Whilst many cynics put the 'what’s the point?' in haute couture, millions will eagerly await the annual Autumn/Winter showcase of the latest collections from the major fashion houses. Hosted in one of the world's top fashion capitals, Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week arguably divides the industry. With fashionista's sketching dates in their diaries from birth and realists preaching about the unaffordable, completely unwearable, and mind-boggling financial losses, you could be forgiven, (almost), for questioning why haute couture?
Aside from witnessing the unthinkable workings of the industries' top minds, haute couture week pushes far beyond the boundaries of creativity. As only a mere fraction of the population is able to afford the hefty price tags, the collections featured at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week will often be replicated for more attainable markets, making this an unmissable forecasting opportunity.
Despite the distinct and quite frankly disappointing lack of accessorising on the catwalks, handbag enthusiasts need not despair. From the guessing game of next season's hot prints and palettes, to lusting over a rare handbag appearance, Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week presents predictions to shake up the fashion world right across the board.
So, with 12 major fashion houses and numerous newcomers all putting on a performance to remember at this year extended Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week it begs the question what can we expect for Autumn/Winter? What styles are here to stay? And what is making its comeback from couture?
- Co-ordinating. - Handbags may be few and far between at the famed fashion event, but models accessorising on this year’s catwalk had one thing in common, they matched. From complimenting prints, shades and sleek clean cuts, the designers of the haute couture appear to be advocated a move away from bold contrasting and a step in the direction of classic co-ordinating.
- Messenger Bags. - With arguably head of couture status, Lagerfeld's creations for Parisian house, Chanel, are often key style notes for many in the industry. So, fashion tongues talked when Lagerfeld gave this season's seal of approval to the messenger bag. The show's omnipresent messenger bags, seen in white, heavily embellished designs and classic Chanel tweed was just one of the week's examples of match perfection. Denoting chic as only Chanel does this practical handbag style is sure to be a firm favourite amongst designers.
- Red. - Scarlet fever swept the runway as models wore pillar box, vampy and show stopping reds. Fashion houses from Valentino to Viktor & Rolf adopted the sultry shades with subtle nods and entire collections based on this daring hue. After numerous seasons of orange is the new red, red has firmly won its place back on the catwalk.
- Romance. - King of fairy tale creations, Elie Saab, led the way for another season filled with romance. Sheer fabrics, pale palettes and floral designs, will no doubt raise questions over how this improper weather wear will hold up in the later months. Yet as transferable twists of romance make their way for the affordable markets, evening bags encapsulating pale pastels, soft lines and satin finishes are sure to be key investments to compliment this seasons trend.
- Animal Prints. - It comes as no surprise that animal print once again made its way to the catwalk. Leopard, crocodile, and snakeskin all prowled down the runway for Armani, Bouchra, and Schiaparelli proving if it isn't broken don't fix it. Yet with so many faux pas’ possibilities, playing safe with an animal print clutch is the smart girls nod to the trend.
- Cut It Out. - Versace lived up to its eccentric reputation with harsh lines and sharp designs, accentuated by the cut-out detailing. Following the match everything approach promoted in Paris, we can expect handbags and clutches to follow suit with this intricate cut out detailing.
- Monochrome. - It's as simple as black and white and yet monochrome's powerful look is back for another season. The block contrasting, pinstripe, and detailed designs promoted by the likes of Stephane Rolland, Jean Paul Gaultier and Ulyana Sergeenko will mostly likely be replicated across the brands offering a chic all occasion bag.
- High Shine. - High fashion isn't known for its wall flower looks and neither is high shine. Whether opting for patent leather, metallic or crystal encrusted pieces this trend is not only set to be noticed in the style stakes for Autumn/Winter, but is sure to get you noticed.
- Sport Luxe. - It was game, set, match for Bouchar Jarrar with its sport luxe influences. A look that has already seen the rounds on the Spring/Summer catwalks is back for another season. Just add a bowling bag to this growing fashion craze and you're done.
- Lace. - Once again, the fashion houses added a touch a glamour to the event with lace. Versace, Alexis Mabille, and Jean Paul Gaultier were just a few of the names championing the classic fabric. Offering many dimensions, lace can be used for romantic, vampy, and Hollywood starlet looks.
By Stephanie Jade Sleaford.