Christophe Josse made a return to the catwalk schedule this season following a hiatus when he took a break in 2014, having previously been made a permanent member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in 2011 following his Paris debut in 2005. Up to speed?
Finale at Christophe Josse Show - Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION
Known for a fragile and sensual elegance, he took that and transposed it into Dorset ladies circa Thomas Hardy days for a collection that was homespun and nature-y with taffeta and linen and a gentility and serenity belonging to fields and a historical past. Which made for a lovely, organic, and down-to-earth sort of medley that stood out against the flash and brash so often attributed to couture.
But when it comes to flash – note, not brash – Azzaro is a red carpet favourite and Maxime Simoens was back for his second collection for the house. “This time, I had more time to explore the archives of the house; it has more of my DNA with the brand,” said the designer backstage. He’d mixed the Seventies with luxury eveningwear that wandered between nightclub and lounge – a nighttime palette of gold and navy, magenta and shimmery metallic mixes throughout. It was fun and wearable, youthful in appeal, and certainly we know it already has a place on the red carpet.
A look from the Azzaro Show - Photo by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION
But while evolution was on the agenda for Simoens, Hyun Mi Nielsen wanted to slow things down, consider the past to consider the future, and just take stock, with upcycling used as a technique among her collection.
“It’s not just about upcycling in couture, it’s about that approach to life. There’s a beauty in everything. It’s about registering everything,” she explained backstage. “As you walk through life, it’s your story; you encounter experiences, smells, thoughts.”
And to this end, she had considered hers and turned to previous collections to create this one. Notes on migration of people and of animals and of the times we live in were thrown up and there was an on-the-move aesthetic.
A guest member of the couture calendar for the third time, against a backdrop of established names and established aesthetics, it’s always interesting to see something that tries to challenge that. The only problem may be that Couture is one of those things people have set in their mind as to what it is and should be. But it’s something to consider.
A look from Hyun Mi Nielsen Show - Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION