Disruptive flux at haute couture… Challenging convention
The fashion system is currently undergoing a major evolution – a revolution – even in terms of where the identity of its various entities lies.
Which season are we seeing? What is being presented? Are we at couture, pre-fall or resort? Do these garments fall under the category of ready-to-wear or made-to-measure?
The world is in constant discussion regarding disruption as a way forward across various fields, and the fashion industry does not stay immune to it… A state of uneasiness and upheaval was evident owing to the disjoint happening at the Haute Couture Week, this season, which raised a question regarding the feasibility of couture in coming times and what it stands for today. Is it still about extravagance and glamour, or are we headed towards a more apparent shift for ready-to-wear collections in couture owing to the increase in the spending power of emerging markets?
The latter is brought into perspective with the decision to welcome and include American talent with respect to ace design houses of Rodarte and Proenza Schouler, who were invited to showcase their collections at the prestigious Couture Week held exclusively in Paris, along with Peter Dundas. A move that certainly hints on a wider acceptance targeted towards the industry’s expansion but at the same time somewhat also takes away the allure and regality associated with haute couture.
The fact that many of the presentations showcased ready-to-wear, daywear and experimental pieces – owing to avant-garde designers such as Maison Margiela, Iris van Herpen and Viktor and Rolf – signal a shift to an era that sees a rise in wearable streetwear inspired fashion.
Not that any of these designers are lacking, but just that their fields are very different as opposed to haute couture in the traditional sense of the word.
And thus the resulting reaction from the assemblage was one filled with curiosity, uncertainty, bafflement and awe – as all couture showcases are deserving of awe.
This season saw a battle of wits between traditionalists and modernists coming full throttle to give birth to a yet unnamed branch of fashion that sits somewhere between the confines of couture and ready-to-wear – a universe which we shall have the honour of navigating our way through in the approaching seasons.
FFT puts together 5 of the most thought-provoking presentations by designers who have contributed towards channelling the (conflictingly) apparent ‘shift’ in the industry, owing to their signature style, craftsmanship, workmanship and how they amalgamate the three to translate their genius into the world of haute couture.