Haute Couture Digital Fashion Week and how to attend

Haute Couture Digital Fashion Week and how to attend. All this mystery around Haute Couture fashion week, sacred event where only chosen ones can see the creative work of the designers, the gods of fashion, creators of trends and public opinion about elegance and grace, the one who dresses the stars.  

This mystery has a very beautiful beginning, and for almost 100 years great designers like Christian Dior or Karl Lagerfeld were the ones who brought a meaning to fashion industry and Haute Couture. Today many things are changing.

Haute couture is not just “high dressmaking”, not even creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. And what is the most important Haute Couture designer is member of the Haute Couture syndicate. To earn the right to call itself a Couture House and to use the term Haute Couture in its advertising and any other way, designer or fashion house should apply for the membership to the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, and must follow certain rules.

Runway Magazine 2019 Paris Haute Couture Cover
Runway Magazine 2019 Paris Haute Couture Cover

Read more about HAUTE COUTURE, definition and the designers who are entitled to be called Haute Couture designers HERE.

For the first time and due to circumstances Haute Couture fashion week becomes digital, with fashion films, lookbooks featuring collections to watch from home. And this is public event. Everyone can attend. Everyone who’s following trends, and who’s still interested in the feature of fashion and would like to know “what’s next”. Although fashion industry is swiftly changing. Less and less people are actually interested in following fashion industry and the way it existed for the past 50 years, with the stores choosing pieces 6 months in advance, with the press writing about great creations and new trends in elegance.

July 6 to 8, 2020 the Federation of Haute Couture and Mode (FHCM) is hosting the Fall-Winter 2020-2021 fashion shows online. Each house is presenting a film and some revealing some exclusive visuals in preview. This event is public. Only some previews reserved for professionals, for unknown reason, as at the same time Haute Couture designers will showcase the collections on their web-sites and on their youtube channels live. At the end of the day it is important for the fashion designers to show their collections to public. But perhaps buzzing of few left professionals that what Haute Couture of today is about.

Runway Magazine 2019 Paris Haute Couture Cover
Runway Magazine 2019 Paris Haute Couture Cover

This digital Haute Couture fashion week apparently holds several surprises. One of them has been announced by “creative” director of Balmain house Olivier Rousteing. Balmain house for several seasons is trying to join selection of Haute Couture designers and show during this week. But he was not able to. There’s of course a reason for that.

Famous French House founded by great designer Pierre Balmain in 1945 today owned by Mayhoola Investments, a company from Qatar. This company of course has passion for luxury goods and good sales, and not for anything else. That is probably why almost 10 years ago the choice for the leading designer fell onto Olivier Rousteing, who knows how and where to pick up his “designs”. He became known for his absolutely bold way to pick up 90s designs from great designers like Karl Lagerfeld, Thierry Mugler, Franco Moschino, or Pierre Cardin and without any hesitation announcing them as a new property of Balmain, renovation and enforcement of this house DNA.

This time as Balmain was not able officially present the collection during this Haute Couture digital fashion week Olivier Rousteing decided to blow up Paris evening before July 5, 2020 with the “Balmain sur Seine” boat show on Seine. According to distributed press-release and interviews Olivier Rousteing basically doesn’t care about current situation, social distancing and this sort of things related to pandemic. He decided to do a public show on boat, dedicated to “Black Power”, as it’ll be written on a boat, featuring singer Yseult with dancers in some sort of musical performance.

“A barge is to cruise down the Seine River on Sunday evening, giving anyone gathered on the banks or pedestrian bridges a view of vintage couture and other fashions, a mini concert by French singer Yseult, and a surprise dance performance”, – announced WWD in another opulent, and apparently very expensive, tribute to the Balmain, Olivier Rousteing and dedicated to “Black Power” and to “Black Lives Matter”. “It’s important to reinforce who we are and what we’re known for,” Olivier Rousteing said in his interview to WWD.

Dancers backstage at the Balmain men’s fall 2020 show. Photo: Francisco Gomez de Villaboa/WWD
Dancers backstage at the Balmain men’s fall 2020 show. Photo: Francisco Gomez de Villaboa/WWD

During this performance, the latest “picks” of Olivier Rousteing and the emblematic creations from 90s of different designers will be mixed (with the note that all these designs belong to Rousteing after this event), together with creations of Oscar de la Renta, the most influential creative director after Pierre Balmain (1993-2002). That event will also go for celebration of 75 years of Balmain fashion house under huge “Black lives matter” sign. And thousands of people will witness that. We didn’t know that color of the skin was a question or matter for Balmain fashion house in the past.

FYI, historically there’s a known method of public opinion manipulation. In middle ages in Europe when king was losing his reputation in front of king neighbors and people, and when merchant deals were down (no more sales, to put it simply) due to wrong political decisions and corruption, he often trough a big public party or parade. It was always pompous, included performance of singers and dancers for public, with of course toughing to the public food and money. The event to remember. Sounds familiar? Is that the way Balmain house of today decided to attract the new clients?

Although scratching this observation….

Anyway the new way of digitally show the Haute Couture collections for this season is something new and might be full of great surprises, great creative work and innovations.

Reserve your place in the front row for this poetic, theatrical and sublime show of Haute Couture Fashion Week.

Eleonora de Gray, Editor-in-Chief of RUNWAY MAGAZINE