Haute Couture PE 2021: A New Storytelling

Haute Couture continues to go digital, the second edition in this format. The story -not easy to tell- of the creative genius, craftsmanship and tailoring manufacturing is entrusted to the narration of the collections according to two scopes: the recording of fashion shows behind closed doors and the making of short films.

Intriguing mixes of fashion and cinema arise from these short films, such as that of the Maison Dior, which in the last edition enchanted the audience with their film ‘Le Mythe Dior’. Also this year, Maria Grazia Chiuri, directed by Matteo Garrone, transports us to the magical world of Tarot, to dispel, with an evil spell, the insecurity of the period we are going through.

And here appear, in a dreamlike and enchanted dimension, the symbols of the Major Arcana such as The High Priestess, the Lovers, the Fool, the Sun, the Moon and many others, covered with golden velvets, impalpable organza, jacquard workmanship studded with shiny stars and lace with hand-painted inlays, showing unparalleled craftsmanship.

The iconic ‘bar jacket’ is back with a see-through skirt, a masculine and feminine blend, as well as on the catwalks of the Maison Valentino which presents a series of masculine looks with similarities to women’s fashion in terms of fabrics, colours and silhouettes. Women and men are free to express themselves and tell their individuality, through a collection that promises multiple possibilities. Dream creations and more functional models, generous volumes that alternate with flowing lines, decorations of petals on silver mesh fabrics, origami shrugs, sculptural dresses and applications of pearls and crystals on elongated silhouettes.

Also for the Armani Privé universe, garments with larger volumes parade alongside slip dresses and lingerie tunics in satin, embroidered with flowers or fans; tulle and washed silk in contrast to the masculine pinstripes, while the midnight blue velvet is matched with lamé with gold-grey reflections. Giorgio Armani experiments with matching colours that fade thanks to the floral embroidery on the tulle, in the precious details with microcrystals and sequins, thus recovering a refined and lost elegance. With its bright clothes that inspire optimism, the collection is a modern tale dedicated to a free and independent woman.

Sensual and divine Alexis Mabille’s women collection for Haute Couture is inspired by the goddess Voluptas, daughter of Cupid and Psyche, in search of that elegant voluptuousness created between the dress and the body that wears it. The designer outlines shaped dresses in bright colours or covered with sequins, ball gowns in tulle printed with flowers on a blue background and mermaid silhouette in white lace for a hyperfeminine collection.

Giambattista Valli‘s collection has been deliberately exaggerated because “beauty and enthusiasm are needed in this particular moment, we must learn to dare, to dream, to exaggerate”. In the fashion film, Valli takes us through an imaginary journey to Andalusia, where the creative genius of the designer and the heritage of the Maison come together in a romantic show made of hand-knitted ruches and ruffles, pastel shades, tulle corollas and flower petals.

Irreverent and disobedient to the canons of Haute Couture, Daniel Roseberry in his third collection for the Maison Schiaparelli explores the human form for a sculptural fashion, where the essence of the material is preserved in the corset shaped on the body; he mixes fabrics in an unexpected way such as silk velvet tied to neoprene and experiments with alternative techniques and processes, the same way as his predecessor, the great couturier Elsa Schiaparelli.

The debut of Fendi’s new creative director, Kim Jones, is highly anticipated. His first collection is inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and the Bloomsbury literary circle. There are references to the writer’s androgynous side, but sensual and hyperfeminine dresses prevail: long evening dresses covered with pearls, with hand-embroidered or draped floral motifs. On the catwalk, models such as Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Kate Moss, Demi Moore, Cara Delevingne and Bella Hadid.

An all-French ‘wedding’ for Chanel, which takes the viewer into a reconstructed flower garden at the Grand Palais in Paris, to stage a summer party with the usual gathering of friends and family. And here is a small parade of models descending the stairs for the eyes of the only viewers present during the show: Penelope Cruz and Marion Cotillard. Protagonists: very wide tulle skirt, strewn with ruffles (also multicolour) or asymmetrical; the tweed suit in pastel colours; mini cocktail dresses, vests instead of jackets. And finally, the entrance of the ‘bride’, like a real ceremony, with an ecru satin-crepe dress, embroidered with rhinestone and pearl butterflies, a wing collar and a long train.

Article by: Elisa Nascimbene @elisanascimbene

Photos: courtesy of