Adding Meaning to Trends – Paris Haute Couture Week 2021 (Fall/Winter 2021)

Adding Meaning to Trends – Paris Haute Couture Week 2021 (Fall/Winter 2021)

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The flapper style of the 20s, the high-waisted bikinis of the 40s, the sky-high platforms from the 70s, the list of trends that dominated each decade is endless. These trends were brought in through cultural, social and political shifts in the society that redefined the fashion scenario to what it is today.

When one looks back into the history, 100 years may not serve as a long time. But if one was to peek through fashion’s historical lens, celebrities today are seen making their way through the body-clenching corsets from the 1900’s and the slit gown from 1930’s to embracing modern athleisure and the androgynous suit with equal panache. In the superseding years, there have been major shifts in technology, politics, culture, and social norms, and fashion has reflected that in its ever-changing cycle of trends that even today, serve as an inspiration for designers and brands.

As we speak of trends, the first week of July 2021 saw an extravagant showcase by some of our dream designers who spelt out in visuals, how the post pandemic world of ‘Haute Couture’ would look like. While much of the fashion industry has suffered the disruptions brought in by the pandemic, the Paris Haute Couture Week (Fall/Winter 2021) that took place recently, was jam-packed with not only the usual known faces, but also played a stepping stone to fresh talents, widening the gamut of the oldest and most prestigious of fashion weeks.

From Iris Van Herpen’s collection that celebrated ‘nature’ to Vaishali Shadangule’s debut collection ‘Shwas’, read through as we pen down the 5 best designers, who we felt brought in a sense of meaning and poetry to this fashion week apart from defining trends.

  • Maison Margiela’s Human Psychology

The French luxury fashion house, for its haute couture presentation, featured a surreal feature film titled “A Folk Horror Tale”. Explaining the design of the collection’s key pieces, the show elevated the couture standards with creatively done denim patchworks, embroidered illustrations and deconstructed dresses with meticulous detailing. Striking a balance between lucid dreams and terrifying nightmares, silhouettes are seen dramatically placed on mannequins, playing the warriors of another era in a blurred and captivating setting.

Ciceroni Loves: Blue denim trousers worn with high fishing boots and padded jackets, layered on statement dresses.

  • Iris Van Herpen’s homage to the planet

Staying true to her architectural design aesthetics, Iris van Herpen presented a digital showcase that encapsulated fleeting and structured 3D silhouettes and fluid dresses with side slits. Christened “Earthrise”, the collection honoured our planet and the enormity of space, a science that has captivated the Dutch designer since she was a little girl. The collection entailed looks that conjured both precision and elegance of movement of space through avant-garde ensembles in understated gradient shades.

Ciceroni Loves: Hand-cut gradient dress made entirely of recycled plastics sourced from Parley for the Oceans.

  • Ronald van der Kemp Protects Wilderness

For the Dutch designer, Ronald Van der Kemp, recycling is the backbone. For his haute couture collection, the designer featured fabric scraps from previous seasons, vintage fabrics and factory waste with a motive to produce a fashion haute couture that does not ignore the environmental issues that we go through today. His alluring collection translated as silhouettes that are embellished with plant inspired motifs – such as the fully embroidered flowers, 3D leaves, or ornamental jacquard prints.

Ciceroni Loves: Coat and dress in white chain-link, with matching recycled felt textile trash handbags and jewellery.

  • Julie de Libran’s Respect for Craftsmen

There is so much hardwork, time and effort that goes into creating one collection. Julie de Libran’s couture collection was dedicated to the “little hands”, the artisans who work in the shadow of the artistic directors. As an ode to the artisans, she went back to her most essential staples in a luxurious fashion. Optimistic in nature, her dresses, with their eternal appeal, are channeled with lace, bangs, English embroidery, and embroidered rhinestones.

Ciceroni Loves: Sleeveless shift dresses with crystal embroideries

  • Vaishali Shadangule’s Efforts to Breathe

Marking the 43-year-old designer’s debut at the Paris Haute Couture Week 2021, the collection titled “Shwas” that refers to “breath” presented 20 garments, featuring craftsmanship from across India, including Merino wool woven in Maheshwar, Khun from Karnataka and other indigenous weaves from West Bengal. The collection derived inspiration from nature and its flow of energy. Her designs were inspired by the lines and curves in corals, tree bark and other natural textures, with a move to address the need for sustainability and dependence on nature’s resources.

Ciceroni Loves: Asymmetrical corded couture dresses made with India’s rich textiles like Khand and Chanderi.

Trends become important and meaningful when they make a difference. Designers are veering towards creating an impact through their designs while they adapt to the changing times and needs.

Aishwarya Menon

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