With its price points hitting upward of five figures, one could easily find it difficult to foresee a positive future for the fantasy world of haute couture, but can anyone truly justify spending a sum such as £50,000 on a piece of fashion. That figure might have given some people heart palpitations; others from my demographic might have thought “how many Gosha t-shirts could I buy for that?” Either reaction couture remains high in its costs, small in its clientele and questionable in its necessity. Nowadays, it is common for a couture collection to be non-profit branch of a fashion house, used instead for the promotion of a scent or accessory. Nonetheless, it does present to fashion fans worldwide, the sheer creativity and opulence that a brand can offer, a nod to the pre-normcore glory days of fashion.
This season was no different, even if the week became an amalgamation of couture, ready-to-wear and resort, the greats did not disappoint. Galliano at Margiela de-then-re-constructed the traditional trench coat (a few times over) in his ever-artistic vision. Colour and form were in perfect synergy in the somewhat liturgical silhouettes at Valentino. And the week ended with Fendi’s furs taking centre stage (sorry PETA) at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in a floral dream reminiscent of the Symbolist painting of Gustave Moreau.
Times have changed since the couture tradition started decades ago, the fashion calendar is becoming increasingly more confusing with brands ensuring the most economically strategic selling times. Then there is the ever increasing fascination with Streetwear, the younger generation having become accustom to buying their fashion in drops or resale. Yes, this is a comment on the system as a whole but it is easy to forget the artistry of couturiers when confronted by the behemoth brands of Supreme and Palace, whom display the least possible artistic vision in fashion. Even figures like Demna Gvasalia, the uber-progressive creative director of Vetements and Balenciaga, could be considered as detracting from the daydream of fashion, instead promoting his office wear aesthetic. Granted, these are the clothes that sell and fashion is a business, but with all this bewilderment arising from the industry, perhaps looking towards the tradition and emotion of fashion can be a remedy.