Haute couture: how did the fashion houses present their collections for fall-winter 2020-2021?
Five-stars short film, digital experiences, cruise on the Seine…
While Fashion Week has been paused, the fashion houses have taken advantage of the current situation to reinvent themselves, compete in creativity or get back to basics.
It's a fact. In addition to rethinking its economy and its means of production, the fashion industry, impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, had to modify its relationship to time. And in particular its agenda, punctuated each year by the many Fashion Weeks from around the world. First concerned, the week of haute couture fashion which should have taken place in Paris from July 6 to 8, 2020. Maintained, it is however presented in a completely digital way, the fashion houses revealing their collections in digital or “phygital” formats ”To respect the rules of social distancing. New ways of broadcasting that compete with innovation or are simply an opportunity to get back to basics. From Dior to Balmain via Chanel, here are the recent alternatives from the big players in haute couture.
Brilliant, festive and deliberately dressed, the Chanel haute couture fall-winter 2020-2021 collection is embodied in the guise of a “punk princess leaving the Palace at dawn”. More inspired by Karl Lagerfeld than by Gabrielle Chanel, as explains Virginie Viard, the artistic director of the house - "Karl went to the Palace, he accompanied these very sophisticated women, very dressed, very eccentric too" - this collection is revealed under the lens of photographer Mikael Jansson, who signs a video and a series of ultra couture photos. A collection also highlighted in a documentary directed by Loïc Prigent and presented in the form of three episodes in black and white which celebrate the know-how of the haute couture workshops at 31 rue Cambon. To discover the work of goldsmiths from the first workshops and the little hands that give life to the creations of Virginie Viard, here revealing their secrets, from the Tailor and Blur workshops, before attending the fittings in the heart of the Chanel creation studio
Marking the 75th anniversary of Balmain, this haute couture fall-winter 2020-2021 fashion week is an opportunity for Olivier Rousteing to present a very first couture collection. Orchestrated in two stages, this extraordinary line consists of tailoring looks from the latest Balmain collections and archive silhouettes imagined by Pierre Balmain and the artistic directors who preceded him like Erik Mortensen or Oscar de la Renta. Rather than a simple video or a lookbook, the art director chose to present this collection on water to mark the end of this period of uncertainty and to celebrate the return to life. It was therefore on board a barge on the Seine that it was revealed, a real show imagined in close collaboration with Beyoncé's artistic director, Andrew Makadski, but also alongside choreographer Jean-Charles Jousni while a performance live musical entertainment hosted by singer Yseult. The main part of this performance can be found on the Balmain TikTok account.
The French house directed by Maria Grazia Chiuri, first woman at the head of the creation since its launch in 1946 made the choice to present its collection in the form of short film. And it is the Italian director Matteo Garrone, one who owes Pinocchio and Gomorrhe, who is the maestro. The pitch? A return to the essential values of couture and the know-how embodied by miniature versions of the dresses from the fall-winter 2020-2021 haute couture collection, central characters in this dreamlike film called Le Mythe Dior. In fact, at the start of haute couture, dresses and outfits were presented to customers on a reduced scale, and then adapted to their desires and morphologies. A return to the essence of couture therefore, which takes life here on the mythological creatures of Matteo Garrone, an additional magic to these creations, to the rhythm of the music of the composer and conductor Paolo Buonvino.