Courture Fashion Week Round-Up | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Courture Fashion Week Round-Up

Life&Style's Tara Kergon gives her thoughts on the Spring-Summer Couture Fashion Week

For me, couture fashion week is where fashion truly meets art – unlike with RTW collections there is no need to pretend that these are wearable, day-to-day pieces, and the designers can display artistry intended for wedding days, the Oscars red carpet, or simply being gazed at longingly. Fashion can be pure fairytale, and in the dim, cold light of January, under the relentless assault of the terrifying news stories, I think we all need a little fantasy. And couture fashion week SS18 delivered: the best word for the week is simply ethereal. From the layers of tulle and sheer femininity at Giambattista Valli, to Jean Paul Gaultier’s chess board-esque prints and 3D effects; from block colours and feathered hats at Valentino all the way to Maison Margiela’s blindingly iridescent pleated gowns and layered bustiers, something unreal pervaded the catwalks.


I have never grown out of the mystery of a masquerade or a costume ball – and this year, I want mine to be Dior. Dark cat eyes peeked out from behind simple, square masks, net veils, or delicate, feathered-edge robber masks. Walking black and white tiles, the collection also opted for stark monochrome, interspersed with gold and chrome tones, and a dash of glitz. Dior’s enviable dresses are long-line, simple enough to exude timeless glamour but kept enticing with lashings of appliqué, feathers, and barely-there net. Perhaps my favourite part, however, were the words adorning models’ necks in place of jewellery, or stamped across fingers – d’amour, attitudes spectrales, liberté.


Confectionary shades which frankly have me dreaming of macarons, old-fashioned Easter parades, and the liveliness of spring, met miles of layered net and sheer mesh. Sugar-sweet gowns managed to avoid sickliness with their clean lines and simple block colour scheme, and their framing amongst black and white longline dresses adorned with lace, feathers and embroidered flowers. Simply put, this is the embodiment of spring, especially when paired with luminous barely-there makeup and loose hair.


It wouldn’t be a roundup of a fashion week held in Paris without mentioning Chanel. In an ever more delicate show, Chanel’s girls walked first in top-to-toe tweed skirt suits matched with miniature net veils, and then emerged wrapped in bows, sheer fabrics, and 3D florals. Light hues melted into block colours (black, salmon, striking blues), and finally appeared adorned in pink flowers matching the flowers in their hair. Avoiding dangerously hippie territory with sharp lines and structured silhouettes, Chanel’s free spirit is chic, insouciant, and ready for anything.


It was all about print and fringe at Schiaparelli, from the artsy oversized coats to layered fringe on tantalizing dresses. Once again sheer fabrics are ruling the catwalks, as floor-length ethereal dresses in pale pleated, layered, or printed mesh glided before heavier brocade-style jackets and mini dresses. Dreamy, delicate, and definitely lust-worthy, the parade of heavenly dresses were paired with natural-looking loose hair and glowing skin.


Wrapped in silk, satin, studs, mesh, and fur, Vauthier’s girl is devil-may-care, rebellious and tirelessly chic. In black, white, and jewel tones the mix of luxe textures is one to emulate, as is the daring mesh bandeau under a blazer or military jacket, while the glittering gowns are disco heaven. And somehow this collection has reinvented two of the most questionable trends (at least in my opinion): 80s embellished shoulders, either puffed or padded, and what I can only describe as an updated MC Hammer-style trouser – and I don’t hate it.


7th February 2018 at 9:00 am

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Max Pixel