Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior and Kim Jones at Fendi presented stunning collections during Paris Haute Couture Week, both celebrating the excellence of savoir-faire with magical visions.
Maria Grazia Chiuri pays tribute to the excellence of the atelier in her Spring/Summer 2022 haute couture collection. The silhouettes flowed in an evanescent choreography of embroidery, feathers, braids, pearls and crystals. In a white and black vision highlighted by flashes of gold and silver, the dreamlike lightness of draped bodysuits and evening gowns alternated with architectural capes and coats, as well as tights transformed into jewels. The apparent simplicity of off-the-shoulder gowns reveals hours of meticulous handmade craft. Each minute rhinestone is the fruit of technical prowess and expert gestures, including a chiffon gown that transmutes into a bird’s wing, embroidered with delicate feathers and sparkling gemstones. The setting for the show was itself a trompe-l’œil, featuring works by celebrated Indian artists Madhvi and Manu Parekh on the walls in majestic embroidered renditions created by the Chanakya School of Craft in Mumbai. Each colorful embroidery echoed the monochrome embroideries of the haute couture silhouettes, a vector for lively dialogue between Indian and French savoir-faire in a universal language of handmade expertise and craft as artistic expression.
Kim Jones chose the arcades of a phantasmagorical palazzo illuminated by starry neon for his latest haute couture collection, inspired by an avowedly cinematographic Rome. Framed by a column of smoke, models made up with delicate rhinestones wore shimmering togas, gliding like empresses with sweeping trains behind them, revealing tights embroidered with floral motifs. Channeling a fantasy Rome, they showcased ancestral artisanal techniques and the rich past of the city alongside its imagined future. The classical statues outside FENDI’s Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana headquarters are hand-painted on mink and velvet in dramatic chiaroscuro. This harmony of white, black and gray appears in silk and organza evening gowns embellished with prints on opulent fabrics and illuminated by traditional beading and mother of pearl. Exposed underpinnings reveal the essence of haute couture construction, while red and violet materials evoke a powerful and spiritual aesthetic. Kim Jones continues to celebrate the power of women, as eternal as the city that inspires his vision.