Theatrics & Couture: Designers Stun At Paris Presentations

From John Galliano's surreal catwalk to Robert Wun merging horror elements with fashion, here's why we'll be talking about Paris Couture Week for a while.

Published On Jan 31, 2024 | Updated On Mar 05, 2024


Couture is back and we were here to witness it!

The Paris Couture Week just wrapped up and the viral moments that have come off of the runway and into our social feeds need to be addressed. They're unlike any we've seen in recent times and you have the visionaries behind the collections to credit for pushing the boundaries and keeping things gasp-worthy. Fashion enthusiasts live and breathe haute couture presentations of high-end, custom-made pieces created by skilled artisans. The exclusive and meticulously crafted pieces often feature intricate detailing, luxurious fabrics, and exceptional craftsmanship offering a glimpse into the world of bespoke luxury. But 2024 brought theatrics with it and we ate it all up in minutes!

John Galliano, the visionary behind the Maison show, has the rare talent to transport you to a different time, place or even emotion. For the Artisanal Spring 2024 show, Galliano collaborated with iconic makeup artist Pat McGrath to create a glass-like skin effect that left MUAs all over the world wondering “how the hell did she do that?!”. 

The set, combined with the disjointed walk and a stellar collection featuring cinched corsets, presented Galliano's woman as an ethereal being, strong yet emotionally intelligent. Fun fact: Galliano *literally* wrote a book on combining theatrics and fashion and how to convey emotion and this show was that text interpreted in real life, and we're glad to be living in a time where we got to witness it happening in real time. 

Horror has always felt right at home with fashion and designers have been more than merry to borrow from elements of death, supernatural and macabre. Robert Wun, the Hong Kong-born London-based fashion designer, took it to newer levels with his Paris presentation. A thick coat laced with shards of glass that run the risk of giving the model than a paper cut or a surreal bridal gown laced with crimson crystals to look like the newly wed was just in a bloodbath…Wun knows his horror inspirations well. The surrealist creations perfectly blended with beautiful and terrifying; a nod to evocative theatre that doesn't lack the shock factor. 

When the Spanish designer's Andalucian Spring inspired collection was presented, fashion critics screamed “Costume, not couture”. We however, beg to differ. This is the maximalist nature of theatre—sculptural pieces built with from rattan webbing gave the impression stage garbs that are supposed demand attention of the viewers. From OTT head gears to magnificent bow detailing, this one was for the fashion girlies who love to experiment with shapes, and how a garment is meant to sit on your body. 

London-based Irish designer Simone Rocha had her couture debut as a guest designer for the Jean Paul Gaultier SS 2024 presentation. And what a match made in heaven this was! From reviving and re-visioning the iconic cone bra to whipping up gargantuan and frothy gowns that are sure to be big on the red carpets that'll follow, Simone made good use of her access to Gaultier's archives for this collection. We're talking diamanté beauty briefs, embellished hats, deconstructed sailor uniforms and a couture bride with a floor-length veil that screams ‘drama’, this collaboration is one for the archives itself.

Photo: Instagram/Gwendolineuniverse