For one exciting week at the end of January, Paris comes alive to the sights and sounds of fashionistas who arrive to enjoy the six-day, invitation-only Haute Couture showcases from some of the world’s top fashion houses. Take a look…
From 24 to 29 January 2016, Paris Haute Couture Week will rock this fashion capital. The city will be full of models, stylists, designers, celebrities and international fashion aficionados for the first of Paris’ two annual Haute Couture Weeks.
Although ready-to-wear now reigns supreme and the high cost of couture has limited the number of fashion houses that still offer couture, there are those who are still steeped in tradition. From these traditionally iconic fashion houses, hand-sewn garments are still available.
‘Haute couture’ refers to clothing that is made entirely by hand. In addition, France has a set of regulations that a fashion house has to follow, standards established by the French Ministry of Industry, including catering to private clients and maintaining a full-time Paris workshop with a staff of no less than 20 couturiers. If these rules are abided by, then the fashion house (we’re talking Chanel, Dior and a handful of others) can call themselves a ‘Haute Couture house’.
It is this that makes Paris Haute Couture Week so special. This is for the media to come and see what these famous fashion houses have produced, not necessarily to purchase anything. In fact, many of the masterpieces on the catwalk are not expected to be worn in the streets; they are creative works of art that depict the fashion house’s mastery, craftsmanship and creativity.
Those lucky enough to get an invitation watch these private showings in the Grand Palais, the Palais de Tokyo and the Pavillon Cambon Capucines. But even if you can’t get access, you can still be part of the excitement and hype, and rub shoulders with these famous fashionistas when they dine out, or take refreshment, or enjoy an after-show drink.
SCHEDULE 2016 HAUTE COUTURE FASHION WEEK PARIS
Sunday 24 Jan
9pm Atelier Versace
Monday 25 Jan
2.30pm Christian Dior
5pm Christian Dior
7.30pm Giambattista Valli
Tuesday 26 Jan
6pm Giorgio Armani Prive
Wednesday 27 Jan
10am Maison Margiela
11am Franck Sorbier
12.30pm Elie Saab
2.30pm Jean Paul Gaultier
4pm Viktor & Rolf
7.30pm Zuhair Murad
Thursday 28 Jan
10.30am onwards: Jewellery by Boucheron, Chanel, Chopard, De Beers