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Fashion Week, Haute Couture

Haute Couture Week: Atelier Versace

Backstage at Atelier Versace Couture Spring 2016

It’s here guys, my favourite week of the fashion year. Haute Couture Week has began.

Last night, Atelier Versace welcomed in the week with a collection that was modern whilst still rooted in reality. When I say rooted, as rooted as £10,000 gowns can be. Gigi Hadid opened the collection, titled Athletic Couture, which featured gowns with ergonomic lines which traced the curves of its’ models, harness straps and white ski pants and matching zip tops highlighted with oranges and blues, all following a theme which could loosely be termed sporty. Not the average couture collection in my personal opinion.

Donatella Versace, speaking before the show said: “I was thinking about women at their most focused and dynamic … women who push themselves to the limit.”

When most people, including myself, think of the connotations that are generally linked with Haute Couture, the words that spring to mind are usually magical, fairytale, and dreams. Watching this collection do quite the opposite of float down the runway, I thought more of focus and dynamism. But it worked.

This collection tapped into the more modern day trend of “ath-evening”. A trend being seen more and more often at A-list events, pairing tracksuit bottoms with high heels or shoulder baring tops with racer backs which recall performance sportswear. A concept which allows people to avoid the demands of a floor-length, sparkling gown, trading it in for what could be seen as a more modern and refreshing look. One which younger couture customers, looking for something that little bit more trendy can appreciate.

So much about the Haute Couture world focuses on gowns which weigh triple to models bodyweight from beads, crystals and detail. Twice a year we’re stunned with collections that we can only associate with princesses and royalty. Versace has changed the game this time around, giving the idea of Haute a completely different meaning and opening it’s viewers minds, stating herself “Couture is not about the past, it is a living tradition”.

Joining Gigi on the runway was other top models, including Joan Smalls, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Stella Maxwell and Irena Shayk. If you wasn’t already excited about the show, the backstage photos certainly would have done the job.

Chunky crystal ropes were knotted and weaved in and out of evening gowns. Splashes of electric orange and neon yellow were a recurring theme throughout the show. The kind of colours seen on running trainers. Along side the dynamism and athleticism, which heavily influenced the collection, there was still plenty of femininity too. You can’t really associate a model dressed in a cobalt blue and acid orange gown, accesorised in four inch heels ready for the running track. There was a perfect balance between sportswear and traditional couture.

Concluding the show, Donatella said: “This collection is one of the most complicated, sophisticated and technically accomplished that we have ever created.”

I’ll leave you with a few looks from yesterday’s show whilst I prepare myself for a whole day of shows including the collections of Schiaparelli, Christian Dior, Ralph & Russo and Giambattista Valli. Haute Couture week is running from now until Thursday so ensure you check out some of the collections.

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