The ‘City of Lights’ may be blanketed under a heavy snowfall this morning, but that hasn’t kept fashion’s finest from flocking to this week’s ongoing Couture Week shows, kicking off early this morning with Karl Lagerfeld’s usual showmanship. Set among a lush life-size forest complete with winding rows of oak trees, the affair proved to be a more intimate affair than the designer’s typically larger-than-life pret-a-porter shows, albeit no less breathtaking. With a standout model cast that included Jamie Bochert, Aymeline Valade, Kati Nescher, Cara Delevingne and Saskia de Brauw among others, Lagerfeld debuted an array of lavish ladylike pieces that were given added emphasis with lace, feathers and embroidery details. For Spring, Lagerfeld kept his focus on the shoulders, creating voluminous looks that included ribbon tweed shift dresses and bouclé skirt suits overlay with Chantilly lace and paired with thigh-high boots in patent leather or matching lace. When paired with the models’ chiffon leaf headpieces and dramatic black feathered eye makeup, the otherworldly confections felt modern, most notably so in the evening wear. Breezy white feathers adorned the neckline of a black sheath, while more structural columns were done with floral embroideries that could been plucked from the surrounding garden. Of course, if the fresh prints and gauzy layers didn’t speak enough to the times, Lagerfeld’s provocative use of two blushing brides for the show’s finale, was sure to do the trick. Timely indeed, Mr. Lagerfeld!
Of course, prior to this morning’s buzzed about Chanel spectacular, there was also Giambattista Valli’s highly-anticipated Spring presentation taking place at the Italian Embassy. While alternating between high and low hemlines, Valli showcased a series of sleek, sculptural shapes that, although minimalist in design, were anything but basic. Modeled by runway regulars Mackenzie Drazan, Lindsey Wixson, Hanne Gaby Odiele and Daria Strokous among others, the collection was given added intrigue and sex appeal with the designer’s use of abstract ocelot and lynx fur prints and veiled tulle layered over the usual nipped at the waist, flared princess gowns and silk evening coats. As the collection progressed, bustier gowns and minidresses in thick curtain brocades— some even juxtaposed with a long train— were constructed in sweeter, pale hues with tiny crystal details and floral appliques, creating a truly glamouress effect.