5 Old-World Trends from Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week S/S 2021

5 Old-World Trends from Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week S/S 2021

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Scouting for some major high-fashion inspiration?

Used for the very first time in 1908, haute couture—which, translated in English, refers to ‘high dressmaking’ i.e., sophisticated fashion high on elegance and craftsmanship. The term for long has mirrored opulence, royalty and designs that bring back major historical references of legends to sync in with today’s time and age.

It’s been close to a year since the pandemic largely caused disturbances for the whole wide world, bringing an abrupt pause to the major fashion weeks across the world. We can’t help but deny, that the pandemic did push the designers to look beyond the ceilings of physical fashion weeks and get creative and accommodative to the current scenario – Enter phygital and digital fashion weeks!

This year Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2021 opened recently with notable couture designers and brands such as Viktor and Rolf, Armani Privé, Valentino, Chanel, Giambattista Valli, Dior, Iris van Herpen, Schiaparelli, Rahul Mishra and many more. While some designers chose to present their collections digitally, either through fashion films or photoshoots, others hosted audience-free fashion shows, one of which was particularly an all-star one.

While staying true to its meaning, the Haute Couture show this year took us back to the memory lane by putting forth memorabilia of fashion from yester years. From the famed Bridgerton-inspired fashion to re-imagined power suits, this year’s couture week was a walk into the past, the future and everything beyond! Take notes as we pen down our 5 favourite trends!

  • “Bridgerton”- inspired Fashion

Have the period-drama looks from the Netflix series made their way into your wedding fashion list? If yes, we suggest you take inspiration from this year’s Paris Haute Couture Week – Spring/ Summer 2021. “Bridgerton”-inspired fashion has become a reigning trend, ever since the show went on-air. It had been already a key trend in the spring 2021 ready-to-wear collections with many designers and brands creating romantic, feminine gowns perfect for the royal ladies of Bridgerton. Floral embellishments were a constant element of the costumes throughout the period drama, especially among the Featherington family who had the detail incorporated into their bright coloured dresses and headpieces, contrasting that of the Bridgerton family, wherein the show’s protagonist Daphne Bridgerton, adorned pale and neutral hued dresses featuring embellished jewels.

Now, the couture collections are nodding to the show’s regal aspect, with design houses such as Fendi, Dior, Chanel, Valentino, Armani Privé and more creating collections of powder and gemstone-hued dresses with intriguing surface ornamentation, floral embroidery and flowing trains fit for the likes of Daphne Bridgerton, Lady Danbury, Queen Charlotte and the Featherington ladies.

  • Couture Rave Party

If you were to host a rave party in the most ostentatious ensembles, who would you resemble? Viktor and Rolf models or Giambattista Valli’s?

For the new season, while, Giambattista Valli celebrated extravagance with his trademark tulle, bold colour palette, excessive volume and delicate embroidery, Viktor and Rolf, unable to hold a normal fashion show went overboard giving way to ‘couture rave’- a collection that had both a “gritty edge”, but was one which also transported those watching into a fantasy land of “light-hearted escape”. You could say that in his collection, haute couture meets underground party. The mood is irreverent and almost casual but always elegant.

  • Ocean-Inspired Detailing

Why not give the oceans you visit on your next holiday a tribute this Spring/Summer? Think of resort pieces like dainty dresses and experimental co-ords detailed with designs inspired by the aquatic life underwater- the mermaids, the seashells and so much more!

Going beyond the florals, Iris van Herpen was inspired by the shapes and patterns seen in mushrooms, specifically mycelium and the fabric was created using upcycled marine debris through a collaboration with Parley for the Oceans and the designs were cut using 3D printing. Rahul Mishra’s fashion film, on the other hand, though similar in aesthetics, featured models in dresses with exotic mushrooms and embellished wildflowers over the tree-bark-texture dresses that were embroidered on tulle and silk organza.

  • The Renaissance Puff Sleeves

Popularized during the Renaissance, the puff sleeves have transcended into our closets since time immemorial. What was thought to be more of a passing trend, has presented itself season after season in better, rather more adaptable iterations. The 80’s feminine puff sleeves were visible in elegant maxi dresses, high-waisted corset bodices and edgy tops at Paris Haute Couture Week. Designers like Dior and Viktor and Rolf mindfully focused their attention on details on the upper half of the ensembles- thanks to the demand of zoom meetings!

Don it for a quick shopping spree with your girlies, family luncheons and dinner dates, let’s just say that puff sleeves aren’t deflating anytime soon. Isn’t it about time that we embraced this “exaggerated sleeve” trend ?

  • Tailored Power Suits

Sleek, simple, and most essentially, practical. Nothing more speaks of Power, Freedom and Stylish Demeanour more than the versatile power suit. From board rooms and politics to red carpets and films, the suit has revolutionised the fashion industry by being iconic in its appearance even after receiving harsh criticism in its earlier times.

At this year’s Paris Haute Couture Week- Spring/Summer 2021, Fendi’s collection of power suit was influenced by the visual language of Bernini’s marbles, Virginia Woolf’s time-travelling and the gender-blurring novel Orlando. The ensembles exuded a period feel with their empire waistlines and long trains, but they were also subtly sensual, hopelessly romantic and exquisitely crafted. On the other hand, for the Chanel’s collection, the Grand Palais was transformed to evoke the charm of a country wedding in the South of France. The “celebration” collection entailed chic tuxedo-inspired looks that were paired alongside tweed two-pieces, tiered skirts, embellished waistcoats and beautiful gowns that are sure to influence most of the resort and beach wedding apparels this year.

Old-world fantasies or futuristic and innovative – What’s on your trend chart this Spring/Summer?

Aishwarya Menon

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