Squirrel Abrams
Squirrel Abrams
Squirrel Abrams likes Rock 'em Sock em Robots, Toulouse-Lautrec, and styling vintage leather with high-end electronics. Don't ask about her name.

Chanel, Haute Couture, and (the Future of) Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week Blues

Bouclé jackets and robots and rockets, oh my!

Chanel did it again as they managed to draw a crowd of stylish attendees in the recently concluded season of Paris Fashion Week. The entire collection highlighted a myriad of stylish goodness. While the runways shows featured prominent personalities, the best part of the show was still the collections.

A Simple Glance at the History of Haute Couture of Chanel at Paris Fashion Week

Haute Couture can be literally translated to “high sewing.” It is the art of creating clothes on a grandiose and luxurious level. All items are basically crafted by the hand which can be an extensive and tedious process, but the result will be “perfectly unique.” The first ever fashion house was established in Paris in the year 1858 by Charles Frederick Worth. During that period, they only sold luxurious fashion items to women in the upper class.

By the year 1868, the specifications to determine the a true “haute couture” house had been established. Clothing had to be tailor-made to fit a specific individual. It should also be hand-made by an artisan specializing in a particular area. The couture house should only use excellent materials and fabric. But the phrase “haute couture” didn’t come into vogue until 1908. The strict and rigid system that protects the practitioner and the term today was established 300 years ago.

Paris is considered the melting point of haute couture. By the start of the 20th century, the city had already become directly associated with the fashion term that followed the establishment of different fashion houses such as Dior, Lanvin, and of course Chanel. These houses served as the training ground for the famous names that emerged in the industry during the 1960s. Paris would turn into a pilgrimage for fashion lovers when Paris Fashion Week was inaugurated in 1973.

Chanel joined Paris Fashion Week in 1978. The storied maison has been taking attendees’ breath away with their various ready to wear and haute couture runway shows, via their défilés de mode (literally “fashion parades”). Chanel’s events are always a spectacle, and they never fail to excite spectators. The evolution of their shows has helped in shaping the form of fashion week itself.

Karl Lagerfeld joined Chanel in 1984. This is also the year when his first collection was featured in PFW.

In 1987, Inès de la Fressange became the first ever supermodel to sign an exclusive contract with Chanel’s haute couture house (or any haute couture house, for that matter). After that, the list of supermodels under the wings of Chanel grew exponentially.

Chanel’s Paris Fashion Week shows never fail to be stunning and creative, from their 2008 resort collection that highlighted a plane in the background, the fall 2008 collection that had a carousel-like structure, the fall of 2010 where they incorporated a massive iceberg, and the spring 2012 collection inspired by life below the sea.

We can only wait to see what they have in store for September 2018.


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