In pics: Roundup of Best Looks from Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week 2019

The Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2019-20 collection hit the runways in Paris on July 1. Presented by designers from Christian Dior, Valentino and Chanel, among others and attended by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Kidman, Heidi Klum, and Gigi Hadid; the fashion show showcased an array of colours, prints and designs at the runway. A celebration of one-of-a-kind outfits and fashion craftsmanship, the Fashion Week ran until July 4 and finally wrapped up on Thursday after an exquisite jewellery exhibition. 

Back to Black with Christian Dior

Kicking off the fashion week with a series of all-black bustier gowns, Christian Dior designer Maria Grazia Chiuri set a vintage mood on the catwalk in Paris on Monday - although even the historic setting for the show came with modern twists.

The brand's latest Haute Couture collection was rich in nods to the '50's era, with capes and A-line silhouettes galore. 


"Are Clothes Modern?"

The styles on show also mixed the old and the new, with lightweight materials giving some of the black dresses a diaphanous air. Christian Dior returned to this elemental form of draping, dialoguing between notions of couture and of architecture, from flow to tailoring.

With its design, “Are Clothes Modern?” it managed to question the evolution of clothes as well.


Giambattista Valli Skips the Runway

Known for his ultra-feminine, silhouette-driven gowns, couturier Giambattista Valli shook up Haute Couture fashion week in Paris on Monday with a botanic-inspired collection displayed not on models, but on mannequins.

In the place of a traditional runway show, his showcased the designer's romantic, breezy looks in a multi-room exhibit attended by guests and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. 


A Floral Exhibition

A handful of floral prints added to Valli's usual monochromatic gowns of tulle, chiffon and taffeta. One ballgown, with voluminous ruffles on the shoulders, around the hips, and on the hem represented a lotus. Another gown was a forget-me-not, one a wild pansy while others were peonies. 

Valli also has a line oriented to a younger, more street-savvy clientele, and has made forays into runway athleisure.


Bringing Demure Librarians to Chanel Catwalk

Buttoned up looks fit for a studious afternoon in the library filled Chanel's Haute Couture runway show on Tuesday, as models paraded around an enormous bookcase in designer Virginie Viard's second solo outing for the French brand.

The collection included intricately-beaded gowns, a shimmering fuschia number and a more sultry, velvet evening dress. 


A Quiet Afternoon at the Library

Several models wore glasses, and prim looks dominated the runway, with high, Edwardian-style collars or dresses evoking ladies riding outfits.

The brand has preserved many of the elements that have drawn fans back over the years, including new twists every season on its famed tweed suits, and several guests said they were taken with Viard's interpretation of them.


Gaultier's Wild Side

Models stormed the runway in animal prints, neon dresses and designs that played with optical illusions at Jean Paul Gaultier's Haute Couture collection on Wednesday, set to a banging 1990s euro dance soundtrack.

The collection included dresses with endless dots of colour, creating the optical illusion of movement. 


Animal Prints and Faux Fur

Gaultier - who joined the fur-free trend late last year at a time when brands like Burberry or Gucci are also dropping pelts - evoked an array of wildlife with animal prints including a panther coat and geometric, zebra-striped dresses.

Notable stand-outs included oversized long collars used as sleeveless jackets and enormous, faux-fur chapka hats.


Valentino's Colourful Catwalk

Italian designer Pierpaolo Piccioli went for an explosion of bold colours at Valentino's Haute Couture collection, switching from mustard yellow to fuchsia to azure. Clashing textures with silks, woollen fringes and pom poms also gave the outfits a subtle complexity.

His bouffant dresses and vibrant use of colour have garnered the brand fresh acclaim after founder Valentino Garavani retired in 2007.


Tribal Headpieces and Colossal Bows

Some models wore ornate beaded hats in the style of traditional tribal headpieces. The collection aimed to celebrate individuality, diversity and inclusivity.

After the finale, Piccioli walked the runway hand-in-hand with the team of women and seamstresses who crafted the intricate pieces. The Valentino catwalk wrapped up this season's Couture Fashion Week.