top of page

Golden touch of Midas in Paris

Haute couture collections spring summer 2023 - day 2 started with Alexis Mabille that opens with a golden show aptly located at renowned auction house Christie's. But there were more golden moments on the day 2 of Paris Fashion Week, from Stéphane Rolland's golden hour inspired haute couture to Celia Kritharioti's vision of Greek sun and alluring shimmers, to the creations by Ronald van der Kemp and more this day.

For his Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2023, Alexis Mabille presents one of his boldest shows in terms of playfulness and uncompromisingly couture collections consisting of 36 undeniably powerful and youthful looks. 

Long backless sheath dress in embroidered organza with multicolored patterns, rectangle top.

The theme "Color Addict" is fully represented with a diverse colour palette and the attention is on draping, Mabille's favourite Hellenic silhouette is perfectly presented in colours that range from bright gold to dusty olive. Other looks feature well tailored pointy shoulders with wide floor length dress, another classic Mabille silhouette.

However this time the designer refrains from embroidery using it very rarely and letting the outfits and colours speak their own language - a couture poetry.

Asymmetrical neckline dress in golden mesh, rolled up at the shoulder.

Mabille's show, like the défilé's soundtrack is always upbeat, and this vibe is translated bymodels that swayed their way down Christie's Paris premises-just a stone's throw from the Champs-Elysees. Set in the triangle of fine art galleries and auction houses, this Parisian corner is where Mabille's clients feel at home, the front-row guests included artists including Ellen von Unwerth, Sasha Ray, and many others.

Mabille's line depicts a timeless lady who prefers elegance to comfort in an extended, frequently Greek-inspired style. Whether it's an hourglass-shaped long cardigan that becomes a dress or a short dress with structured shoulders, Mabille is known for lines that are innately feminine, timeless, trend-proof, and well-tailored. Due to the use of renowned Lyonese lace.

Mabille's couture is known for its lightness, but the woman who wears it is known for blending delicate fabrics and embroidery, with finishes, such as on floor-length silk gowns adorned with Chantilly lace.

Stéphane Rolland's golden hour haute couture

After almost a hour of delay Stéphane Rolland show started, fashionably too late as some photographers started to get impatient. However the 50 min delay was worth waiting because Rolland present nothing else than the pure exquisite haute couture of gold gowns or pure white and rich chocolate looks masterfully draped around the body.

The front-row guests, including Baroness Marina von Lison, Dr Mahsa Nejati, and the Hungs, were transformed from Paris’ Théâtre de Chaillot to glowing movie-like setting inspired by Marcel Camus’ Oscar-winning film “Black Orpheus,” an adaptation of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, set in a favela in Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval. Rolland's show was presented in three parts, featuring snow white series of looks that were followed by black looks and finally grand final with golden looks.

Rolland's mariée inspired by Brazil's patron saint, Nossa Senhora da Conceição Aparecida.

In 2022 Rolland marked 15 years of his haute couture house, and again returns to the runway with his eternal muse Nieves Álvarez by his side.

Large jewelry pieces, such as bracelets and earrings, in metal, sculpted wood and gemstones — including emeralds, jade and malachite—were worn with many looks.

First Sunshine is Julien Fournié's most genuine display of his love to Haute Couture

The French fashion industry's governing authority, the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, gave Fournié full official status as a Haute Couture label for a reason, and this show demonstrates why. This is a protected label in France that only a select number of houses worldwide are permitted to use. He demonstrates with this new collection why couture is his great love and how its beauty can influence the world.

He draws inspiration from the natural beauty of places like the West Indies and the Balearic Islands, which are mentioned in his notes, as well as from locations where his international clientele can be seen sporting his creations. His hopes for unity and celebration as soon as the first beam of sunlight, Julien always designs with the aim to preserve the natural purity and the innocence of childhood. His work gives the opportunity to reveal how women have always, against all odds, sought to free themselves from the shackles imposed by the society. Julien describes how his inspiration came to him trough blessing of many fairies. For an example it is fairy Emmanuelle who draws him towards Lyon region with its finest textiles and lacework; then Fairy Aya, who comforted him the knowledge of the variety of embroidery techniques of India; and not to forget the fairy who helped to find an elegant Parisian setting to present his vision, after past presentations in an imposing Parisian cathedral. The fairy godmothers had also woken up to whisper to Julien: „The dream that Your desire will come true," show notes state and this collection does it justice.

"First Sunshine" Haute Couture collection spring-summer 2023. All images ©Julien Fournié

Ronald van der Kemp's show invites to a diplomatic discussion

The Dutch designer’s summer 2023 couture show was presented at the residence of the Dutch Ambassador, in Paris. And the show is the key word here, forget about the stiff neck black tie dinner suits and dress. Van der Kemp’s exuberance is as sharp as ever and inspired by rock and roll and glamour of the 1970ies. Not that he does not make classical looks, like the elegant pink elongated look or a black coat dress with gold buttons, but the vibe is a lot of glamour and drama for men's looks too, like a lamé opera coat and a chain link dress with lozenges of patent leather. And as the designer invites to a discussion on how we consume and wear clothes the diplomatic premisses were quiet appropriate.

Most importantly, what distinguishes Van der Kemp couture from other Maisons is his passion for sustainability and recycling of materials. He uses vintage scraps and bolts of fabric he’s accumulated over years. Or as in some looks, where he adds several handbags around the model's torso as a leather top, practical and unique. The Netherlands is one of the frontier countries to be affected by the climate change and the discourse on sustainability is much more advanced compared to other European nations. Thanks to talents like Van der Kemp, more people will appreciate how explicitly fun it can be to pair couture with sustainable design.

All photo: Marijke Aerden / Courtesy of RVDK Ronald Van Der Kemp

Couture Spring - Summer '23 | Celia Kritharioti transport us to enchanted tropical rainforest

Couture Spring - Summer '23 show by Celia Kritharioti was literally made to resemble an untouched tropical summer paradise with rich vegetation and even a fine sculptured runway with African sand, flowers and plants, all carefully arranged in the front row where guests like Anna Dello Russo, Law Roach, Gessica Kayane, Sasha Ray, Liliya Tippets mingled with artists and friends of the oldest Couture House in Greece. Later they all gathered for an afterparty at stylish Café Lapérouse at Hôtel de la Marine, Place de la Concorde, just a stone's throw away from the show venue.

Celia's collection certainly emanates refined art. The stunning color palette runs from vibrant oranges, greens, and yellows to earthy browns, corals, mints, scarlets, and dark reds. It also includes expertly hand-embroidered cocktail dresses, gowns, jackets, mini dresses, and kaftans that echo the heritage of the oldest Couture House in Greece. Animal prints and hand-painted taffetas genuinely honor the essence of couture. But this extends in more ways to more than just the clothes. Each piece of handcrafted jewelry that completes a look is a tribute to feminine elegance and attractiveness.

"There is a oneness in the universe, we cannot exist without respect, without empathy, and without humility," Celia Kritharioti

Vaishali S - marks 1 year as the first Indian female designer to present at Paris Haute Couture Week

Vaishali’s ‘Abyss’ collection for Paris Haute Couture Week 2023 is made with carefully chosen yarn from remote villages across India. These threads are then woven into the finest metallic silk which was used throughout the collection. The collection is made up of flowing fabrics or yarn that are knitted into unusual shapes that reflect the designer's artistic impression of an abyss. "We don’t use any printing. All our fabrics are handwoven on the traditional double shuttle loom" Vaishali told me after the show that was held in heart of Paris, at the elegant Carrousel du Louvre. Stunningly the pattern that occurs on the silk garments is not a result of cleaver design or planing, but emerges naturally from this weaving process. This is only one of the many unique beauties about Vaishali’s handmade garments.

"We use many weaves from all over India." Vaishali’s background as scientist who turned couture designer has led her on a research and discovery across India, seeking and exploring the ancient villages renowned for their traditional looms and weaves. Her efforts are fruitful and show in her distinctive silhouettes and contemporary couture line, but her atelier also plays a significant role in safeguarding the rare expertise of regional artisans in India and families in some of the most remote villages. "One of the first villages had only four families who had the expertise to produce the handwoven fabrics on the traditional looms, today we help to employ the entire village," she says. The collection displays an equally wide selection of yarns and silk brocade, each with their own unique look.

Vaishali's unique silk fabrics are translated in asymmetrical looks that are well fitted to the body. All images courtesy of Vaishali S.

Men's couture by Vaishali

The final product is a form of wearable art in handwoven Indian textiles. The collection includes a mix of gowns and various artistic drapes using Vaishali’s signature textures and handwoven fabrics.

Founder and designer of Vaishali S

Vaishali’s ‘Abyss’ collection starts with black, depicting the deepest depths, only to give way to hues of purple, pink, green and yellow, which then finally transition into pure white – a depiction of our journey from the abyss, into the light. This is masterfully curated spring collection inspired by the hope and light seen at the end of a dark winter season.

Vaishali by Phorographer Joy Strotz in Paris.

bottom of page