The Paris fall couture shows have kicked off, as they always do, post-July 4 weekend. And these are the collections A-list stars might find themselves wearing on the red carpet this fall.
That's because these are the gowns — created by couturiers in Paris with the world's most talented seamstresses and tailors in a luxury brand's atelier — that only one person in the world gets to wear. So some of the most famous faces have the privilege of wearing a one-of-a-kind designer dress to major award shows, including the Emmys, Golden Globes (Julianne Moore was the first to wear Dior Couture by Raf Simons in January 2012) and Oscars. This is the highest level of fashion anyone can aspire to, so who wouldn't if they could?
So what are we seeing at the first shows — Versace, Dior and Giambattista Valli — to take place in Paris? Sheer, floral, 3D fabrics (texturized, as we call it in the trade), evening separates (with white shirts or little sweaters taking over for gown tops) with long textured skirts, fairy-tale moods, brocade, tea length, fit 'n' flare silhouettes, illusion pieces, asymmetry and the black-and-white optical trend. Sure, we've seen some repeated trends from the fall 2014 ready-to-wear lines, and even fron cruise 2014/2105 ready-to-wear, but the couture collection takes these patterns to luxurious, rarefied places. As usual, couture raises the bar.
Here are the pieces we predict will be walking the red carpet at the Emmys on Aug. 23 — or, at least, the looks that'll influence what celebrities wear all over the globe.
Valli showed stripes, florals, illusion, sheerness — often in the same dress. He also presented lots of fit 'n' flare dresses in tea length (over-the-knee to falling somewhere above the ankle) with floral sprays of color. It's a wildly romantic, feminine look.
Valli did evening separates by pairing a crisp, white, tailored shirt with a green-and-white floral, fishtail-shaped long skirt. It's dramatic that they're so disparate in feeling, and very grown-up.
Valli also showed some 3D strapless floral corsetry in this white-and-violet gown with sheerness and texture all in one. It's quite the combo.
Raf Simons for Dior went to a whiter shade of pale for fall Dior couture, which has always been very feminine and highly understated. This was a parade of belles — bell shapes in tea length (possibly the new red-carpet staple?) — plus a brocade tailored evening coat to wear over man-tailored trousers and a turtleneck. This is a fantastic way to go to a movie premiere between October and April. Simons' patterns were so tiny and ghostly that the belle skirt on this style of dress became its primary eye grabber.
Here, Simons showed a drop-waist fit 'n' flare dress in prink with an illusion V-neck — so feminine and graceful.
Simons also showed very simple shift-like shapes with texturized fabrics: like this black chiffon, simple, 1920s-style dress with crystals and pearls.
The Dior evening coat is going to be a big fall influence, too.
Donatella Versace always infuses Versace couture with va va voom, but how do you vary a slinky, tight, sexy evening dress? She did it with asymmetry, bringing back the one-shoulder look (did it ever go away?) and playing with the corsetry inside a structured evening dress. This royal blue cropped jumpsuit reminds us of YSL's Le Smoking suit — it makes a woman look as sexy and dressy as she could in pants. An asymmetrical jumpsuit with corsetry? How chic and novel.
Versace used illusion brocade fabric here to make this one- shoulder dress asymmetrical in its skirt, too.
Black, white and silver continue as a big color combo for evening. Note all the asymmetrical bits. This is tough, sexy and has Jennifer Lopez written all over it — expect Versace couture at the Grammys and AMAs, too.