Couture; just the word conjures up images of never-ending tulle, exquisite beading and fairytale gowns that have taken hundreds of hours to make. The creme de la creme of craftsmanship and design, there's no denying that it produces some of the most breathtaking fashion moments. As Paris couture week gets underway, we're taking note of the biggest talking points so far - from Dior's septuagenarian bonanza to the First Lady's first appearance on the front row.
Chanel builds a replica of the Eiffel Tower (because, why not?)
A supermarket stocked with only double C's, a space ship blasting off, an apocalyptic, bombed out theatre - Karl Lagerfeld's set designs for Chanel have been just as impressive as his collections. This season, he went big, constructing a replica of Paris' most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower, in the Grand Palais. On the front row, he opted for a trio off peroxide blonde buzzcut beauties: Kristen Stewart, Katy Perry and Cara Delevingne.
Dior goes globetrotting for 70th birthday
Maria Grazia Chiuri knows a thing or two about travel: during her first year at Dior, she’s taken her designs to Santa Monica, Japan and of course, the Met Ball, on a whirlwind promotional tour that has seen her reminding women the world over why they first fell in love with this storied design house. And what a story it has been! Now celebrating its 70th birthday, the house of Dior is truly global, dressing everyone from clients in Russia and Asia to Hollywood A-listers. No wonder then that Chiuri took travel as her theme for couture; sending models out in elegant flight suits and natty grey bowlers, while a coterie of wooden creatures greeted arriving guests, from giraffes to tigers.
The First Lady of couture
Brigitte Macron, aka the most stylish woman in politics, took her rightful front row seat at the Dior show on Monday. The 64-year-old was the epitome of understated French chic wearing loose black trousers, a crisp white shirt and oversized grey blazer – accessorised with snakeskin pumps, a beaded bag and a certain je ne sais quoi.
Peter Dundas goes solo
If anyone was to make a success of going it alone, it was former Pucci designer Peter Dundas. A definite believer in the power of brand Me, the charismatic creative has a dedicated following on Instagram and a knack for befriending the latest It girls. His debut collection for his eponymous brand featured an impressive line-up of the latter, from Georgia May Jagger to Sara Sampaio, who stamped down the runway wearing his unique brand of rock ‘n’ roll Seventies decadence.
An American (or two) in Paris
Not one but two designers have crossed the Atlantic to make their Paris couture week debut this season. Kicking off proceedings on Sunday, New York-based designers Proenza Schouler and Rodarte got things off to a great start, with the former nodding to French style with cascades of ruffles, tuxedo jackets and floral lace, while the latter stuck to its formula of ethereal cool, with layers of tulle and prim-and-proper Edwardian necklines.
The flower crown gets a Rodarte makeover
Flower crowns have long-suffered from Coachella backlash, with the Fat Jewish’s billboard ‘Friends don’t let friends wear flower crowns’ sparking thousands of wry-regrams. At couture though, the once-humble accessory had a major rebrand courtesy of Rodarte. Hair stylist Oldie Gilbert used the aptly-named ‘Gypsophila’ flower to create the delicate garlands, which gave models a Titania in Midsummer Night’s Dream-esque aesthetic.