Sahar Nooraei here, reporting from Paris Spring 2018 Haute Couture Fashion Week.
Check back for more diary entries and make sure to follow S/ magazine on Instagram (@smagazineca) and Twitter (@smagazineca) for visual updates.
January 24th, 2018
After a long email-filled “break” at my hotel, I jet over to Grand Palais for the Alexandre Vauthier show. We recently interviewed the modern couturier in our inaugural issue of S/Volume, and learned quite a bit about the thought process behind his extravagant designs and overall vision. Vauthier designs haute couture for all occasions and has been really influential in breaking the norm when it comes to the traditional fashion art form. For Spring 2018, Vauthier seemed to have created a collection fit for a Bond villain—like Grace Jones à la View To a Kill. When you think about the designer’s work history, it’s clear to see the inspiration indirectly or directly—depends on who you ask—draws from Jean Paul Gaultier and Thierry Mugler.
What particularly caught my eye (wink wink) were the sunglasses paired with the high-charged looks. A collaboration with Alain Mikli, the range drew inspiration from some of Vauthier’s own heroes: Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin. Vauthier described the collection as “a natural extension of my collection and also which complements the confident personalities of the Alexandre Vauthier woman. The women who wear my collections around the world are both sensual and powerful and this collaboration with Alain Mikli was made for these bold and inspiring women.”
I was quite drawn to the rouge looks in the collection, one being the full leather get-up avec un chapeau, as well as the red polk-dot dress in a darling silhouette. Bella Hadid’s second look—worth pointing out that Vauthier’s show was the only one she walked during HC week—featured a long teal wrap that, at first glance, seemed impossible to walk in but the seasoned supermodel maneuvered her way down the runway like the a true professional. A big round of fashion applause for Bella!
After the show, I was craving some traditional faire and zipped over to Boulevard Saint-Germain to Brasserie Lipp based on some expert advice from a colleague whose taste in restaurants I trust very much.
Upon arrival, I make sure they sit us downstairs and in the back. I take my seat and notice a very special gentleman to my right, none other than Gucci’s highly-influential Alessandro Michele, who had accessorized with some pretty special rings.
Minding my own business, I proceed to order the duck confit, side of fries and a glass of Côtes du Rhône before calling it a night in rainy Paris.
It’s nights like these that make Paris one of a kind. You just don’t know who you’ll run into.
January 25th, 2018
Last night’s dinner was quite rich—definitely recommend Brasserie Lipp—and I opt for a very light breakfast of cucumbers, goat cheese and apple slices.
It’s time to take a closer look at the Chanel haute couture collection from the other day. When we’re shooting the HC collections in Paris, it’s always super helpful to see the looks up close and see what will work best for the story. While we never shoot the bridal finale looks for our stories, I wanted to make sure to examine the multi-layered getup. I loved that Karl opted for a tux instead of the traditional gown; it felt really relevant for the modern woman. The feminine feathered train worked really well with the svelte silhouette of the tux, once again continuing those duelling aesthetics that Mademoiselle Chanel became famous for.
Back at Place Vendôme, it was time to head over to Louis Vuitton where I was scheduled to get an exclusive look at their new fragrance, Le Jour se Lève, created by the atelier’s master perfumer, Jacques Cavallier Belletrud. Inspired by the feeling of daybreak, the new fragrance includes notes of mandarin, jasmine sambac and musk. All in all a very refreshing, feminine fragrance that I’m sure will be a grand success come springtime. Read more about it in our upcoming Spring 2018 issue! Le Jour se Lève is available as of March 15th.
The invitation for Jean Paul Gaultier’s Spring 2018 haute couture show was quite mysterious. I gathered however from the optical illusion graphics that it would be somehow ’60s inspired—and that it was!
Taking my seat, I help myself to a glass of champagne—very Gaultier! I happened to meet JPG himself at Dita Von Teese‘s show in Toronto. We both went backstage and talked a little bit about the show’s costumes as well as Toronto. He’s such a gentleman!
The press notes provided at the show indicated and underlined that the collection was an homage to Italian-born French designer Pierre Cardin who happened to be in attendance. He’s 95 years old by the way! It’s very easy to dilute references when you’re putting together a collection, a shoot, etc., JPG is one particular designer who’s so well informed about what he’s inspired by that there’s been zero missteps. The mood of the show is always light, with models vogueing down the runway and really showcasing the movement of the looks. My favourite look was a fringe number that I was lucky to capture in movement.
Pretty spectacular, no?
And of course, the finale included one of the atelier’s long-standing muses, Canadian model Coco Rocha, who had a special guest with her: her 2 -year-old daughter Ioni James Conran. Both had matching outfits and proceeded to do a little dance number down the runway.
All in all, it’s always a privilege to be in Paris during Haute Couture Week. Fashion is such a well respected and heralded profession in France, and to be in the heart of the country and watch the magic in peoples eyes as they watch the fruits of the ateliers’ work is incredibly special.
Watch out for our Spring 2018 issue that brings you an exclusive shoot filled with some of our favourite HC looks.
Until next time!
All photos were taken on the Apple iPhone X.