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Runway Report: Haute Couture Spring 2024

Runway Report: Haute Couture Spring 2024

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It may be a wet and cold January in Paris, but where haute couture is concerned it’s all rosettes and avant-gardism. Prestige reports from the front row. Here are our thoughts on Haute Couture Spring 2024.


Last season Kendrick Lamar attended the show without huge fanfare. Fast forward to the following season’s show, which opens with a short film – it stars Margaret Qualley and is scored by Lamar – about a missing button on a Chanel jacket. An ambassador for the brand, Qually opens and leads a parade of white looks. Look number one is a smart tweed jacket paired with a transparent straight skirt revealing the legs up until the hem of the jacket. Reminiscent of ballet dancers or very young girls, every model wears white tights. The translucent floaty-over layers of tulle upon coat hems and suit dresses suggest we’re to be reminded of the dreamy movement of dance with each step taken. As we’d expect from Chanel there’s representation of fine knitwear, tweed suiting and exquisite embroidery of flowers, sequins, pleating and lace. The freshness is in the bounty of layers of tulle that are big ball skirts or spill out from beneath the hems and openings of dresses. Leaving a lasting impression, swaths of tulle bounce behind some of the looks like a mystical tail of smoke. The collection’s sheer elements speak to the reveal of the body in dance. The beauty of the tulle’s lightness and movement means each moment will be unique to that individual impression, because its form can’t be contained.  The magic and enchantment of dance and couture are emotive and beg to be shared, as Virginie Viard leads the House on this agenda.

Miss Sohee

You could compare a Miss Sohee presentation to the real-life experience of seeing The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli. Although this is only my second show, it’s the impression I’ve had both times. The grand honesty, femininity and beauty of her collections have undeniable appeal. There are no styling tricks, merely pretty embroidery floral motifs, flattering necklines and sumptuous colours. Her spring/summer collection is a range of dresses: from languid sheer tell-alls with a poetic streak of choice embroidery across the chest to a bevy of striking jewel-toned ballgowns with ultra-voluminous hourglass skirts. Miss Sohee’s collection is a balance of antique ideas with grandeur, and sensuality with sex appeal, which gives so much modernity. Inspired by ideas of costume, some dresses feel like those we dreamed about so our dolls could become queens and princesses. On one intricately beaded slinky bias-cut dress with a train, the backside reveals some unexpected bum cleavage. This collection is a delightful intersection of the timeless and contemporary, while the Anabela Chan jewellery is unique. A round of applause for the independents is in .

Tamara Ralph

Tamara Ralph’s second post-Ralph & Russo collection is a buffet of red-carpet looks, each seemingly an exploration of a material genre (metal mesh, tweed, feathers). The suiting is a particular stand-out – tailoring with cut-outs and jewel adornment integrated into the style lines, or the white suit with draped pearl tuxedo stripe. There’s a strong theme of rosettes decorating bustlines and waists. Although some adventurous ideas don’t seem to hit, there are definitely things to choose from for Hollywood’s new young set to be photographed in.

Read more: Tamara Ralph and Audemars Piguet collaborate on a haute-couture-inspired timepiece

Robert Wun

For this collection, Robert Wun’s starting point seems to be his emotions, but what would these look like when taking the form of dresses? How does he feel about things? Love! Pain! Joy! Innocence! Fire! These are some of the scenarios in which the looks are depicted. The models’ syrupy pace lets us take stock of his pieces’ exquisite tailoring and precise forms. To mix crisp pleating with precise corsetry construction is masterful. Wun challenges the concept of embroidery and beading by choosing explosions of blood red on what hints at being a bridal dress, a shower of raindrops catching light on a suit-like number, and an all-over smattering of rainbow pearls on a gown. A deconstructed trench coat revealing a modern corset with exaggerated female details gets lots of approval. It’s easy to see why Wun has been a red-carpet favourite and has been commissioned for so many looks on the stage. Although celebrating the body’s form, he does so with wit. He creates movement in the looks with grand fabric expressions while developing dramatic character for the wearer. It takes awareness of all the emotions to channel creations such as these.


See Also

Pierpaolo Piccioli’s intimate spring/summer couture show in Valentino’s Place Vendôme salons presents couture pieces intended to be worn in everyday life, and not just on special occasions. Forget quiet luxury and hello to the idea of pragmatic luxury! Bold is the big idea throughout the collection. Big coats and jackets with even bigger shoulders are draped over dresses and slouchy trousers in colour-blocking combinations. Piccioli again demonstrates his amazing eye for colour, pairing saturated magentas with dark moss, tangerine with maroon, and electric celadon with slate. Exciting! Bold gold belts rest above the hips like body bangles. Dresses are either voluminous, bright or daring in their transparency. Nothing is quiet here. There’s chicness. There’s style. There’s modern glamour that draws from Antonio Lopez illustrations. What also makes this collection exciting is his pairings: a maxi-skirt in sea foam with a sheer asphalt-coloured button-down shirt, a grand ball skirt worn with a jacket decorated with exaggerated cargo pockets, and dresses worn with pants. This show demonstrates an appreciation for a life in beautiful clothes in the highest possible way.

Maison Margiela

If people speak of some moments in fashion as if they’re historic emotional monuments, the spring/summer 2024 Maison Margiela show is one of them. This is a display of John Galliano doing what he does best.  He’s the master of the craft of the vision as well as the craft of clothes. His designs have always revolved around the idea of characters and for this collection he lurks around the underbelly of Paris of a certain era to find uncommon beauty. Super-feminine sensuality punctuated with corsets creates hyper proportions over silk organza and tulle skirts that continue to reveal what’s supposedly female but blurred with watercolours. There’s suiting made with a rétrécirage technique in which tweed and wool crepe are boiled together and pressed to create the cinched shapes that suggest both the Victorian era and the hyper bum-centric shapes of today. There’s also a long list of techniques Galliano developed with the atelier that enabled the creation of the garments that he wants. Masterful bias cutting, Galliano’s speciality, is present throughout the collection, just as in his early days when he sent the fashion world into a frenzy. The make-up, hair and choreography are all part of a curation that sends us into his dream. We need dreams. 

Viktor & Rolf

Viktor & Rolf have ideas, which they then articulate through fashion and an atelier that makes wearable art ideas. This season’s starting point is black classic looks: a gown, a suit and a long coat, which then seem to have had sessions with an Edward Scissorhands-type of genius who created three other versions of each look. In the skilled hands of an intellectual, things can start in a familiar place and then end anywhere. Is this a comment on couture? Or a question of what is desirable? The very idea of fashion is all of these things – and fun. 

Source: Prestige Online

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