Haute Couture Fashion Week Diary: Day 1

Sahar Nooraei here, reporting from Paris for Fall 2017 Haute Couture Fashion Week.

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July 3rd, 2017

As I board my flight to Paris I’m filled with pre-fashion week anxiety. I typically give myself a day or two to adjust before the shows start. However, this time, I’d be going straight from the airport to my first show. I try not to think about it too deeply and settle for some mind-numbing rom coms—27 Dresses, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, all highly recommended before Haute Couture.

My flight over was incredibly pleasant, zero turbulence and a smooth landing. That said, I broke a sweat trying to get from the airport to my flat. I don’t recommend giving yourself two hours to drop off your luggage and head to a fashion show—thankfully it all worked out thanks to my trusted driver. He totally redeemed himself after butchering my first name.

I arrive at my flat in the 9th arrondissement, quickly drop off my heavy luggage—overpacked again—and order an Uber right way. Traffic is as unpredictable in Paris as it is in any global city. Even if you find yourself a driver who has your best interest at heart, you’re better off walking. In my case, as I headed to Place Vendôme for Schiaparelli, I figured it’d be best to obnoxiously run.

After hustling my way down Place Vendôme, I arrive at Schiaparelli. I find my seat and it happens to be next to stylist extraordinaire, Catherine Baba, who wears her eccentric glamour like second skin. After some shuffling around, the show begins. For his latest collection for Schiaparelli titled Shocking Society, creative director Bertrand Guyon took inspiration from the women in Elsa Schiaparelli’s life. From artists to muses, these women led captivating lives.

One of my favourite looks from the collection was the silk tulle Rothko dégradé gown. There’s no other fashion out there that moves as beautifully and elegantly as Haute Couture.

I head back to my flat for a quick change. I go for a little bit of a pick-me-up and put on these sparkly Chanel sequin oxfords–they’re incredibly comfortable.

Back to Place Vendôme where I head to Chanel’s latest high jewellery collection, Flying Cloud. The name of the collection comes from the yacht that once belonged to the second Duke of Westminister, Hugh Grosvenor. The Duke and Gabrielle Chanel had a close relationship and their time together influenced the iconic designer. The collection was presented last week at La Pausa, a villa formerly owned by Mademoiselle Chanel and later acquired by Chanel in 2015. I really loved the little beach installation in the showroom.

It was quite difficult to capture the detail of the collection on my iPhone. Here you’ll find some press images. I was particularly drawn to the cuff and rings that took inspiration from sailor tattoos. From stripes of blue sapphire mimicking the sailor uniform to the gold knotted rope ring and bracelet, the collection’s ode to nautical life was present throughout all the creations.

3:30PM: Atelier Versace
Atelier Versace is always one of my favourite Haute Couture collections to photograph, the looks are always form flattering and reminiscent of modern architecture. Their collections always land on red carpets during the award circuit and their latest Haute Couture offering is no exception. My standout look from Atelier Versace was the rose gold futuristic suit—very Bowie, very well done. For the second season in a row, Atelier Versace has opted to show the collection in a showroom setting. It was a treat to see the collection up close and be able to take my time fawning over all the incredible details.

After an unsuccessful fashion nap—no sleep for the wicked—I get dolled up for the opening of Dior’s exhibition at Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

As I get out of my cab, I see a swarm of photographers hovering over a car outside the museum. As the car door opens, pixie-haired Cara Delevingne emerges and quickly enters the museum. She was not going to be the last well-known figure I’d come across. The exhibition celebrates 70 years of Dior, its founder Christian Dior, and the designers who took his vision to the next level. It’s been three decades since there’s been an exhibition on the prolific designer.

As I enter the museum, I see Giancarlo Giammetti—super casual sighting. I’m escorted to the start of the exhibition and I’m suddenly filled with so much emotion. Fashion is not a publicity stunt here. There’s incredible support and respect for the craft, and Christian Dior is the perfect example of that. While I’ve seen plenty of vintage images of Christian Dior’s earlier creations, it was really moving to see them in person.

It’s hard to make a list of all the influential figures who were in attendance, but seeing Stephen Jones, who’s one of the best—if not the best—milliners in world, was wonderful. Mr. Jones is behind many of the beautiful hats created over the years for Dior—wonder how he felt looking at his body of work!

My favourite room was the mousseline room. Seeing all the iconic looks from past collections and where they all started was really interesting. In the room there were also atelier stations with Dior’s artisans at work.

As I made my way to the last portion of the exhibition, I see my fashion role model, Azzedine Alaïa, talking to Marisa Berenson. Pardon the terrible photo, I was trying to be discreet!

Until tomorrow…

All photos were taken with iPhone 7.