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Trends

The SS17 Couture Collections

With front rows furnished with famous faces ahead of the pinnacle of awards season, the Academy Awards, the Spring/Summer 2017 Paris Haute Couture Week collections delivered, and then some. From Pierpaolo Piccoli and Maria Grazia Chiuri’s solo debuts, to Elie Saab’s ode to the golden age of Egyptian cinema, it was a week of pure fashion magic.

  • Valentino

    For his first solo couture outing since the departure of co-Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri, Pierpaolo Piccoli went back to basics – the basics of humanity, in Ancient Greece. Silhouettes were let loose, flowing in perfect pleats from high necks or off-the shoulder, the long lengths and pure tones more than reminiscent of marble statues of Greek goddesses. With romantic elements of wispy gossamer and spine-tinglingly detailed embroidery, the Stoics might not have approved, but the couture clients sat front row certainly did.

  • Couture SS17 - Valentino
    Getty
  • Couture SS17 - Valentino
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  • "Pierpaolo Piccoli went back to basics – the basics of humanity, in Ancient Greece."

Christian Dior

Over at the House of Dior, meanwhile, Maria Grazia Chiuri turned the gardens of the Musée Rodin into a moss-carpeted maze, the unkempt foliage a sign of the sense of naturalism that was to come in the collection; for Dior’s first ever female creative director, wearability – or making couture as wearable as it can be – is key.

And so, there was a softening of the strict Dior New Look silhouette – sweeping Bar jackets paired with perfectly tailored culottes, cut at just the right length to evoke Monsieur Dior’s full skirts, and pleated peplums emphasising waists. For evening, Chiuri looked back to the debutante ball gowns of the 1940s to inform an ever-exquisite line-up of dresses that saw bandeau bodices with slipped-off straps, neat waists met by billowing tulle skirts, floral appliqués and mythical embroidery, and each look finished with a bespoke headdress by milliner Stephen Jones.

Couture SS17 - Christian Dior Getty
  • Elie Saab

    Think haute couture and elaborate gowns in lustrous fabrics bedecked with glinting sequins most likely come to mind; Elie Saab delivers these, and much more besides, for his is always a collection – this season inspired by the golden age of Egyptian cinema – that takes everything into account: the dress; the jewellery; the shoes; the handbag; the sunglasses; the lot.

  • Couture SS17 - Elie Saab
    Getty
  • Couture SS17 - Elie Saab
    Getty
  • "Elie Saab took his couture cue from the golden age of Egyptian cinema."
  • Chanel

    Inspired by Alberto Giacometti’s Spoon Woman of 1926, Karl Lagerfeld created an all-new silhouette – drawn in half way between the waist and the breastbone, often with a wide belt – to celebrate what was, essentially, a classic Chanel haute couture collection. Neat tweed tailoring teamed with pussybow blouses, pearl anklets and silver pumps evolved into a celebration of crystals, sequins and froufrou feathers in a series of fantastical dresses and gowns that are sure to illuminate many a red carpet.

  • Couture SS17 - Chanel
    Getty
  • Couture SS17 - Chanel
    Getty
  • "Neat tweed tailoring evolved into a celebration of crystals, sequins and froufrou feathers."
  • Armani Privé

    No stranger to a colour theme – think back to the lilac line-up of SS16, this season saw Mr Armani go all out for orange, exploring its tonal variety – from citrus brights to rich turmeric – via satin, sequins, chiffon and crocodile skin. With a super-chic segue of beaded black gowns, the two Oscar nominees sat front row – Nicole Kidman and Isabelle Hupert – were spoilt for choice.

  • Couture SS17 - Armani Privé
    Getty
  • Couture SS17 - Armani Privé
    Getty
  • "Mr Armani went all out for orange, exploring its tonal variety – from citrus brights to rich turmeric – via satin, sequins, chiffon, crocodile skin and more."
Couture SS17 - Ralph & Russo Getty

Ralph & Russo

With a burgeoning roster of A-list stars for fans – Kirsten Dunst, sat front row, included, Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo delivered a line-up that had every type of red carpet covered. Of course, there were the gowns, from the topaz-embroidered white silk crepe number that opened the show to undeniably romantic ruffled creations in scarlet, periwinkle, powder blue and black, plus petal-strewn and beaded designs, but daywear got the Ralph & Russo treatment, too. A scallop-trimmed shift dress, a pearl-embellished crop top paired with matching wide leg trousers, Hitchcock heroine-esque tailoring; these a stylish woman’s wardrobe make.