled a collection consisting of collaboration pieces with 18 iconic brands. Viktor & Rolf likewise unveiled a collection based firmly in this tension of old and new. Using vintage denim jeans, military jackets, and hoodies the duo skillfully combined these tatty pieces with over-the-top tulle and embroidered embellishments. Couture upcycling.
Also pushing boundaries was Iris Van Herpen, who presented another technological wonder of a collection this year. She used silicone blown glass and gorgeous straight-line pleating that created a curved affect in her gowns. Mixing ancient mathematics with new technology, Iris contributed her version of the tension to the Couture storm.
This Couture Week was thus the most literal embodiment of the constant dichotomous pull in the fashion industry: old and new. From that though, comes the most brilliant creations.