The dreamiest dresses from the autumn/winter 2021 couture collections.
Fashion

Paris Couture Fashion Week: the dreamiest dresses from the autumn/winter 2021 couture collections

Live fashion is back! And better than ever before, as Couture Fashion Week gets underway in Paris. But can we take a moment to appreciate the dresses please?

After a year of depriving fashion lovers of our rights to swoon seriously lust-worthy clothes, live fashion shows made their grand return in Paris as brands showcased their autumn/winter 2021 couture collections.

The invitation-only affair of Couture Fashion Week is, in fact, a fashion fan’s dream owing to the parade of divine dresses and sumptuous ensembles it showcases. And this season, after a long hiatus, it’s back and better than ever. 

Perhaps fittingly, the world of couture fashion is an exclusive one: in order for a brand to show during couture fashion week, they must have been invited by the official Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.

The official criteria to qualify for couture status was established in 1945, but has been relaxed somewhat in recent years. At the end of 2019, there were sixteen members, including Chanel, Dior, Givenchy and Ralph & Russo, which was the only British couture house to make the official list. 

Chanel haute couture autumn/winter 2021
Virginie Viard presented a bridal themed collection for Chanel haute couture autumn/winter 2021

And after 18 months away from live fashion shows, brands have used Couture Fashion Week to make a splash, as a release from a year and a half’s worth of pent up creativity. 

Most notably this season, during which eight brands have staged physical shows, there was Pieter Mulier’s debut at Alaïa, following the Tunisian designer’s death in 2017, and streetwear supremo Demna Gvasalia’s first couture collection for Balenciaga, which marked the first time in 53 years that the brand has returned to the couture schedule. Gvasalia’s couture collection was a first of another kind too, as it was the first time that Ella Emhoff, the stepdaughter of Vice President Kamala Harris, who recently signed with IMG Models, walked in a couture fashion show after making her catwalk debut at Proenza Schouler earlier this year. 

Alaïa haute couture autumn/winter 2021
One of the dresses from Peter Mulier's debut at Alaïa haute couture autumn/winter 2021

To close proceedings of the week’s glitzy affair, which saw celebs aplenty flock to the City of Lights, New York brand Pyer Moss made its couture debut with a show that celebrated Black excellence, making its creative director Kerby Jean-Raymond the first Black American fashion designer to take part in Couture Fashion Week. 

Last night, meanwhile, was Pierpaolo Piccioli’s turn at Valentino, which showcased its autumn/winter 2021 couture offering in the Gaggiandre, or ship building yard, of Venice. The collection comprised 84 looks, from short and sweet feather-adorned minis to floor-sweeping gowns fit for a princess.

Our dress-loving selves can hardly cope. These are just a *few* of the positively perfect dresses we’ve spotted from the couture collections and at Couture Fashion Week so far.  

  • Pyer Moss haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Pyer Moss haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Pyer Moss haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Pyer Moss haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Pyer Moss haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Pyer Moss haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Valentino haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Valentino haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Valentino haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Valentino haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Valentino haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Valentino haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Valentino haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Valentino haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Valentino haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Fendi haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Fendi haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Fendi haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Fendi haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Fendi haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Fendi haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Giambattista Valli haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Giambattista Valli haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Giambattista Valli haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Giambattista Valli haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Giambattista Valli haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Giambattista Valli haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Giambattista Valli haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Giambattista Valli haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Giambattista Valli haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Balenciaga haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Balenciaga haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Balenciaga haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Balenciaga haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Balenciaga haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Balenciaga haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Balenciaga haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Balenciaga haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Balenciaga haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Alaïa haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Alaïa haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Alaïa haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Dior haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Dior haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Dior haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Dior haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Dior haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Dior haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Dior haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Dior haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Dior haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Dior haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Dior haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Dior haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Dior haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Dior haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Dior haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Schiaparelli haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Schiaparelli haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Schiaparelli haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Schiaparelli haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Schiaparelli haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Schiaparelli haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Chanel haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Chanel haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Chanel haute couture autumn/winter 2021
  • Chanel haute couture autumn/winter 2021

    Chanel haute couture autumn/winter 2021
    Chanel haute couture autumn/winter 2021

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Images: courtesy of brands and Getty Images.