haute couture week online
© Mikael Jansson for CHANEL

Haute Couture Week Online: Day 2

Chanel’s eccentric princesses, a private visit to Julien Fournié’s atelier, refreshingly-engaging Yuima Nakazato and a hopeful Rahul Mishra. Here are the highlights of Day 2 of Paris Haute Couture Week Online.

It’s a Tuesday, so according to the PFW tradition, the first show of the day is Chanel. The mega-Maison opted for a presentation focusing on the clothes without any props. “I was thinking about eccentric princesses, the kind of women that Karl Lagerfeld liked to accompany at parties or at ‘Le Palace’,” says Virginie Viard.  The girls looked fun, punk and yet deliciously-luxe. The collection features tweed, taffeta dresses and lace; as well as some exceptional embroidery and jewellery. It is a striking contrast to the last season’s story of Aubazine.

Julien Fournié took us into his atelier. He shared the story of his Haute Couture and the process that goes into each dress. In this time, it feels particularly relevant to educate and highlight the importance of purchasing consciously and less. Indeed, Haute Couture isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you need a new dress; however, it is refreshing and encouraging to see designers of this caliber pay attention to the environmental aspect of fashion.

Stéphane Rolland’s presentation was quintessentially Haute Couture. Indeed, there was no giant production, no elaborate set, but a steady flow of exceptional pieces with his signature play on soft, yet structured shapes, gorgeous “caviar”-like embroidery and his notorious use of colour. It felt French and just perfect.

A message of hope and love

There were a couple of showcases that particularly dug deep into the current events and the circumstances the whole planet has been put under. Yuima Nakazato took this time as an opportunity to connect with his clients personally, “Face to Face” as he put it. The Japanese designer asked some of his clients to provide him with a white shirt that they had a meaningful connection to. He then spoke with each client via webcam to get the story behind the garment and worked on each piece individually. Essentially, Yuima Nakazato took a finished product and restructured it in a manner only Haute Couture permits. Talk about thinking different.

Rahul Mishra hit it right where it hurts and what many would relate to. “Butterfly People” comes from the designer’s experience of a lockdown in New Delhi. Remember the news of pollution dropping to record lows in the Indian capital? That’s when Mishra saw the blue skies – a rare sight, butterflies, birds and nature returning to the city. The global unemployment situation is not looking promising and the designer saw his collection as a way to help. The butterflies are his artisans in the garden that is his atelier. The collection itself features exquisite embroidery with butterflies and flower motifs; there are headpieces and masks – a reference to the pandemic, perhaps.

In conclusion, today’s presentations felt as if the whole world is yearning to get back to the old way of living. The French designers spoke of positivity, sensuality and more sustainable fashion; while designers from India and Japan carried different messages, that are equally important and human in nature. This time has forced us to look inward and now we have a unique opportunity to come out with a better consciousness. As for Haute Couture, this week may as well be one of the most moving in recent years.

Come back tomorrow for the third and the final day of Paris Haute Couture Week Online. And in the meantime, check out the highlights from yesterday right here.