Haute Couture has always been regarded as the pinnacle of the fashion schedule – where the fashion crowd descends upon Paris as the most over-the-top, breathtaking, and downright outrageous gowns are debuted on the runway.
Each year, the world’s top fashion houses show off one of a kind creations – no same design is created twice in couture collections – so the iconic pieces generally go to special clients or celebrities. Who could forget Lady Gaga in a pink feathered Valentino couture gown from the fashion houses’ Fall/Winter 2018 collection for the A Star Is Born premiere. The dress was originally debuted by model-of-the-moment Kaia Gerber.
For the first time in its history, the widely regarded spectacles will take place digitally this year, giving way to a new kind of runway experience. From July 6 to 8, the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode will host videos from accredited couture Maisons on a dedicated platform. The videos will be accompanied by additional content and roll out on a schedule, mimicking the flow of a physical Fashion Week.
The possibilities of what designers can create are truly limitless, and as we wait to see the virtual collections for 2020, InStyle Australia looks back at eight of the most iconic runway moments in fashion history.
Chanel Muses Take A Gamble
Karl Lagerfeld was no stranger to creating an over-the-top set for his Chanel runways, but the fashion house’s 2015 Autumn/Winter couture collection was one for the history books. One of the most memorable sets in fashion-show history, muses Kristen Stewart, Julianne Moore and Lara Stone all took part in the Chanel Casino, which Lagerfeld famously compared to his fashion career, saying he was known for “taking a gamble” with his designs. Kendall Jenner closed out the show, honouring the historic US Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, in a white bridal trouser suit.
Viktor & Rolf’s Brings Internet Culture To The Runway
Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren’s fashion house has long sought to challenge preconceptions of fashion and bridge the divide between fashion and art. During their Spring 2019 Paris Haute Couture Week, the design duo brought Internet culture to the fashion world, plastering some of the world’s best-known memes onto its avant-garde dresses.
Jean Paul Gaultier Bends The Rules
Thierry Mugler’s Frightening Picture For The Internet Age
French-born designer Thierry Mugler was one of the most influential designers in the world and defined over two decades of fashion, completing his first Haute Couture collection in 1992. For his Autumn/Winter 1995 show, Mugler presented his 20th-anniversary ‘Cirque d’Hiver’ collection which was a glorious celebration of the wonderful world of Mugler. One look in particular, his ‘robot woman’, cemented the designer as one of the most iconic, hailed as a frightening and tantalising look at the dawn of the Internet age.
Valentino Garavani’s Farewell To Fashion
For Valentino’s Spring/Summer 2008 collection, models signalled the end to designer Valentino Garavani’s 45-year career in identical red dresses. The final curtain call was a tribute parade of his most iconic red gowns, and has gone down as one of the fashion house’s most memorable runway moments.
Versace’s Glittering Take On Bridalwear
Over-the-top runways have become synonymous with Versace, but none more so than in its early years. The Italian fashion house was known for its supermodel packed spectacles and glittering productions. Designer Gianni Versace left a legacy for fun and vibrant shows that have continued following his death in 1997. One of its most notable runway moments, Kate Moss walking in a glittering bridal look at its Haute Couture Autumn/Winter ’95/’96 show.
Fendi’s Imagination Of Fairy Tales
For Fendi’s ‘Legends and Fairy Tales’ 90th anniversary show, designer Karl Lagerfeld took inspiration from the illustrations of Danish artist Kay Nielsen in 1914 children’s book, East of the Sun and West of the Moon. Models walked over the iconic Trevi Fountain in Rome, capturing a truly magical moment in fashion show history.
Dior’s Ode To Marchesa Casati
John Galliano’s Spring/Summer 1998 collection for Dior is widely regarded as one of the most spectacular fashion shows of all time, with its models ending the event on the marble steps of Paris’ Opera Garnier. Tissue paper butterflies fell overhead as models wore elaborate designs that drew inspiration from Marchesa Casati —an eccentric and extravagant Italian heiress known for wearing live snakes as jewelry.