Designers began unveiling the latest haute couture collections in Paris on Sunday, January 19, 2014, and the fashion shows are continuing through the week. We take a look at the inspirations and trends that have emerged so far from the Spring Summer 2014 haute couture collections.


Atelier Versace ©AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA

Atelier Versace
Donatella Versace outfitted her models like contemporary goddesses, bringing out the best in their silhouettes through the art of draping. Fabrics were close and tight for a sophisticated look, or loose and fluid for a more sensual result. We also observed an abundance of hooded dresses, a nod to style icon Grace Jones. More feminine and modern than traditional goddesses, the Versace women in this haute couture collection wore plunging V-neck gowns with dramatic slit skirts.


Schiaparelli © AFP PHOTO/FRANCOIS GUILLOT

Schiaparelli
In one of the most eagerly awaited shows of the season, ex-Rochas designer Marco Zanini presented his first Schiaparelli collection, which was offbeat and quirky, true to the brand’s traditions. Perhaps the best example was the eccentric pointed hats, a form of homage to Elsa Schiaparelli. All in all, the star-studded audience at the show saw around 20 pieces, including draped gowns, looks with star motifs and plenty of embroidery.


On Aura Tout Vu ©AFP PHOTO / PATRICK KOVARIK

On Aura Tout Vu
Designers Livia Stoianova and Yassen Samouilov put on a remarkably original show to exhibit their latest haute couture collection. Playing upon black and white contrasts, the collection included looks that sculpted models’ silhouettes perfectly or, on the contrary, that flowed loosely, with transparent elements and plunging V-necks. Mini dresses, maxi dresses and jumpsuits with geometric elements were embroidered with rhinestones, crystal, and even … light. The highlight of the show was the moment when the models literally lit up in the midst of almost complete blackness.


Christian Dior ©AFP PHOTO / FRANCOIS GUILLOT

Christian Dior
In an immaculate white setting, Raf Simons presented pieces with precise, geometrical tailoring as well as a wide variety of embroidery. Another prominent feature of this collection was cut-work, seen in everything from dresses and jackets to jumpsuits. In terms of colours, the collection kept its distance from vibrant and flashy colors, opting rather for soft pastels, off-white or midnight blue, which was present in a number of pieces. Perhaps the most outstanding feature of this feminine and sophisticated collection: the couture sneakers worn by certain models.


Giambattista Valli ©AFP PHOTO / PATRICK KOVARIK

Giambattista Valli
In the springtime spirit, the Italian designer gave expression to floral inspirations through this latest haute couture collection, which, with a number of prints and embroidered patterns echoing the petals of cornflowers or other garden blossoms. Whether wearing long front-split gowns or ultra-short dresses with flared skirts, around 30 models walked the runway in sophisticated pieces that truly flattered the feminine form. The colours on display were bright and cheery, without verging into tackiness, with a number of two-tone pieces (blue and white, red and blue). All in all, an enchanting show in signature Giambattista Valli style.


Alexis Mabille ©AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA

Alexis Mabille
The French designer brought a Greco-Roman ambiance to the Hôtel d’Evreux, paying homage – like Versace – to the goddesses of the ancients. The walls, like the models’ hairstyles, were decorated with ethereal white butterflies. Looking sculptural, the model-goddesses, wore long, draped dresses, close-fitting gowns and even togas in various shades of white. The collection emphasised fluid fabrics such as crêpe or organza, and included a trend seen across a number of the season’s shows so far: very low-cut necklines. – AFP RELAXNEWS