Giorgio Armani layered on the shimmer and shine for his fall haute couture lineup, sending sparkling pantsuits and ballgowns down a slick runway. The 88-year-old designer worked on a somber color palette for the Giorgio Armani Prive collection, mostly restricted to red, black, and gold. He coated dresses with rows of beads of the same color, while evening jackets were often embellished with floral motifs. Three-dimensional roses of all sizes appeared throughout the collection, accenting necklines and adorning shoulders.
Embraced for their seductive and divine allure, the roses were an enduring source of inspiration for this season’s lineup. The flowers were used to add movement and fluidity to long gowns and a sculptural element to softer, more delicate styles. Asymmetrical lace and asymmetrical silhouettes were incorporated into the designs, as was floral brocade. In the past, the couturier used roses as a metaphor for love, a concept evident in this eponymous collection.
The designer’s signatures were also omnipresent. A languidly glamorous pair of embroidered jacquard blazers, an opulent cape of silk flowers, and a dressy, velvet-noted dress were all on display. Despite the beguiling frou-frou, there were some simple and subtle looks, including a long silk dress covered in tiny sequins and worn with a wide belt. The mood was a little less frantic than usual for this show as Paris struggles to return to normal following the nationwide riots triggered by the police shooting of 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk.
Other designers opted for a more romantic lineup, with Valentino taking over the Chateau de Chantilly’s splendor to showcase billowing emerald and ivory printed gowns. Cindy Crawford’s daughter Kaia Gerber walked the runway in a loose, crisp white shirt with jeans and vast crystal chandelier earrings, while Florence Pugh commanded attention in a lilac chiffon gown that swept the floor.
Valentino’s haute couture outing was a reminder of the power of Haute glamour, even in this turbulent time. The glistening haute couture lineup of gowns and dresses glimmered in the dim light of the magnificent room as models paraded down the runway to the melancholy music of art-pop singer Anohni. It was a fitting end to a week of couture shows marred by the nationwide riots that followed the police shooting of 17-year-old student Nahel Merzouk. Despite the protests, high net-worth clients made the trip to Paris this weekend to attend the haute couture shows and to shop at luxury brands that boarded up their windows in the aftermath of the deadly clashes. High-end shoppers are more concerned about a bespoke wardrobe than the latest micro-trends or ephemeral Instagram fads.