To conclude our coverage of the Fall/Winter 2019 Haute Couture collections shown in Paris last week, we’re taking a look back on the presentations by Valentino, Maison Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, and Zuhair Murad.
For Valentino’s Fall/Winter 2019 Haute Couture collection, the brand brought us voluminous, head-turning silhouettes and no shortage of nature-inspired details, seen in a saturated rainbow of colors. Ranging from birdlike headwear to all-over floral graphics, we saw nature-centric looks like a sunflower dress with thick yarn creating a fringe-covered skirt, sleeves, and neck, with an embroidered flower motif covering the body. With influences from Asia, we saw pieces like a satin gown depicting a colorful mountain tapestry and a ruffle-topped dress in multicolored floral, as well as a selection of hats adorned with metal discs and large tassels. Other standout designs included the all-over feathered coat and head pieces, the pink dress reminiscent of chainmail with bows, and the red, white, and blue printed cloak with the feathered trim.
Continuing the house’s ongoing exploration of the concept of decadence, Maison Margiela created a co-ed collection, entitled “Artisanal,” which illuminated the act of moving forward in a time of cultural excess. Dark colors of a humble wardrobe (like black, gray, brown, and navy) were infused with haute couture colors of red, pink, and smoky blue. Wardrobe staples like blazers, shorts, and sweaters were reimagined and deconstructed, seen in looks like a deep green dress with a belted top and a V-neck sweater worn with shimmering transparent pants, red knee high boots, garters, and a leather bodice. Standout details included the military and historic-inspired headwear accompanying most looks, like a sailor’s cap and a folded beret with peacock plumes, and the new genderless Snatched bag.
Diving into the world of conscious design, Viktor & Rolf took on a pagan mood with the collection “Spiritual Glamour”—the word glamour here referring to an illusion cast by witches. The duo collaborated with Dutch artist and alchemist Claudy Jongstra, who hand felted fabric woven from the wool of her own sheep and dyed with plants from her own garden. The material turned a general feeling of doom about the environment into inspiration for positive action. A spectrum of black tones dyed in a cauldron by Jongstra and her natural plant pigments was complemented by embroidered symbols of the sun, moon, and stars—seen in pieces like a black and blue dress with a crescent moon, and a three-tiered structured felt coat with imagery of the night sky. As a further nod to the environment, Viktor & Rolf upcycled their own vintage garments to aid in the creation of a series of colorful, patchwork dresses, like a dress with striped sleeves, a yellow wooly bodice, and a white skirt, outfitted with multicolored embroidered butterflies.
Inspired by the 1970s and Northern Africa, Zuhair Murad debuted a collection of designs for the globe-trotting bohemian woman with a love for luxury. Paisley motif and prints inspired by Moroccan carpets graced a selection of gem-colored dresses in silk muslin, taffeta, and duchess satin. Traditional jewelry, neo-turban head wraps, and djellaba-inspired jackets accompanied classic seventies mini dresses and floor-length silhouettes—including a printed dress with a plunging neckline and flowing sleeves, a matching head piece, and a pearl-sheened halter neck dress worn with a long cape flowing behind. Other designs we loved included the gold and black sheer dress with beading and lace, and the embroidered off the shoulder gown in emerald.