Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture Showcases Weird, Wacky, and Wonderful Designer Clothes

Four days of the world’s top fashion designers showcasing their most extravagant creations have come to an end, with flowers, balloons and live horses presented on the Haute Couture catwalks.

Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Dior line started the fall/winter 2022-23 collection week with a simple and elegant design.

The scenography was created by Ukrainian artist Olesia Trofymenko, with a collection featuring everything the average man expects from Haute Couture.

Dior kicked off fashion week with a simple yet elegant show.(PA: Michel Euler)

Some have described Iris van Herpen’s collection as “futuristic” and like something out of a “Marvel movie”: they weren’t wrong.

The show, titled “Meta Morphism”, was also a milestone for the award-winning seamstress, marking the 15th anniversary of her eponymous fashion house.

Three models wear couture by Iris van Herpen.
Winnie Harlow starred among the models in the Marvel like collection. (PA: Michel Euler)

It may have been Iris van Herpen’s birthday, but Giambattista Valli brought the balloons.

In fact, they had so many balloons that it would be easy to mistake the brightly colored track for a seven-year-old’s birthday.

Two mannequins dressed in two shades of pink in front of a balloon arch.
Yippee balloons!(PA: Lewis Joly)
A mannequin in a white dress with a pink bow in front of a balloon arch with three mannequins in the background.
So many balloons.(PA: Lewis Joly)

In Elsa Schiaparelli’s show, she asked the age-old question: How do I get my partner to buy me flowers?

The answer is simple: don’t be the bouquet yourself, in her aptly titled “Shocking!” The Surreal Worlds of Elsa Schiaparelli”.

A model wearing a shirt made of pink flowers as high as her head.
Be the bouquet you always knew you could be. (PA: Lewis Joly)
A model wearing a wide-brimmed hat with a flower-covered shirt.
The essential of this season: flowers. (PA: Lewis Joly)

On day two, Chanel gave the public a more dangerous sight, forcing models down the stairs in the name of fashion, because walking in heels isn’t dangerous enough.

Five models descending a floating staircase above the spectators.
The models at the Chanel show, carefully trying not to fall down the stairs. (PA: Michel Euler)

Alexis Mabille also got the memo on being the flower you wish you were.

[Picture: Mabille]

Giorgio Armani ended the day with a favorite combination of blue-light disco from the early 2000s: dresses over pants.

This couture season, the Italian fashion legend wanted to “give a new place to sparkle and frivolity”, drawing inspiration from the world of Polish Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka.

A model wearing a pink dress over shiny black pants.
Dresses over pants have appeared in the collection of Armani. (PA: Lewis Joly)
A model wears a blue sequined dress over shiny black pants.
Armani wanted to “give a new space to the sparkle”. (PA: Lewis Joly )

The third day brought some interesting creations thanks to Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing collection for Jean Paul Gaultier.

Rousteing asked the models to wear black and nude conical bras, a nod to support for lesbians having medically assisted reproduction, which the French parliament authorized last year.

Two models wearing dresses with pregnant bellies.
Pregnant taper bra looks had a touching meaning. (PA: Michel Euler)
A model wearing a white shirt, a black tie and a black shirt as pants.
Other items were more of an ironic fashion homage to Jean Paul Gaultier.(PA: Michel Euler)

Elie Saab’s collection looked like something out of a fantasy movie, featuring the pastels and sparkly dresses the designer is known for.

A model wearing a pastel blue dress with puff sleeves.
The collection has been described as “unearthly”.(PA: Michel Euler)

Franck Sorbier took the track outside, added forces and unicycles and gave us permission to take off our high heels in the name of fashion.

A trainer on a horse in a red dress, a second model wears a red dress leading another horse.
Horses are the new models. (PA: Lewis Joly)
A model in a sparkly dress holding a pair of high heel shoes.
Removed shoes are now fashionably acceptable. (PA: Lewis Joly)

On the last day of Haute Couture, Fendi by Kim Jones wanted to “get away from Rome” with creations that drifted between different times, cities, memories and cultures, starting with Japan.

A line of models parades on an all-white catwalk.
The Fendi Couture collection draws inspiration from around the world. (PA: Michel Euler)

One of the last shows was Yuima Nakazato’s fall show, aptly titled “BLUE.”

The designs appeared something from a distant Star Trek planet in the abstract blue spots the models passed.

Nakazato’s work revolves around technology, and the house said he uses gender-neutral designs to “explore the future of clothing.”

A model wears a fluffy blue garment.
Nakazato’s creations looked like something from a distant planet. (PA: Michel Euler)
A mannequin wears an interestingly shaped blue garment.
Nakazato describes her work as exploring “the future of clothing”. (PA: Michel Euler)

The fourth day concluded a week of Haute Couture, the centuries-old Parisian tradition of producing bespoke clothing at exorbitant prices for the world’s wealthiest people.

Designers return to fashion week in September for their summer/spring collections.


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