Artisanal fashion was the talking point on Day One of Paris Haute Couture Week as the likes of Schiaparelli and Dior took to the stage.
As one of the usual suspects Schiaparelli opened proceedings to get things started for this high-fashion extravaganza - models flowed down the runway like moving statues dressed in abstract art exhibitions rather than dresses. It certainly seemed to set a marker down for the rest to follow, but Christian Dior played to a much more traditional tune.
As the highlight of the day, the Dior collection showcases stunning interpretations of folk art and native fashions, with particular attention paid to the traditional methods of weaving, embroidery, and dyeing. This homage to traditional artistry lends itself well to the world of Haute Couture in a highly elegant and assertive way. The ’23 haute couture line dreamed up by Maria Grazia Chiuri aims to connect different cultures by furthering fashion into craftsmanship with complex embroidery on cotton, wool crepe, silk and cashmere, and lace and guipure braids.
Lebanese designer Georges Hobeika also shone in Paris returning as a veteran to Haute Couture Week having showcased his collections there since 2001. For the first time however the couturier unveiled the autumn-winter 2023 collection with his son Jad, the new Co-Creative Director of the maison. Called “Eternal Gifts” the collection is a tribute to the natural world with themes of flowing water and shimmering details - based on mother nature’s colour palette, the designs are inspired by sunsets and the Mediterranean Sea.
As the first Indian designer to showcase at Haute Couture Week, Rahul Mishra is just one of the regional talents representing Asia and the Middle East in Paris. A long way from his small birth village in India, Mishra’s new collection also embraces embroidery and traditional tailoring themes, with vivid bursts of colour coming out of the earthen tones.
In a digital presentation, Day One at Paris Haute Couture Week also saw a digital presentation from Lebanon’s Maison Rabin Kayrouz, who showcased a collection of light and voluminous creations championing the freedom of movement. The tones may be subdued, but there is plenty of scope in Kayrouz’s designs for silk to mingle with recycled polyester.
Day Two will see the likes of Chanel and Giorgio Armani take to the runways so there’s plenty to look forward to still.