Couturiers across the world create some of the most beautiful fashion and send it down the runway with absolutely no intentions for it to ever be worn again. Although the red carpet is sometimes graced by these extravagant garments, the reality is that couture isn't about making garments, it's about making art. This art filters out into ready-to-wear in much more subtle ways and many of the top trends of next year started on a couture runway. Let's take a look at the fashions that came out of 2018 couture.
Puff, mutton, and bishop sleeves all graced the runway en masse, both in 2018 and 2019 ready-to-wear collections. The couture collections were right on trend with an amalgamation of all these sleeves, the bigger the better. Alexandre Vauthier displayed 80's style mutton sleeves with a beautiful red, polka dot dress, while Valentino and Chanel focussed on a simple puff sleeve. Elie Saab artfully turned puff sleeves into a cape to create movement, while Christian Dior's bell sleeves may as well have been a cape.
Go big with these fabrics:
Layers have been big in ready-to-wear, with professional and preppy blazers coming out on top. For couture, blazers lose their inhibitions and turn from business to pleasure. Armani Prive's sunset pink blazer features a slight puff and 3D flower, while Azzaro's embossed blazer is paired beautifully with a ruched, body-conscious dress. Schiaparelli featured stunning hand clasps on an otherwise simple blazer for Fall and went for a blazer full of imagery in the Spring. Viktor & Rolf fashioned an entire dress out of a blazer, with some well-placed ruffle detailing along the sleeves.
Blaze a fashion trail with these fabrics:
Feathers are very in right now, giving some beautiful movement to garments. On the couture runway, this is taking to new heights with A.F. Vandervorst's dove dress. Christian Dior's feathered cape featured pure white feathers but no doves and Ralph & Russo's white feather dress is quite angelic with a cape attached at the back. Valentino pairs big hair with bigger feathers on a pink ballgown that does nothing but move while, Zuhair Murad carefully attached feathers at the shoulders, another heavenly style on the runway.
Fly with these feathers:
Modest immodesty, or immodest modesty for that matter, has been quite popular, with totally sheer maxi dresses that feature high necks and long sleeves, and opaque mini dresses gracing the ready-to-wear runway. This trend is seen in couture with garments that look like they leave nothing to the imagination, while actually covering everything with elegance. Alberta Ferretti shows this with ease, producing a dress that, if it was not for the flare of the skirt, looks as if the embroidery was sewn right into the skin. Christian Dior utilizes well placed, opaque circles to keep everything in its proper place, while Elie Saab utilizes intricate lace appliques. Iris van Herpen, like Alberta Ferretti, makes an extension of the body with a nude garment that looks laser cut, and Zuhair Murad's lace gown looks like it's on its way to judge Victoria's Secret's runway show, harshly.
Cover up with these fabrics:
Since late 2017, I have not stopped thinking and fantasizing about pantsuits. from leisure suits made of velvet to business suits made of wool or tweed, model's have been styled in every form of the pantsuit, and couture is no different. Made up of sequins and floral appliques, Alberta Ferretti's stunning pantsuit looks too beautiful to wear anywhere but a photoshoot, while Chanel's tweed suit is a clear forefather of the bicycle shorts trend that Chanel artfully used to create athleisure pantsuits for their Spring 2019 ready-to-wear collection. Jean Paul Gaultier and Schiaparelli both let the fabric speak louder than the garment with a simple silhouette, and Maison Francesco Scognomiglio's white suit with bejeweled appliques is perfect for a modern bride.
Suit up with these fabrics:
Which couture trend do you want to see in Ready-to-Wear, and which would you leave on the runway? Let me know in the comments!