What We Learnt From AW14 Haute Couture

This week the latest exhibition of the world’s most expensive clothes were unveiled in Paris. Why should we care?

Well, this is the place where designers can showcase their purest ideas – which in part will trickle through to their mainline ready to wear collections – and then trickle on down at some point soon to the high street and our wardrobes. Plus, for all you celebrity watchers out there – this is the first glimpse of the gowns you’ll be seeing all your favourite red carpet show offs parading around in for the next six months.

The couture shows also crucially allow us to be part of the fashion fantasy, we can dream of these handmade, excruciatingly detailed, pieces, and then go and by a Chanel lipstick to satiate our desire.That’s what they’re hoping anyhow. Here’s our round up of the key haute couture collections.

Chanel

Where to go, Karl Lagerfeld, after pulling off one the keenest satires on the state of supermarket fashion? A stark whitewashed Le Corbusier-inspired catwalk up-ended with fireplaces, of course! When you have filled the Grand Palais with aisles of Chanel branded gin, surely the only thing is to scrap the lot and go minimal. As for the clothes, here’s what we can take from it: layering – narrow shorts worn under skirts for one; exquisite moulded gowns with punked up hair for another. But best of all? Flats. From last season’s trainers to these pretty ankle ribboned thongs, Karl is over heels.

Christian Dior

If we were asked to re-design the world (it could happen), we’d enlist Raf Simons to help us with the creative. Three words for you: orchid covered walls. Imagine! This was the set for his latest eyewateringly beautiful show. He opened with curved A-line structured hemmed gowns balanced with simple vest-bodices which felt resolutely modern – even with their Marie-Antoinette exaggerated hip connotations. But he then contrasted this with the ultimate fashion boiler suits – if we ever needed to fix a faulty tap, damn we’d look good doing it in one of these. A word on footwear: after his affair with trainers, Raf is back to a chic heel. The pointed orange ankle boots are, however, quite the dream, we also feel that the ombre pink and red version are sure to be ripped off at a high street retailer near you in the very near future. Snap ‘em up.

Schiaparelli

This was Marco Zanini’s second outing for the resurrected house and it was pretty hot. As a great fan of a monogram, we were particularly taken with the giant ES (for founder Elsa Schiaparelli) emblazoned over his pink floor length frock coat, Also, check out that belt! TOO MUCH! Zanini presents a very good case for OTT colour and outré dressing – it makes us want to dress up and show it off, which we think is always a good idea. Down with minimalism!

Armani Privé

Once we got over Jared Leto in his gold spangly skinny jeans on the frow (WTF?), we were quite entranced by Mr Armani’s red carpet assault course. His Privé line is always a winner at a premiere and we are very excited to see which keen A-lister is going to get to rock up in one of these fiercely fancy red frocks. Looking at you, Cate Blanchett.

Maison Martin Margiela

You know, we really have SUCH a crush on the concept of MMM’s Artisanal couture offering. Scraps of fabric fashioned into, well, fashion. So divine. So unique. So special. So, sort of the whole point of couture. Aluminium embroidery? Ideal. LOVE.

Valentino 

We look at this collection, and we think, if we were Kate Middleton, this is what we’d be wearing. Modern princess dressing doesn’t get much cooler than when this duo do it – just look at this roll neck and monochrome midi length sheath skirt – go on Duchess!

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