The Best And The Worst Moments At Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week 2024

Considered the epitome of elegance and creativity, Paris Haute Couture Week kicked off earlier this week with a mix of artistry and a few gimmicks. Surprisingly, the usual dominance of stunts and influencers-turned-models took a backseat this season, allowing the garments to truly shine. Notably, brands like Valentino and Fendi opted out of the couture season, leaving a distinct void. As Paris gears up to host the Olympic Games later this summer, it's no surprise that many collections drew inspiration from sports. Some, like Thom Browne, hit the mark perfectly, while others, such as Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior, left us gasping and screaming into our pillows. Here’s our take on what really transpired during Paris Haute Couture Week.

Schiaparelli

Daniel Roseberry presented what could only be described as one of his best collections since joining Schiaparelli, eschewing gimmicks, props, and influencers like Kylie Jenner with her infamous tiger head from last year. Instead, he focused on craftsmanship through a cinematic quality runway show in a blackout room where fabrics, drapes, and textures spoke through a visual and artistic language.

For this collection, creative director Daniel Roseberry paid homage to the 1950s, the heyday of founder Elsa Schiaparelli. Titled ‘The Phoenix,’ a reference to Elsa's ability to reinvent herself, the show opened with a model wearing a velvet cape embroidered to create a trompe l’oeil ‘wing’ effect. The chandelier-lit basement of the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild set the stage for a journey into the past: satin hoops, bustier gowns, and hourglass designs paraded in the old runway style, with models emerging at a leisurely pace and making eye contact with the audience. This collection struck the perfect balance between the phantasmagorical and the seductive, exactly as one would expect from Schiaparelli.

In the show notes, Daniel described the inspiration through Elsa’s life in the 1950s: "By March of 1932, Elsa Schiaparelli’s reputation was already made: a shape-shifting entrepreneur, she blurred the lines between fashion and art and life and art... The larger design is the continuously expanding universe of Maison Schiaparelli. I was told recently that 'People don’t buy Schiaparelli, they collect it.' That kind of devotion is inspired only by a unique relationship between client and creation. This is what makes Haute Couture so special: it’s an expression of my vision for the Maison today, one free from marketing and merchandising... a way for me to honor that relationship... the one in which I give women the power to be reborn, again and again and again."

The emotional impact of the collection was palpable, with the opening look making Doja Cat cry, and she wasn’t the only one moved by the stunning portrayal of the feather-engulfed dress. Daniel Roseberry’s reinvention of Schiaparelli continues to captivate, proving that true haute couture can still evoke powerful emotions and timeless beauty.


Robert Wun

Robert Wun marked the 10-year anniversary of his label with a couture show titled "Time," reflecting on his journey in fashion. He pondered questions like “why I’ve been doing this for so long, why I still want to keep doing it, and for how long,” using these introspections as the foundation for a collection of one-of-a-kind, extravagant showstoppers. Wun found his answer in accepting that “one day everything ends—and that’s okay.”

To translate the concept of the passing of time into clothing, Wun envisioned the progression of seasons. The opening look, a majestic black gown with a matching veil embroidered in crystals, depicted “the first falling of snow,” symbolizing winter and its reflective nature. For Wun, accepting time’s limitations fuels creativity; the only way to make time meaningful is to enjoy the moments given, regardless of success or failure.

Wun’s elaborate creations have garnered attention from private clients, celebrities, and elite stylists, drawing the likes of Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Björk, and Cardi B. His ability to capture the decay of beauty was evident in themes of time’s erosion on living beings, portrayed through visible burns on the hems of a bright yellow three-piece in swishing silk, voluminous and entirely plissé. Wun explained the meticulous process: “We scanned the burn marks we’d done on a piece of organza, then we printed it on silk and did further burning on the edges to emphasize the effect. Burn, scan, print, and then reburn.”

The result was a collection that not only celebrated the past decade of Wun’s career but also embodied a poignant meditation on time, making "Time" a fitting and profound anniversary show.


Thom Browne

Thom Browne drew inspiration from the upcoming Olympic Games and sports throughout the centuries for his latest collection. The opening was nothing short of a spectacle, with the games beginning beneath the glow of five luminescent spheres. Spectators arrived in custom muslin smocks given prior to the show by the designer, each tagged with their names in classic Thom Browne calligraphy. At the centre of the hall, sixteen athletes in summer-weight cotton tailoring competed in a tug-of-war, their bodies in tension, showcasing strength in a back-and-forth struggle that eventually brought forth a winner.

Browne deconstructed and reconstructed hallmarks of American sport, layering and cutting materials to create organic, voluminous shapes. The silhouettes featured strong shoulders and empire waists, revealing the intricate construction process with hook-and-eye closures, raw edges, and cross-stitching. Embroidered Grecian figures in sequins and bugle beads—archers, javelinists, disc throwers, wrestlers, and weightlifters—captured the vigor and grace of athletic movement.