The season’s most sensational haute couture looks

With the holidays around the corner, take inspiration from these haute couture looks to bring a bit of glam to your party looks


This was the definition of head-turning fashion. Designer Olivier Theyskens was inspired by the late Loris Azzaro, who dressed the It girls of Europe in the 1970s. He returned to this playful, party aesthetic with his glittering disco-era dresses, jumpsuits and silver sequins.


With this show, Virginie Viard stamped her very Parisian sensibilities on the maison – the layered hair, the fringes, the barely-there makeup and of course the classic rock chic plus Chanel jacket formula. All the Chanel hallmarks were there but proportions were even more flattering, while colours were gentler with navy blue, cream and grey
reigning supreme.


There were gasps as Demna Gvasalia unveiled his first couture collection for Balenciaga. The show was sleek, sober and very beautiful: black featured heavily, but amid the tailored suiting and swathed grey stoles were bunches of bright taffeta, embroidered floral skirts and show-off collars. Gvasalia also nodded to the casualisation of culture with haute couture jeans that were handmade in Japan on original American looms.


Christian Dior highlighted craftsmanship in the 1950s after the devastation of the war and now Maria Grazia Chiuri has followed suit after Covid. For this show, the designer celebrated the artisans who made the hand-loomed tweeds, and the extraordinarily intricate stitch work. The result was a beautifully crafted show that fulfilled the very essence of couture.


Supermodels and ball gowns – in Rome. Does it get any more couture than that? Not according to Kim Jones, who brought together Kate Moss, Christy Turlington and Amber Valletta in a Roman theatre for his second collection for Fendi. Clotheswere bold: think ballroom silhouettes and thick luscious fabrics that very much called for a return to going out.

Giambattista Valli

There was a girlishness to this collection, both in terms of colour and proportion. The candyfloss-like tulle cloud dresses were immediately attention-grabbing, as were the prettily draped chiffon gowns and sequined column
dresses. The colour palette felt deliciously sweet: ice-cream tones in the heat of a Parisian summer.

Maison Margiela

In this very personal collection, John Galliano was inspired by early photographs of Dutch fishermen. He looked at the mix of cropped jackets, voluminous trousers, knit jumpers and wooden clogs, then recreated those proportions and textures in tight jackets and looser shirts and dresses with visible stitching.

Iris van Herpen

For this Earthrise collection, Iris van Herpen collaborated with French female skydiving champion Domitille Kiger, the first athlete to wear couture up in the air. The result was a medley of different blues made into flowing, floaty pieces that are a breath of fresh air in a usually more formal couture week.

Pyer Moss

As the first African American to have a slot on the couture calendar in the Chambre Syndicale’s 150-year-plus history, Kerby Jean-Raymond had a unique perspective to represent. And he did it with aplomb. Everything was larger than life, from gold sequins to tongue-in-cheek takes on American culture that took Instagram by storm.

Ronald Van Der Kemp

Sustainability has become a central tenet of the fashion industry – but this wasn’t the case in 2010 when van der Kemp first introduced his upcycled couture. This collection was as creative, and as environmentally friendly, as ever, filled with used denim that has been lovingly reworked and glamorous dresses crafted from reclaimed textiles.


Weddings are back on. At least according to Daniel Roseberry, the American designer in charge of Schiaparelli who has made a wedding gown out of 70m of ice-white pleated taffeta. For the guests, there were equally bold gowns: princess-like baby-blue skirts with sleek black bustiers from the man who has dressed Lady Gaga and Beyoncé.


Staged not on the grounds of a palazzo in Venice but in a shipbuilding yard called The Gaggiandre, this show was strikingly picturesque. The silhouettes were outrageous. There were puffballs, micro-minis and a white fluid shirt
dress with a single pink tie. The culmination of the show was a ball gown made out of 140m of fabric that took 680 hours to make.

Also see: Hender Scheme designer brings his aesthetics to Tod’s Factory Project

In this Story: #fashion