Paris once again became the epicentre of the fashion universe this week as the haute couture shows got underway. Oscar winner Helen Mirren, actress Eva Mendes and Janet Jackson were just some of the big names checking out the glorious creations destined for the wardrobes of an elite handful of extremely wealthy women. And they had chosen a good moment to go along, as this is shaping up to be the busiest haute couture week or several seasons.
An unusually high total of 23 designers are scheduled to take part, including the first Chinese courier to show in Paris.
Firmly in the spotlight on day one, however, was Giorgio Armani, who presented a collection which celebrates his 35 years in the industry.
A-list guests, including the youngest daughter of the Thai crown prince, Princess Siriwannawari Nariratana, watched as the Italian maestro presented a collection which revisited many of his signature silhouettes. The classic trouser suit, for instance, made a return, with elements incorporated into cocktail and eveningwear.
One standout piece reflected by the mirrored runway was of a pair of high-waisted black velvet tuxedo trousers teamed with a fitted cape affair made of strings of pearls. A daringly cut cocktail dress, slashed from bodice to hip, was another highlight.
Across town John Galliano unveiled a fresh collection for Dior. The range, which he describes as “couture in a contemporary way”, featured strong, elegant shapes which placed emphasis firmly on aesthetics.