Paris Haute Couture Week Fall/Winter 2020 Highlights: Watch Chanel, Christian Dior, Guo Pei and More
Amidst the ongoing pandemic, Haute Couture Week successfully took place this week, albeit digitally. Between July 6 to 8, members of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM) presented their Fall/Winter 2020 collections via FHCM’s dedicated platform—the first time this exclusive event is made available to the public.
From fashion films to mini-documentaries, these haute couture maisons sought to capture and showcase the inspirations, ideals and the craftsmanship that goes into the making of their pieces for the screen. We’ve picked out some of the highlights not to be missed.
1/5 Christian Dior
Magic and enchantment is in the air at Christian Dior, which presented a dreamlike film directed by Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone. Le Mythe Dior takes us into a surreal forest where mythical characters like naiads and mermaids come to life.
In a nod towards 1945’s Théâtre de la Mode—a post-World War II touring exhibit of miniature couture dresses—we are introduced to each of the magical beings as two bell boys peddle the 37 looks from Christian Dior’s fall/winter 2020 haute couture collection from a trunk, fashioned after the House’s headquarters on Avenue Montaigne.
Extravagant and theatrical shows held inside the Grand Palais have become synonymous with Chanel, but the brand’s showing for haute couture week this year was decidedly minimalistic.
Adopting a moving look book format captured by Mikael Jansson, Chanel presented a rock-inspired lineup which nods towards the late Karl Lagerfeld’s partying days in the ’80s. Juxtaposed against a clean background, the film lets the details and textures of the garments shine.
(Related: What I Experienced At My First Chanel Haute Couture Show)
3/5 Viktor & Rolf
At first look, Viktor & Rolf’s haute couture showcase wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. Shot on location in the Waldorf Astoria, the video, titled Change, featured a rotation of three female models as they sashayed in and out of the frame in the nine-look collection. It’s the narration provided by singer Mika that offers a perspective to the collection.
The collection was divided into three “mindsets”—first capturing the “rather somber mood”, then the roller coaster of emotions many are experiencing. Finally, a set of white and silver dresses emblazoned with bold heart motifs beckon a brighter, happier future ahead.
4/5 Guo Pei
Offering a behind-the-scenes look at Guo Pei’s new collection—Savannah—the couture label’s presentation was a mini-documentary of sorts that captured the creative process and craftsmanship of the Chinese couturier.
The collection, which was inspired by a trip to the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, brings life to the animals of the Savanna with the clever use of three-dimensional embroidery and felted wool.
5/5 Giambattista Valli
A romantic ode to Paris—Giambattista Valli found the colour palette to his latest couture collection using the “red like the lipstick marks often found on empty cups on the tables of Parisian cafes, black like the notorious ‘Petite Robe Noire’, pink like the wild roses growing in the city’s gardens and ivories like the mouldings that adorn windows and ceilings.” According to show notes, the season’s focus is on “volumes and the fundamental techniques that build the DNA of the maison”.
The presentation felt like a glimpse at the designer’s mood board, with moving images of the city captured by Giambattista Valli himself, juxtaposed against detailed shots of wispy tulle skirts and billowing dresses.