Jul 6, 2015
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Haute Couture week: highlights from Sunday's shows

Jul 6, 2015

Haute Couture has become a byword for unequaled artistry within the fashion industry, and the first day of the Paris Fall-Winter 2015/16 shows on Sunday didn't disappoint.

Ulyana Sergeenko during Fall/Winter 2015-2016 haute couture - AFP / François Guillot

Russian designer Ulyana Sergeenko set the bar high with a collection inspired by a woman living in a Soviet Communal Apartment, the setting for a "bizarre form of shared living" created by the Bolsheviks in the pursuit of "a never-to-be-realized dream of the perfect world, born from the violent destruction of the old order."

According to the house, "the Ulyana Sergeenko woman lives in such an eclectic space, finding a new modesty in shapes, colors, decorations." As such, the collection fluidly explored the imaginary angles and places of the apartment, with womanly silhouettes kept vertical and light, and decorative confetti-esque details scattered across the pieces.

Asculpted dress brought to mind the famous "Salute" lamp, while decadent nightgowns with a Visconti flair suggested a stroll in the winter garden, and lashings of lace, silk, soft corsets, pleating, crystals and sequins added glamour.

Things were much more structured over at Dutch house Ilja, where geometric lines and sculpted silhouettes gave off a very controlled vibe. The architectural collection focused on exaggerated nineties proportions, riffing on oversized jackets and salopettes, while floaty, asymmetric slip dresses injected a feminine softness to the overall affect. There was plenty of drama, too, in the form of pointed shoulders, immalleable skirts and 3D, torso-sized bow detailing.

Drama, naturally, was also on the menu at Donatella Versace, although it was a sweeter aesthetic from the Italian designer than we have become used to. Lashings of chiffon, bell sleeves and frayed hems lent the collection a chic, dreamy, festival aura, with colors based on a palette of sugary lilacs, yellows, pinks and greens. However, revealing cut-away waists, plunging necklines and skirts slashed to the crotch meant that there was plenty of skin on show, while patent leather knee boots kept things suitably raunchy.

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