Descending on Paris twice a year (in January and July), Haute Couture Fashion Week is known for its theatrics and presentation. Designers bring their most creative pieces, and the spectacle is a thing to behold. Haute couture, translated literally as “high dressmaking,” describes “garments created as one-off pieces for a specific client.” But it isn’t just a category of apparel. “Haute couture” is also an exclusive designation given to a handful of fashion houses that follow strict rules set forth by the French fashion industry’s governing body (the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture).
To the average person, haute couture might seem strange and unrelatable. The pieces may not appear as wearable as your typical evening gown, and can range in cost from $25,000 to $80,000 per piece – even more if it’s bridal. But there’s a reason these collections are different from the typical ready-to-wear variety. Haute couture is as much art as it is fashion, and art necessarily pushes boundaries and challenges paradigms. The paradigm challenged here seems to be: “things normal people wear.” (Consider it challenged.) If you’re going to pay $30,000 for a single outfit, it had better stand out.
But it wasn’t just the couture that stood out last week. As expected, the streets during Haute Couture Week were almost as theatrical as the runways – although slightly more relatable. All casts of characters were seen challenging themselves stylistically and experimenting with unconventional silhouettes and surprising combinations. From the classic to the cutting-edge, here are the best street style looks from Haute Couture Week in Paris, avec plaisir.
Best Street Style
Under the sea goddess, but make it vogue.
Lupita Nyong'o and Kendrick Lamar
Only thing better than a fashion bestie is two of them.
Doing her Kendall thang.
Belle of the couture ball.
Barbie Girl understood the assignment.
Dueling class acts.
A vision en blanc.
Cardi B was everything, everywhere, all the time at Haute Couture Week.
Crochet all day.
A tale of two pretties: the long and short of it.
Ready for their close-up.
Victorian girl summer.
Nothing more Parisian than a pink Chanel jumper.
Or a funky ‘70s set.
Chanel twins always wins.
Same goes for a sparkly dress + oversized blazer.
Polka dots are never not chic.
The maximal minimalist.
(She looks really good in white.)
Baby Coco (Chanel)
Baby Carrie (Bradshaw)
Camille-y in Paris.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Everyone needs a Peter Pan collar minidress.
Beige bae = Baegé
“She shines, she shines!”
She who can do no wrong.
She whose hips have never spread falsehoods.
Spotted in Paris: Blackpink fans Emma Thompson and Laura Dern.
Queen of Couture: Caroline Daur
Move over, Sofia Richie. By virtue of her style versatility and sheer number of slays, German influencer Caroline Daur (Daur power) has been dubbed our new favorite icon, and Queen of Couture Fashion Week. Li’l black – and white – dresses, and a “Clueless Blair Waldorf” interpretation sealed the deal. We’re predicting Daur’s style will be the most emulated following last week’s fashion fest.
Thoughtful and experimental style was on display in the streets of Paris during Haute Couture Fashion Week. The drama and theatrics were a beautiful thing to behold, and we’re sad to see it end. And while there may have been some fashion flops, at least these icons are in the fashion arena, expressing themselves creatively – and bravely. As Teddy Roosevelt once said, “It is not the critic who counts…the credit belongs to the (wo)man who is actually in the arena…daring greatly.” So when you feel yourself stuck in a stylistic rut, repeating the same outfits over and over, look no further than such leading ladies for inspiration – like how to serve chic in logo suspenders and a bowler hat. *Chef’s kiss*
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