Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Paris Haute Couture Week #2: Chanel, Giorgio Armani Prive, Elie Saab | Autumn/Winter 2014-15

The expected but never underwhelming army of boucle-clad supermodels stalked down the runway for Chanel couture, ditching the trainers of last season for more favourable (though potentially less practical, this is A/W) bow-topped sandals. Unlike something we have seen in Chanel in recent years, there are a few more sparkling looks in this collection that I think borrow slightly from Dolce & Gabbana, primarily the silver and gold embellished looks in the penultimate row of pictures. As confirmation of this year's Spring/Summer trends, Karl Lagerfeld has commanded us not to throw out our full skirts yet; we are not reverting back to body-con bottoms anytime soon. The references to 18th Century royal dress make another appearance in Couture Week, this time through the embroidered dress coats in the final looks in the collection. Finally, in all of the fusion of modernity and tradition, Chanel have paired conventional fabrics and silhouettes with less than conventional androgynous hair, throwing off any notions of expectation with a creative twist; the signature spark of the ever-unpredictable Karl Lagerfeld.

The chicest of things come in red, white or black. Giorgio Armani Prive used all three. With silhouettes that I tend to think of as more French than Italian, the collection saw beautiful capes, cropped sleeve princess coats and short yet absolutely demure hemlines. Wide set turtle necks graced both the Prive and the Chanel couture collections this week, it seems that the plunging necklines of this summer may finally be set to leave us for more weather suitable looks; I sigh in relief on behalf of the whole United Kingdom. Simplistic and sophisticated ankle strap heels, the strict colour scheme and sleek up-dos make for a simple formula for Armani chic this season, and one that I can't wait to emulate in the cooler months ahead.

If you've been reading for a while, you'll be able to guess where Elie Saab sits on my couture admiration scale. I'll give you a clue: the top. Elie Saab has never put a foot wrong in any of his collections, yet in my opinion it is in couture that he truly excels. The Lebanese designer knows his way around excessive embellishment and a fairytale silhouette more than any other designer in the industry, and every look in the collection denotes princess perfection. Both the watercolour detailing and the ombre colours of the gowns were seen in Saab's Spring/Summer couture collection, adding fur this time for a little more wintry drama. Despite sticking to a set criteria in his gowns (beading, shoulder gracing necklines, a focus on the small feminine waist), each look has me seeing Elie Saab's work anew; no two gowns are the same and yet each one throughout years of collections evokes the same sense of other-worldly royalty. Elie, I'll love you forever.

(All images have been taken from and belong to

That is it for Paris Haute Couture Week this season! I hope you've enjoyed my round up of my favourite shows and if you came to this post first do head over to Part 1 to read my thoughts on Versace, Dior and Giambattista Valli. Also I'm sorry this post went up a few days later than planned, I had my graduation ceremony this week which I'm thinking of writing a post on; let me know if that's something you'd like to see in the comments below and in the meantime you can see a few select snaps on my Instagram @laurenjadepike.

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Lauren x