The stage is set and we’ve rounded up some of the SS21 Haute Couture highlights. From Chanel, Giambattista Valli to Viktor & Rolf, the fashion powerhouses have demonstrated that even the during the pandemic, the world of Haute Couture will not succumb to despair—at least for the Spring and Summer of 2021, that is.
Models descending the stairs of the Grand Palais and passing beneath arches of flowers – Chanel’s Spring Summer 2021 haute couture line up this season aimed to recall a big family celebration (remember those?). Whilst many other label’s chose to go down an impossible fantasy route, Virginie Viard’s 1920’s silhouettes were much more grounding. There were long dress in ecru satin crêpe with a train, embroidered by Lesage with strass and pearl butterflies, plus a wing collar and shirt cuffs. There were long tweed button downs, tweed vests and trousers and skirts in gentle spring tones full of positivity. Long tulle skirts and 3D embroidered fabrics provided ethereal eye candy in pristine full white, ivory and black outfits.
Chanel also toyed with the idea of dance and freedom and celebration of family gatherings like a wedding or a summer evening party where balmy airy envelopes the crowd. Thus came movement in petticoats and tiers of flounced crepe georgette. This idea of dance, of freedom and of summer evening parties is embodied by petticoats in motion, by the tiers of flounced crêpe georgette and two-tone Mary-Jane shoes favoured by Tango dancers, but done in Chanel style, on all the models.
Viktor & Rolf
For Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2021 Viktor & Rolf propose a ‘Couture Rave’, inspired by parties that were and parties we hope are to come. Fantasy with edge, the light-hearted, playful, youthful collection continues with their upcycling elements using archival materials from vintage laces, jacquard, fragments of dresses and even sweatshirts in surprising combinations.
Those joyous voluminous ballgown skirts in ruffles and tulle are paired with highly embellished (with metal, lace, crystals and vintage jewellery) body cropped bra top and single long gloves for a feminine silhouette. Then there are the looser straight, A-line and batwing outfits that employ more sporty fabrics. Cut up, deconstructed, and put back together, this fantastical mishmash of “Haute Couture meets underground party” is an irreverent chaos of unexpected combinations, something that the design duo has carved out a niche for. If this is supposed to take us away from the mundane outfits we’ve been enduring too much of lately, it does a good job with a shock to the system. The label celebrates the ‘power of transformation’ with a venue for their show set at ‘Het HEM’, a contemporary art centre and former munitions factory outside of Amsterdam.
It’s a celebration of Flamenco vibes, volume, froth and frill, Giambattista Valli’s haute couture offerings certainly transport us to a world a far, far away. Reds, pinks, peaches and a scrumptious all feathered gown are delectable gowns made for the red carpet. Yes they are OTT, but the femininity and exaggerated silhouettes give us a sense of lightness and frivolity too.
SS21 Haute Couture Highlights would not be complete without the most beautiful accessories. Worn with those stunning 3D headpieces and floral masks, these are worthy of a Venetian masked ball but done in a classically dramatic, girlish Valli style. We wanted fantasy and this was it. An otherworldliness of epic proportions with some tasteful confectionary shades, it’s a collection that will have the world’s fashionistas, and in particular Valli fans, foaming at the mouth.
This story first appeared on Prestige Online Hong Kong