The return of Haute Couture between crossovers and reinterpretations, from Jean Paul Gaultier to Balenciaga

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After a year and a half of mostly digital presentations and fashion shows, the Parisian fashion week dedicated to Haute Couture has made its long-awaited and triumphant return: of course, we have not yet returned to a calendar made up of 100% physical events, but this is perhaps the first fashion week in which we begin to glimpse a glimmer of normality, between classic fashion shows and a considerable number of international guests. But who are the designers who are bringing the most spectacular news of Haute Couture to the catwalk?

For his second signed Couture collection Fendi, Kim Jones let himself be influenced by Italian roots of the maison and from the iconographic and architectural references that have always outlined its DNA.

All starting from a background that incorporates some of the most iconographic monuments of Rome such as the arched loggia of the imposing Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, then even transposed into one of the shoes on the catwalk: a wedge that certainly did not go unnoticed, and which is already announced as one of the shoes of desire for the coming months. Inspired bybaroque imagery, but also to the gaze of the director Pier Paolo Pasolini on the capital, the creative director has worked for a long time on delicate and intricate workings at the same time that tell the Eternal City and its poetry, immersing himself in the archives to resume the you live between the mid-1800s and the 20s, when Fendi was founded: and behold, jacquards embroidered with acorns, flowers and other botanical motifs, as well as mosaics on day dresses and evening dresses in all their grandeur, acquire a second life.

Courtesy Fendi

One of the biggest news of the Haute Couture fashion week was the crossover between Sacai’s creative director, Chitose Abe, and the maison Jean-Paul Gaultier, back on the catwalk, yes, but with its founder in the front row as a guest: after its retirement last January 2020, the brand had in fact declared that it would continue its activity in haute couture with a rotating cast of guest designers.
For the first time, it was Abe who brought his innovative and contemporary imprint to the historic label, transforming some of the cornerstones ofenfant terrible of French fashion, come on sailor top to corsets. A collection that should have seen the light a year ago, but which was postponed due to the pandemic: however, the show was worth all the wait, showing how the crossing between very different héritage can be a great wealth: among the the most surprising items on the catwalk, the MA-1 pilot jacket and the cable knit sweaters, as well as all the items in which the games between lengths and layers are the protagonists, such as the asymmetrical bustier dress, half pinstriped and with a fluffy shirt built-in oversize.

Getty Images

Also Balenciaga has made its Couture comeback, and with the Fall / Winter 2021-22 collection, Demna Gvasalia showed how hers was nonconformist soul can be harmonized well with all the meticulousness of a rich tailoring work, just like the one that made the founder of the maison legendary. A show in which every detail has been deliberately placed under the magnifying glass thanks to an all-encompassing context, given by the absence of music: in this way, every slightest noise and rustle of the fabrics has brought even more attention to the creations, from the aftermath of the colorful maxi dresses on the catwalk, to the feathered applications of the voluminous outerwear. Creations that are already iconic, preceded by a dozen dark suits and tuxedos for men and women with broad and sculpted shoulders and a narrow waist, becoming, exit after exit, always more architectural, with collars projected outwards.

Courtesy Balenciaga

A dramatic technique that Demna Gvasalia adopted for the first time, once again picking up the legacy of Cristóbal Balenciaga, but remaining true to its oversized and dystopian codes. All this, with a host of guests including Kanye West, Lewis Hamilton, Salma Hayek and Bella Hadid. In the gallery, the most beautiful images from the Couture fashion shows, from Fendi to Balenciaga, passing through Giorgio Armani Privé, Chanel and Dior.

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