• Saili Sankhe

HIGHLIGHTS of spring/summer 2021 Haute-Couture Fashion Week

Haute-Couture is synonymous with the french culture, and the Paris Haute-Couture fashion week, as we know is an extravagant affair. Despite the pandemic, the Haute-Couture spring/summer 2021 season was hosted without audiences, although several brands and designers replaced runways with video presentations or digital catwalks. With some exquisite couture collections, from a mystical collection at Dior, a family reunion at Chanel to Iris Van Herpen's fungi inspired silhouettes, we had an escape from reality at the comfort of our homes.

Find here the highlights of the spring-summer 2021 haute couture collections...


"I love big family reunions when the generations all come together. It's so warm. There's this spirit at Chanel today. Because Chanel is also like a family." - Virginie Viard

In the Haute-couture Spring/Summer 2021 collection by Virginie Viard, Chanel's artistic director, we saw a carefree, almost bohemian style—a family reunion in the countryside, in a film directed by Anton Corbijn. The collection gave us a sense of lightheartedness and romanticism with light silhouettes handcrafted by Chanel's couturiers, and impeccable detailing of feathers, camellias, embroidery, and lace. In the end, we witness the Chanel Bride riding side-saddle on a horse, in an ecru satin crêpe wedding dress, embroidered by François Lesage with rhinestone-and-pearl butterflies.


Kim Jones was appointed Artistic Director of Fendi's Womenswear and Haute Couture Collections last September. In his debut collection at Fendi, Jones unveiled a series of romantic outfits reflecting timeless creativity, inspired by Virginia Woolf's 1928 novel Orlando, of which he owns nine rare editions. It takes us on a liberating journey from the British Bloomsbury to Rome's Galleria Borghese. Demi Moore opened the show in a plunging off-shoulder blazer, some other notable models Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne, Adwoa Aboah, Christy Turlington, Bella Hadid and Lila Grace Moss were also spotted.



The rituals, the process, and the values of Couture are timeless. They celebrate the human: the mind that conceives and the hand that creates and gives value. - From Valentino

Valentino's Haute-Couture Spring/Summer 2021 collection, was uncovered at the Palais Colonna in Rome, in a digital tale named "Code Temporal." Pierpaolo Piccioli, in this collection, explores the idea of Haute Couture and its potential to reinvent itself while it continues to remain timeless. Valentino is known for its traditional couture craftsmanship, this collection felt simple and clean yet elegant. Some pieces were influenced by our current lifestyles during a pandemic, encouraging a sort of casualization. The colour palette included a bold fuchsia, a soft rosy pink, a creamy ivory white, earthy hues and the iconic Valentino red. Towards the end, the transition of Valentino's colours in the collection sort of depicts our return to normalcy.


Daniel Roseberry, emerged as an ostentatious designer at Schiaparelli, challenging the conventional portrayal of haute couture with bold silhouettes and exuberant volumes.

"I wanted to challenge the idea of what couture is, and should be, by making clothes that respect the tradition of not only this Maison but the artistry behind it, while at the same time exploding the cliches associated with the genre", said Roseberry.

From exaggerated abs in the form of a moulded leather latex, blouson leather trousers and cream-coloured denim jeans re-envisioned studded with hanging golden locks, and the signature padlock reimagined as a hard-shelled minaudière, this collection explores the perception of the human body while staying true to Elsa Schiaparelli's codes.



Dior haute couture spring/summer 2021, was unveiled in a short film, “Le château de Tarot”, directed by Matteo Garrone. Inspired by divinatory arts and signs of destiny, Maria Grazia Chiuri's medieval-influenced collection is an overflow of creativity and ingenuity. We get a chance to explore the savoir-faire through magical symbols, mystic characters, and the silhouettes of Haute Couture envisioned by Maria Grazia Chiuri.



Iris van Herpen uncovers the haute couture spring/summer collection of 21 silhouettes called Roots of rebirth. The eponymous designer is known for her experimental approach to fashion, her creations blend traditional craftsmanship with digital techniques such as laser cutting, digital engineering and 3D printing. Inspired by Merlin Sheldrake's book "Entangled Life" about how fungi sustain life on Earth, Van Harpen, through her collection, takes us on a magical adventure deep into the roots of nature. Influenced by fungi, the collection featured some delicate and intriguing silhouettes of earthy and ombré hues.


"Couture is not about decoration. Couture is about volumes” - Giambattista Valli

Valli's haute couture spring/summer 2021 collection highlighted his signature voluminous silhouettes. Presented in a short film, with models styled inspired by 1960s pictures of Benedetta Barzini and Marisa Berenson, this collection was a plethora of dramatic ballgowns in tulle, hand-knitted ruffles, exaggerated sleeves with balloon and bishop sleeves, cape dress and loads of feathers