best of paris haute couture week fall winter 2024


Paris Haute Couture Week Fall/Winter 2024 has ended, and Paris is preparing for the next big event. With the Olympics approaching in just a few weeks, many haute couture collections formed an ode to sports – directly or indirectly. Chanel reintroduced the peplum, while Dior opted for peplos dresses. Overall, the week didn’t disappoint. Instead, it showed how fashion and art are mutually inclusive. Cover image: courtesy of Schiaparelli


Paris Haute Couture Week Fall/Winter 2024 is a wrap. The week took its visitors (and online spectators) to new heights with bedazzling shows and corresponding messages. At Chanel, the original codes of the house are back in the (sports) game; Dior references the Olympics of 1924 and translates it to a more modern way of dressing, where Iris van Herpen shows how couture is done. Discover the best of Paris Haute Couture Week Fall/Winter 2024 below.


Viktor and Rolf are great at creating absurdism at its finest. For their fall/winter 2024 collection, Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren took a trip down memory lane and reinterpreted a 26-year-old couture collection. This reinterpretation was heavily cubist and absurd. Couture doesn’t have to make sense, they explained. A form of escapism or art, it doesn’t matter in the end, the design duo emphasized. After all, we construct the true meaning of things ourselves.


What can you expect from Chanel post-Virginie Viard? It seemed that the collection would tap into Chanel’s classics instead of Viard’s modern take on the house’s signatures – and so it did. More things were shaken up, though. Where Chanel’s shows are always staged at the Grand Palais, the venue was now being prepped for the Olympics. And so, Palais Garnier formed the backdrop for a new era at Chanel. Director Christophe Honoré was hired to redecorate the place and make it couture-worthy. He transported the red velvet seats to the theater’s hallways and encouraged guests to arrive on time to wander the Palais pre-show.

While Virginie Viard left the house only three weeks ago, Chanel’s message was loud and clear: this collection was developed by its Fashion Creation Studio. Vittoria Ceretti opened the show in an astonishing yet dramatic opera cape, setting the tone for what would emerge. The models’ hair was mainly held together by exaggerated bows, there were feathers, and Chanel’s signature tweeds were in toned-down hues. Furthermore, the collection brings back the peplum – a silhouette rooted in ancient Greece – a modest nod to the Olympics reigning in the city in a few weeks. Overall, it’s hard to say whether the collection will reflect Chanel’s near future. Speculations of the house’s new creative director control the internet from wild guesses such as Simon Jacquemus to Pierpaolo Piccioli, Hedi Slimane, Sarah Burton, and Gabriela Hearst. Time will tell.


Maria Grazia Chiuri’s haute couture collection for Dior was heavily inspired by the Olympics. Sportswear through the lens of haute couture, so to speak. In line with athletic tenues, enhancing the body by providing freedom of movement, Chiuri’s clothes were meant to release the body instead of “building” it (something couture was supposed to do back in the day). And so, Dior’s haute couture collection was drenched with peplos, a draped dress once designed by Monsieur Dior himself. The references to the Olympics a century ago were obvious, but the collection has a modern message. The collection is about “Wellness, comfort, and beauty,” Chiuri emphasized. Where fashion can be more and more about a particular silhouette, Chiuri wanted to focus on the well-being of the body first and silhouette second. And despite the critics that the couture collection was quite simplistic (which, at a closer look, it wasn’t), that’s one of the most beautiful messages a couture collection can bring forth.


Where Daniel Roseberry gave spectators a glance into the future with last season’s Schiaparelli techno-baby, his haute couture collection instead formed a tribute to the past. To the most extravagant designs of Elsa Schiaparelli, to be more precise, mixed with Reseberry’s modern savoir-faire. It worked well, to say the least. “I had this dream of finding a forgotten couture collection in the basement of Elsa’s country house,” he explained about the collection. The show was staged in the basement of the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild. Models walked the runway, making eye contact with the audience (among which Kylie Jenner and Doja Cat). The show opener was breathtaking: a feathered cape with the silhouette of an eagle. The millefeuille circles were just as impressive as the rest of the show. Roseberry put himself and Schiaparelli in the spotlight in a sophisticated, daring way. Overall, the collection proves Schiaparelli’s versatility. Undoubtedly, Schiaparelli’s collection proved the house to be an industry leader during the Paris Haute Couture Week Fall/Winter 2024.


Balenciaga’s 53rd haute couture collection formed an ode to mindfulness, with an AI-generated voice-over echoing a guided meditation through the salon setting. “Create a path towards a happier life,” it dictated. Compared to the raw, unfiltered, and edgy rock-worthy tunes Balenciaga’s Demna usually chooses, it is striking. Among the first looks of the Balenciaga Haute Couture collection was some signature Demna denim – fully layered, covering the body from head to toe. “Sensory deprivation, but make it haute couture,” Demna must have thought when developing this collection. “Consider what it means to you to live a truly happy life,” the voice-over continued. “What would it allow you to do? What would it bring? Think about a color you associate with happiness – there are no rights or wrongs here. Choose what makes you comfortable and happy.” Suddenly, the butterflies on the models’ faces made more symbolic sense than Demna’s ensembles usually do at first glance. Besides playfully referencing Balenciaga’s Butterfly Mask Sunglasses, they are often associated with transformation, rebirth, and change. Probably hinting towards a new chapter of Balenciaga under the helm of Demna.


Iris van Herpen’s “Hybrid Show” was more of an art exhibition than a fashion show. A tableau vivant of its kind, Van Herpen attached models wearing her couture pieces high on the walls. Among others, Mugler-favorite Gia Bab presented one of Van Herpen’s creations. Protruding shoes seemed to be the models’ only stable surface, but with a closer look, they were tightly connected to the space’s walls. Like always, the designer’s work goes beyond the standard rules and rituals of developing a couture collection. Her craftsmanship is exceptional and one of a kind. There were molded dresses, sculptures, if you prefer, pearls, hand-pleated silks, and loosely draped tulle. The collection showed Van Herpen’s vision of fashion and art and how they co-exist in the same universe.

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