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Paris Fashion Week: Haute Couture

Hot picks from haute couture

South China Morning Post fashion editor Jing Zhang, in Paris, shares the most striking looks from the spring-summer 2015 haute couture shows

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 January, 2015, 4:25pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 February, 2015, 1:05pm

Ralph & Russo played around with different silhouettes for their spring-summer haute couture show in Paris. They ranged from light sculptural layers to a floaty, finely embroidered style. Their gigantic capes were a vision to behold.

Valentino's show had a rustic vibe, with models in messy  braided hair wearing vintage shirts with high collars and folkloric gowns. Think  Russian peasantry and Renaissance courts. Poetic and pure, filmy blouses and intricately embroidered Russian folk  dresses were  a sublime expression of modern-day elegance.

Beirut-based Elie Saab, a favourite of Middle Eastern royalty, used hand-painted silks, swathes of tulle, feathers and lingerie laces to create ethereal, fairytale gowns. 

Jean Paul Gaultier produced an incredibly sophisticated collection, deconstructing and mashing up masculine black tuxedos with feminine white wedding dresses. Naomi Campbell, in a tropical, barely there ensemble, provided a powerful finale.

Viktor & Rolf gave us couture with straw hat sculptures and flip flops. The duo's collection was a tour de force of avant garde creativitym with voluminous ruffled baby dolls and prints inspired by Van Gogh's rural paintings.

Chanel showed a stunning collection of tweeds, floaty chiffon blouses and sculptural skirts laden with tulle, appliqué  and sequin flowers. Serenity and elegance prevailed at Armani Prive, with watery ink painting prints on long skirts, lush green hues and cloud-like plumes of ostrich features anchoring an Orient-inspired line. 

Schiaparelli’s whimsical collection was an impressive start to the second day, while Raf Simons at Christian Dior showed a '60s-inspired collection of swirling psychedelic knitted bodysuits, candy-striped pleats, plastic rain macs and vinyl thigh-high boots. 

Yiqing Yin's collection, almost entirely in different shades of grey, white or black, put shiny vinyl fabrics with soft felts or flowing silks, while Italian designer Giambattista Valli, after a bumpy start,  found form with long dreamy gowns, floral gemstone appliqués and frothy skirts.

Versace kicked off the week by showing skin-tight gowns with slivers of skin showing through curving cut-outs.