Schiaparelli haute couture autumn/winter 2016-2017 (Credit: PATRICK KOVARIK / AFP)
Elsa Schiaparelli brought a collection steeped in theatrical paradox to the haute couture runways of Paris Monday while 3D dresses were the order of the day at Iris van Herpen's show.
Inspired by the idea of brightness, light and color, Schiaparelli's circus-like spectacle pitted pure silhouettes with incisive lines against imaginative and outlandish details that resulted in an assured and spectacular aesthetic. Architectural jackets, structured shoulders and asymmetric tailoring brought a futuristic element to the look, while draped trapeze dresses and quilted shorts brought a dreamy lightness to the collection. Tuxedos and black jumpsuits were broken up by jolts of marine blue or shocking pink, while spangled silks and iridescent velvets invoked a haughtiness and the mythological constellation motifs lent things a dreamy, surreal quality.
Structure also played a huge part in the Dutch designer Iris van Herpen's show, where 3D dresses were the order of the day. From a palette of nudes, blacks and metallics, the designer crafted a series of dreamlike gowns that featured organic and naturalistic details. Cocktail dresses featured structured hips and a gnarly, horn-like motif, while delicate netting spiraling from a slip dress brought to mind the coral reef. Imitation sea foam bubbled upwards from sleeves and hemlines, while elsewhere a pleated grey maxi dress fanned out from the shoulders in a semi-translucent sphere. The ethereal vibe was underpinned by the shoes, which featured suspended platforms to make it appear as though the models were levitating down the catwalk.