With a great deal of impressive creations, unparalleled fabrics and embroidery, haute couture fashion shows are always an opportunity to dream. All the more so when they feature immaculate models ready to fuel our wedding dreams. Back in pictures on these mythical creations of the last forty years.
They were a necessary step. The one the public was waiting for, noticeable impatience and never far away emotion. The happy guests then got up, with ecstatic smiles and wet eyes, to applaud a designer who often accompanied what was to be his most intimate creation, the wedding dress. The highlight of a new haute couture collection.
Today the tradition is being lost, perhaps depriving Fashion Week of one of its most magical moments. But it has not completely disappeared, luckily: we are still in a hurry to discover the final model of the Chanel, Givenchy, Elie Saab, Zuhair Murad collections.
The most legendary dresses of haute couture
The final in a wedding dress, a ceremony
Of course, haute couture would be wrong to deprive its mysterious clients of models in which they could celebrate their union. And thus draw a line on potential orders. So, failing to present the traditional last immaculate passage, the houses disseminate within their parade dresses that can quite serve as ceremonial dress. But let us say it, the charm operates less, because the ceremonial is not any more.
This same ceremony that punctuated each of Karl Lagerfeld’s appearances for Chanel, hand in hand with his iconic brides since 1983 until today: Ines de la Fressange and her hairstyle very Princess Leia in 1986, Claudia Schiffer and her attractive corset in 1992, Devon Aoki and her sumptuous Watteau-style dress in 2008. More recently, Lily-Rose Depp marked the spirits in a sugar-pink dress similar to a blooming hyacinth, in a setting made of thousands of mirrors. Or Kaia Gerber at Givenchy in a cocoon wedding dress.
In video, Givenchy’s Spring-Summer 2020 haute couture show
The culmination of six months of creation
The promises of Jean Paul Gaultier have a completely different energy. During the fall-winter 2017-2018 show, the tops run on the slender podium, mischievously lift their petticoats, play on their resemblance to vanished icons. The designer then arrives, to thunderous applause from the public and his seamstresses, perched on the last balcony of the room. Another mythical moment? The finale of the much-regretted Christian Lacroix parades. His brides rushed into a room frozen by tension and excitement. And then it was a shower of carnations, the flowers that the designer had chosen to offer to each of his guests upon their arrival. The model with trembling hands and red eyes then set about delicately removing the stems of her thick veil.
There are so many divine appearances in haute couture. In 1993, Carla Bruni made all women want to get married in Givenchy, so perfect was her dress with a sweetheart neckline. A few years later, it had become customary for Laetitia Casta to punctuate the Yves Saint Laurent haute couture fashion shows and, in all its freshness, capsize the hearts of hundreds of admirers. At the same time, Thierry Mugler unveiled his singular and prolific imagination, and even his creations designed for D-Day kept the models in another galaxy. John Galliano’s masterpieces, delivered during his fifteen years in the service of the Christian Dior house, were also more spectacular than portable. But isn’t this one of the primary functions of haute couture: to inspire and inspire?
This article, originally published on January 19, 2018, has been updated.