The beauty of Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week is that it’s a runway-after-runway fashion feast packed with impossibly beautiful creations. It’s an opportunity for couturiers to unleash their creativity, completely uninhibited in their vision without having to be weighed down with worries about consumer habits or mass market appeal. Nothing’s reined in, nothing’s edited out or censored. It’s basically a week-long salute to superior craftsmanship and one-of-a-kind wonders.
Interestingly enough, the brand that kicked off the fall/winter 2016 shows at Couture Fashion Week was with a collection that was neither couture nor for fall. Nor was the brand itself a part of Chambre Syndicale de la Couture (a trade association for high fashion that sets the standard of what it means for something to be labeled “haute couture”). The brand in question? Vetements, aka one of today’s buzziest labels. With the blessing of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture, the Gvasalia brothers showed a spring 2017 ready-to-wear Vetements collection of both men’s and womenswear that revolved around a line-up of designer collabs, including Brioni, Manolo Blahnik, and Levi’s. Not couture, but it was truly spectacular all the same.
Other highlights from Couture Fashion Week: Will and Willow Smith turning Chanel’s couture show into a father-daughter outing (with a cameo from Jessica Chastain), Bella Hadid smoldering on the Dior Couture runway, Giambattista Valli’s next round of his famous frothy, cupcake-y gowns (above), and Celine Dion, as fashion week’s most surprising MVP. There’s more. Scroll through for a quick 20-slide glance at everything you need to know about the fall/winter 2016 shows at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week.