For most of us, out in the regular world, the word “July” brings to mind vacation and relaxation. But in the fashion biz, July means only one thing: Haute Couture. Yes, you got it: the fashion world never takes a break! Paris had a lot of thrills in store for us this season, once again. We picked the 5 strongest trends of the Autumn Winter 2016-2017 collections, and here’s a small insider tip: the focus this year is entirely on the top half of the human body!
Several maisons decided to pay homage to the austere, yet always fashionable, Elizabethan times. In the second half of the 16th century, Queen Elizabeth I used to wear garments with remarkable, elegant sleeves, garments that never missed a sumptuous ruff. Both details were found in this season’s Couture shows: Valentino went for a very soft feel, almost like the soft, high collar of a shirt, as did Giambattista Valli, who painted it carmine red. Giles went extreme by turning collars into short capes; Chanel and Jean Paul Gaultier reduced the size of their ruffs, all the way until turning it into a high collar, a style which happened to be very common in Victorian times.
To counter the push up high that we just mentioned before, another strong catwalk trend we noticed was that of deep V necklines — debunking the myth that they are vulgar. Lots of brands, including Julien Fournié, Schiaparelli and Giorgio Armani Privé, used deep necklines as an extremely minimalist tool for seduction, revealing very little, while still being very suggestive. Valentino supports this idea by overlaying his V-neck onto another top with a Victorian-style neckline, creating an even more demure effect.
They are really everywhere: on the extremities of dresses, on outerwear — especially in the cases of Scognamiglio, Guo Pei and Tony Ward — or on textiles, giving them a fluid quality, as Elie Saab did. Are feathers the new fur coats?
As we mentioned before, we have noticed that the upper part of the body is definitely the focus of this Couture season. This great focus is especially on the shoulder area, in different manners. Some tried to go for volume, using textiles and shoulder pads, like Chanel did, using feathers to create a sort of mane around the shoulder area. Vetements and Francesco Scognamiglio created a round structure that hides the neck, creating an egg-like effect. Others went for strongly defining the shoulder area, 1980s style: that was the case of Alexander Vauthier and Schiaparelli.
Outerwear as a dress
Under your coat… nothing. Basically: dusters and jackets become the main focus of outfits. Belts are never missing, since they hold the fabric together and simultaneously define the figure. How about length? It’s very changeable, ranging from very short — like Atelier Versace’s — to maxi, voluminous tulle, such as Viktor & Rolf’s.