Haute couture in the spotlight at upcoming Paris Fashion Week

Before the summer recess, all eyes in the fashion world are turning to Paris, where a new set of haute couture collections are being unveiled July 3 to 7. While most of the creations on show will be out of reach for mere mortals, the shows offer a glimpse of what's in store on the red carpet at prestigious global events in the coming months. Here's a look at some of the unmissable shows in store at the French capital's upcoming haute couture week.


The latest haute couture collections will be unveiled in Paris, July 3 to 7.©nullplus/Istock.com - DR

The term "haute couture" is a protected status with its own regulatory commission deciding which fashion houses are eligible for the label. Fashion houses making the official lineup -- whether as permanent or guest members -- must follow a certain number of rules to be able to show off their designs. Garments must, for example, be unique creations made by hand in fashion houses' own studios.

It's above all skills, expertise and creativity that are honored during haute couture fashion weeks, showcasing new and exclusive tailor-made creations that will only ever be worn by a handful of personalities.

Newcomers

Each season, haute couture's regulatory body -- the "Chambre syndicale de la haute couture" -- announces the names of the fashion houses invited to participate in the latest haute couture week as guest members. Some labels will therefore be presenting designs for the first time at this prestigious week of catwalk shows.

One of this season's guests is Japanese designer Yuima Nakazato, who'll be unveiling a first haute couture collection July 3 at 2pm, kicking off the latest round of shows. The designer is notably known for crafting stage costumes for Fergie and Lady Gaga, with a style combining functionality with a futuristic vibe.

J. Mendel and the Italian designer Francesco Scognamiglio will also be making their débuts on the Paris haute couture scene this July. It's worth keeping a close eye on their first steps in fashion's highest sphere.

Vetements brings collaborations to couture

The Vetements show will without a doubt be the most eagerly awaited event -- or at least the most buzz-worthy event -- at the upcoming haute couture week. The label, headed by designer Demna Gvasalia -- named creative director of Balenciaga at the end of 2015 -- will break the codes of haute couture by presenting pieces created in collaboration with no less than 18 iconic ready-to-wear and accessories brands.

As well as extending beyond womenswear (men will take to the runway too), Vetements will show creations that reinterpret classic designs associated with its selected brands, including Dr. Martens, Eastpak, Brioni, Levi's, Reebok, Schott and Manolo Blahnik. This hotly anticipated show, scheduled July 3 at 6pm, straddles the worlds of ready-to-wear fashion and haute couture, bringing these high-street brands to the runway for the first time at haute couture week.

A follow-up from Pierre Cardin

Some shows will be particularly in the spotlight at the July haute couture week, for a variety of reasons.

Dior, which will present its autumn/winter 2016 haute couture collection, will be the center of attention, as the label is expected to officially announce the arrival of Maria Grazia Chiuri as its new creative director at the end of the show. Although the news has already done the rounds online, the brand's haute couture event will be the perfect opportunity to make it official. The designer will be taking over from Raf Simons, who left the French fashion house back in October.

Pierre Cardin is also likely to draw plenty of attention, with a couture collection presented outside of the official schedule. The show will be held July 9 at Château de Lacoste, a former residence of the Marquis de Sade in south-eastern France.
 

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