Our Picks from Paris Couture Week


Written by Hatti Whitman
Photos and illustrations by Various
30 Monday 30th January 2012

Tropical Brights

L-R: Giorgio Armani Privé; Versace; Jean Paul Gaultier.

Kicking things off with the ultimate summery trend, zingy shots of citrus colour were the order of the day at Versace and Giorgio Armani Privé. Composed of shimmering beads and sequins, these glittering creations put one in mind of poisonous snakes, but rather acting as a warning these bright hues were pure temptation. Also working brights to venomously vampish effect was Jean Paul Gaultier, whose homage to the late Amy Winehouse featured ultra-feminine, sculpted shapes in eye-popping colourways.

Exposed Shoulders

L-R: All by Chanel.

Every season needs its own erogenous zone, and it looks like Spring Couture is no different. With collarbones on show at nearly every presentation, it was the exposed shoulders at Chanel that were the real winners. With pearly slices of skin glimpsed between straps and sleeves these were dresses that managed to look ladylike and chic whilst also offering a titillating tease of exposure. Check out those tights as well – the garter-effect beads and sequins lead us straight into the next big thing…


L-R: Maxime Simoens; Giambattista Valli; Zuhair Murad.

Everywhere you looked at Couture Week there was beautiful detailing. The level of work that goes into every individual garment is what really sets couture fashion apart, but that doesn’t mean that beaded and embroidered items aren’t going to be everywhere come spring/summer. From the gorgeous embroidery at Maxime Simoens, to the applique blossoms at Giambattista Valli, via the bejewelled brilliance of Zuhair Murad there was an endless variety of perfect finishing touches on offer.


L-R: Alexis Mabille; Dior; Valentino.

Spring/Summer is the season when we’re all feeling floaty, shimmering fabrics, and designers obliged with offerings of lace and tulle so fine and filmy that in some cases garments looked as though they had been spun out of gossamer. These gauzy affairs came in a full spectrum of colours too – royal blue at Alexis Mabille (matching face optional); dramatic, annotated red at Dior; dreamy, faded floral at Valentino.


L-R: Elie Saab; Alexander Vauthier; Chanel.

Our final favourite micro-trend, and it’s at the opposite end of the scale to what we began with. Contrasting with the bold, in-your-face tones of Armani and Versace were the soft, sugared-almond shades that made up Elie Saab’s deliciously girly show. There were pastels aplenty at Alexander Vauthier, whose dresses appeared to be literally lighter than air, as well as at Chanel, whose dreamy palette of soft-blues put one in mind of the spring skies that the ‘Air Chanel’-themed show journeyed through.

Special Mention

L-R: All looks by GIvenchy.

Givenchy Couture managed to deliver a completely unique show, presented in a gymnasium and simultaneously referencing the 1920s and the future, through the inspirational medium of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. Both completely bonkers and surprisingly wearable, Riccardo Tisci’s collection eschewed the wider trends to deliver a fantastic mini-collection that has already been snapped up by the likes of Zoe Saldana, who wore the white piece (above centre) to Sunday’s Screen Actor’s Guild Awards, although we note that she decided against the nose-ring. Funny that.

What was your favourite look from couture week? Let us know in the comments box below!

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