by Aminath Ifasa & Mabel Roy
  • 2 minute read
  • July 08, 2020
Paris Haute Couture Week: Why Dior and Ralph & Russo’s Presentations Offer A Lesson In The Past And Future

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the luxury fashion industry rethink its practices. But even in these challenging times, the show must go on. On 6 July, Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week launched its first-ever digital show that offered virtual front-row access to tastemakers and enthusiasts across the world, from the comfort of their homes. 

On the first day, the highlights included presentations by Dior and Ralph & Russo, each filled a distinct couture vocabulary. While Dior gave a nod to its rich past and married art and fashion by revisiting Greek mythology, Ralph & Russo looked towards the digitally-charged future with an avatar named Hauli, immersed in visuals of seven contemporary wonders of the world.

Titled, Le Mythe Dior presented an exquisite display of miniature couture, giving a nod to the Théâtre de la Mode touring exhibition (1945-46) that featured nearly 200 dolls. An enchanting world ensued, with creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri’s vision of “mystery and magic” brought to life by Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone.

The designs took inspiration from the red tones of coral reef and the shimmer of the ocean. “The concept of film, as a work of art and an artistic medium, has always captivated me; I have often thought of experimenting with it in order to reproduce the unique atmosphere of haute couture. Cinema is an art that is both creative and artisanal, a work of authorship and a chorale. It’s very similar to fashion’s savoir-faire,” Maria explained in a statement. Dior recreated their entire line of the A/W 20-21 collection in miniature form- in just a third of its original size. This art of a film does not just narrate a fairytale but evokes emotions of enchantment and surrealism.

Ralph & Russo’s A-W 2020/2021 collection reflects on the far-reaching beauty of our natural world and the digitally-charged future. Envisioned by creative director Tamara Ralph, the collection is infused with wonder and allows you to take refuge in the realm of fantasy and dreams.

The inspiration for the collection comes from floral patterns and nature itself, eventually digitized into alluring designs under lockdown, with all the creatives for the project working remotely to bring the creations to life. The resulting designs feature vibrant tones, from yellow-gold to sky blue, lavender to fuchsia pink.

This season is extra special with the introduction of Hauli- the brand’s digital avatar and muse. The name means strength and power in traditional Swahili, and is a reflection of womankind; the beautiful and inspiring women bringing “courage and positive change in all corners of the world“.

The collection is brought to life with Hauli clad in couture as she appears against the backdrop of the seven wonders of the world. These unique and awe-spiring locations were chosen in an attempt to delve into the cultures of different countries and what makes them unique.

Tamara Ralph and her team have put together a brilliant collection and the resulting digital show was remarkable, both in execution and evoking a positive message. 

Cover image courtesy: @ralphandrusso

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