Sofia Achaval De Montaigu’s Couture Diary: Fall 2018

by Charles Manning

The Daily‘s special Parisienne correspondent Sofia Achaval De Montaigu takes us through this season’s best couture shows and chicest events, one day at a time.

Saturday, June 30th

1. Miu Miu
Miu Miu showed their 2019 cruise collection the day before the official start of couture week, so we’ll include them here just for fun. The show was beautiful, chic, and playful, especially with stars like Uma Thurman, Chloë Sevigny, and Kate Bosworth as models. The after party at the Hotel Regina found Miuccia Prada in a fuchsia dress chatting with guests while Elie Top, Yazbukey, Gaspar Noé, and Kaia Gerber milled about, soaking up the glam. The venue had blue satin beds made specially for the occasion and Baroque mirrors to facilitate selfies, while the dance floor downstairs was covered in black velvet — perfect for an Instagram moment.

Sunday, July 1st

2. Ronald van der Kemp
The first official day of Couture Fashion Week started with Ronald van der Kemp’s show at the Opera ballroom of the Hotel Intercontinental Le Grand. A truly magnificent show with Blade Runner makeup vibes and music by Michelle Gaubert. It was as if Van der Kemp mixed dramatic arts with fashion — my favorite piece being a pink and orange neon cloak. Emmanuelle Alt, Aleksandra Woroniecka, Noemie Lenoir, and Caroline de Maigret were among the ones sitting first row.

3. Sonia Rykiel
On a beautiful summer day at the L´École des Beaux-Arts, an intimate Sonia Rykiel show was staged to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the brand. Julie de Libran rethought the exceptional house icons adapted to “the lifestyle of today´s woman,“ revisiting signature designs with bright splashes of color and appliques. The show, which took place in a garden full of statuary, had tables for VIPs such as Emmanuelle Alt, Derek Blagsberg, and Alexandra Golovanoff . Once the show was over, there was a special knitwear presentation created by Rykiel’s muses like Liya Kebede, Kirsten Dunst, Sofia Boutelia, and Sue-Jin Kang. The profits of those sales will go to charities like La Maison des Femmes, Planned Parenthood, and Hope & Home for Children, among others.

Monday, July 2nd

4. Dundas
Peter Dundas’ chose to present his spring 2019 show during couture. The show at the Musee Bourdelle was preceded by a perfect summer cocktail in the garden of the museum, were I was able to see all of my friends like Eugenie Niarchos, Bianca Brandolini, Alexia Niedzielski, Leaf Greener, and Sabine Getty. The fashion show itself took place in a beautiful space filled with the most spectacular sculptures. Guns N’ Roses played on the sound system as a army of cool, sexy girls in mini skirts stormed the runway. 

Tuesday, July 3rd

5. Giorgio Armani Privé
At the Armani show at the Italian Embassy one could enjoy a series of pleasant views: from Italian frescos to great figures such as Tina Turner, Isabelle Huppert, Poppy Delevingne, Giovanna Battaglia, and Sabine Getty. Also, many it girls wearing nothing but Armani were sitting first row, including Pauline Ducruet, who was looking modern and chic in an embroidered mini dress. The models walked very close to the public so even the tiniest accessories like mini metal purses with stones and embroidery work such as crossed hands in the velvet cloaks could be enjoyed. On the way out, I chatted with my friend Julia Von Boehm, who was running to get changed for the French Vogue dinner. As always, Armani was flawless, with impeccable cuts, plenty of sparkling dresses, and no lack of feathers and velvet.

Wednesday, July 4th

6. MyTheresa Luncheon
Today, MyTheresa hosted a lunch at Loulou’s restaurant, where I sat next to Paola Alberdi and in front of Gala Gonzalez, with whom I chatted about who takes her pictures, her looks, and the shows of Fashion Week. We also talked about the current heat wave and holiday destinations, and where we would go on our vacations. The chat was a breath of fresh air, the perfect way to relax and have fun between shows.

7. Jean Paul Gaultier
Today’s Jean-Paul Gaultier show at 325 Rue Saint Martin was, as always, more like a theatrical stage production than a traditional runway show. The new collection had everything from ruffled suits to feather coats. One of the most shocking pieces were the transparent squared plastic coat, which gave a futuristic vibe to the collection, which featured mostly neutral colors like black and white. As always, the most original celebrities and figures said yes to Jean-Paul Gaultier, including Naomi Campbell, for whom the cameras went crazy the moment she arrived.

8. Viktor & Rolf
Viktor & Rolf’s show at Le Trianon was a party altogether, with music that repeated `celebration´ on a loop for the brand’s 25th anniversary. They displayed the best of every season in total white, in a flawless presentation in what seemed like a black velvet box. The models came out of a curtain that opened and closed like those found on a theatrical stage, while Instagrammers like my friend Leaf Greener and British star journalist Suzy Menkes watched from first row. My favorite look was a cushioned quilted suit with two pillows.

9. Fendi
Fendi’s first couture show took place among arcades illuminated with white light. The impeccable looks included transparent dresses with sequins and feathered coats and dresses combined with art deco-inspired shoes. Hair swept up into beehives and makeup in shiny colors put forth a retro-modern beauty vibe. One of my favorite pieces was a pink feather coat that looked like a dream. Giovanna Battaglia, Derek Blasberg, Carine Roitfeld, and Valeria Bruni could be spotted enjoying the collection from the front row. 

10. Valentino
Valentino’s show at the Hotel Salmon de Rothschild was a spectacular way to end the week, with a standing ovation for Pierpaolo Piccioli after the finale. I saw Monsieur Valentino arrive, and then said hi to Stephen Gan and Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele in the garden outside while the Instagrammers took pictures for the press with flowers in the background. Derek Blasberg was also there, as well as other stars like Amber Heard and Olivia Palermo. As always, an impeccable collection included big dresses with color combinations in greens and fuchsia; the colors, the shapes, the makeup, and hair mixed with the operatic atmosphere and made for an impressive exhibition of fashion. My favorite outfits included an inflated, off the shoulder dress in dark fuchsia and the dress Kaia Gerber modeled, in pale pink with feathers.  All in all, Valentino’s show was, more than fashion, poetry, and without a doubt one of the most beautiful couture shows that I’ve ever seen.

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