The highlights of the first-ever Haute Couture Digital Paris Fashion Week

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The first virtual fashion week in history has ended, and it's time to take stock. Today's new rules aimed at maintaining safety and distance make us to adapt to a different reality, or, more accurately, virtuality. For three hot July days (from July 6 to July 8), fashion houses have been presenting their fall-winter 20/21 Haute Couture collections in the format of short films. In other words, forget about the rustling of poofy dresses, flapping trains, the blinding sparkle of precious stones scattered on a corset, and other delights that you certainly expect from every Haute Couture Fashion week. Nevertheless, the participants of this "Paris fashion film festival" managed to present truly ingenious and stunning works that will not leave you indifferent. For those who missed everything, we have prepared a selection of the most memorable shows of the past fashion week.



Dior showed a 14-minute fantasy film, the main characters of which were the inhabitants of the magical forest - the mermaid, nymphs, snail, and many other nature keepers, who, as it turned out, also dream of beautiful dresses. Delicate, flowing dresses in pastel and pearly shades, dramatic black dress with pleats and ruffles, the fairytale evening dress with the complicated beading - there were a lot of things to choose! The collection was inspired by the Théâtre de la Mode exhibition, which in 1945-1946 was the salvation of fashion houses ravaged by World War II - it was organized by fashion designer Lucien Lelong, who was then sponsored by Dior founder Christian Dior.




Chanel presented their Fall-Winter 2020/2021 Haute Couture collection showing the film by Swedish photographer Michael Jansson with Adut Akech and Rianne van Rompaey in the lead roles. This time, the creative director of the brand, Virginie Viard, brought us to the past, inviting to a party of Karl Lagerfeld's times. "I was thinking about eccentric princesses, the kind of women that Karl Lagerfeld liked to accompany at parties or at 'Le Palace'," she explained. The collection includes dresses with handmade embroideries, decorative details from beads, various variations of Chanel's signature tweed suits, layered gowns, and cut coats.



Viktor & Rolf

Viktor & Rolf showed, perhaps, the most emotional collection. It was presented as a video and conditionally divided into three parts that correspond to different emotions: Anxiety, Confusion, and Love. According to designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, lately, we have been experiencing these very feelings most often. As masters of grace and irony, designers decorated many dresses and coats with drawings and applications in the form of emoji, beautiful sleeves, shiny volumetric cones, and huge bows.



Rahul Mishra

The inspiration for the new Rahul Mishra's collection, which included bright dresses, tops, skirts and capes, was the art of indigenous Indian artisans, many of whom, due to the economic crisis, were left without work and funds to support their families. Designer Raul Mishra, who was born and raised in a small village near New Delhi, said that he did everything possible to maintain decent working conditions for the employees of his ateliers and factories. The main emphasis of the brand's couture collection is embroidery and handmade appliqués that adorn outfits and create unique and bright floral patterns on translucent fabric.



Alexis Mabille

Alexis Mabille's virtual show distinguished itself in the presence of a single model. In the frame, Louise Lefebure demonstrated 25 outfits under the remix of the track Famous Monsters by Chromatics. Among them are dresses with voluminous draperies, cutouts, an open shoulder line, fur coats, coats, and capes. The decoration of some items included handmade embroideries, satin lapels borrowed from men's tuxedos, and decorative details in the shape of flowers. The real runway by a small raspberry room that created the illusion of a dollhouse replaced the catwalk.



Iris Van Herpen

Dutch fashion designer Iris Van Herpen went even further. In her short film Transmotion, she presented only one item - the eponymous snow-white dress made of silk organza. According to the main idea, Transmotion is the process of transition from one state, form, style, or place to another, as well as visual scenes of movement in art and literature. The dress has a black pattern carved from satin with a laser and sewn to the dress manually. The sculptures of Ruth Asawa inspired the creation of this decorative element of the designer. The Dutch actress Carice van Houten, known for her role as Melisandre in the "Game of Thrones" series, became the main hero of the three-minute film by Ryan McDaniels.



Some brands that refused to participate in the fashion week presented the announcements of their Haute Couture collections - we will see all of them before the end of the month. So, Valentino showed a short roller-mood board show directed by fashion photographer Nick Knight- it is going to be presented on July 21 in the traditional format in the Roman Cinecittà Studios. Valentino's creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli stressed that no digital effects could replace the human touch.



Maison Margiela, in turn, divided the presentation of their new collection into four parts. On July 8, they have already shown the first one, according to the schedule of the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week. You can see the rest parts on July 11, 15, and 16, but how it is going to be is still a big question.



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