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Paris Haute Couture online - Day 3


[Image from Bouchra Jarrar]

The final day of the Haute Couture Online schedule can be summarised by Viktor and Rolf: Change.

The influence of the current crisis was even more apparent. It infiltrated every collection, in different ways. It also sparked the fashion version of the motion-picture trailer - teaser videos of future collections, giving a glimpse into what's coming but without the satisfaction of a show. Many houses opted for this, making fashion week even more underwhelming, and giving fashion writers the task of coming up with superlatives for shows they haven't seen yet.

The final day seemed more sombre. It was more philosophical. Even more emphasis was placed on the crisis, or on sustainability, or both. History and nature played a large role. It was only lightened - perhaps unintentionally - by the large stuffed animals on the sleeves and jackets of Guo Pei's outfits.


  • The crisis

[From the Franck Sorbier short film]

While some referred to Covid-19 directly, others generalised the changed times we find ourselves in. But every collection presented today referred, in their own way, to the changed times. Some used it as inspiration for their design concepts, many had to rely on their own stocks or source fabrics in alternative ways, and collections were pared down and limited.

  • Exaggerated silhouettes

[Guo Pei design]

Throughout the week, silhouettes have often been strong and exaggerated. This has been coupled with extremes such as short skirts, flared trousers or A-line coats.

  • Teasers

[Maison Margiela 'inspiration' footage]

Maybe they were trying to buy time, to function with more staff and better access to materials. Some may be playing to the new call for fewer seasons and more transeasonal options. But whatever the reason, we had to be content with a lot of short or arty videos hinting at what will be released later this year.


  • Viktor and Rolf

An exceptional presentation - so much symbolism in both the concepts behind the outfits and the presentation. The designers used fabric from their own stock or sources from local suppliers, and left their inimitable stamp on each look.

Done in the style of the old salon presentations, with a voiceover describing the inspiration for each outfit and pointing out relevant details, Viktor and Rolf presented 9 looks in a 3x3 series. With the Covid crisis looming large, each mini-wardrobe featured a negligee and dressing gown for inside the home, and a final coat/dress for social distancing outside. It was so inspired, all the looks deserve being shown....

If you love concept dressing, then definitely watch the video - here is one link https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/05/fashion/watch-paris-couture-fashion-video.html

  • Bouchra Jarrar

[The designer's dog stealing the limelight]

Another designer using upcycled materials she had available - and also working without assistants at the time. Jarrar still pulled together a tidy collection in black and white, and consistent with the overriding theme at present, she highlighted the collection as being one of 'quality over quantity' and providing 'timeless silhouettes'.

Her collection was whimsical but wearable - touches of tulle or embroidery mixed with functional pieces like trousers and skirts.

  • Guo Pei

"Savannah". The name and inspiration for this collection. Guo Pei was inspired by taxidermy animals she saw at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. She explains in the first half of the video that she sees in wild animals the beauty of life, and that the crisis has changed perceptions towards life - including animals and the planet.

Using traditional craft material (handcrafted sheep wool felt), her collection is simple but striking shapes and cuts, accentuated on most outfits by large, sometimes stuffed animals. Sometimes appearing almost comical, other outfits were more modest. None of them are for the timid or unadventurous.

And a special mention to....

  • Franck Sorbier

One of the designers providing a 'teaser' film for a collection to be released later, this was a work of art in itself, and summed up the covid mood for many.

Its inspiration is the Commedia dell'Arte, and the major character of Il Medico. In other words, the doctor. Wearing the bird-like mask doctors wore during the Black Plague, and carrying the wooden cane used to examine patients, the doctor wanders through the melancholic film, which also features a woman in a mourning outfit and a black horse. Oh, and the Statue of Liberty in bondage.

Apart from the obvious references to Covid, he actually hints at what is to come - in particular, the shawl, the colour black, and pearl embroidery. Sorbier says that his work is based on the idea of resurrection.

Bring on the rest of the year and the release of the collections.......

Photos for this blog were sources from:




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