Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week Shows On our Radar

Each year, twice a year, the fashion elite jet off to Paris for one of the most exceptional events in the fashion calendar: Haute Couture Fashion Week. While the term 'Haute Couture' was used for the first time in 1908, it's a notion that dates back to the 17th Century and, in France, and the art is still so fairytale and romanticized that it remains protected by law in French culture. With each dress taking between 100 to 400 hours to create, and costing upwards of $60,000, the industry runs at a loss but remains a fixture as it offers brands an opportunity to sell the dream and garner huge media attention. From Jan 21-25th, 31 houses will be unveiling their highest expression of fashion, here are the shows that are hot on our radar.

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One of the first shows of Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week 2018, Christian Dior will be presenting their Spring Summer collection 2018 at 14.30 on Monday 22nd of January. Eva Herzigová, Kirsten Dunst, Diane Kruger, Natalia Vodianova and a host of other big names turned out in force for Maria Grazia Chiuri’s first haute couture show in 2017 (pictured above). Fresh from having dressed Jessica Biel, Natalie Portman and Michelle Pfeiffer in black for this year's Golden Globes, you can expect the female designer to have a huge turnout.

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Georges Hobeika

Just before Christian Dior at 13.00 on Monday 22nd of January is one of our favorite, lesser known haute couture houses, Georges Hobeika. A Lebanese designer who launched in 1995, Hobeika designs with a modern feminine aesthetic and has a stunning bridal collection. It'll be gowns galore.

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Giambattista Valli

Also on Day 1 is Giambattista Valli presenting after-dark on the 22nd at 19.30. Always one of the pinnacles of Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week you can expect the night to a complete fairytale fantasy.

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Karl Lagerfeld, who has been at the helm of Chanel since 1983, never fails to produce a spectacle for the Chanel show- last year he went so far as to build a giant model of the Eiffel Tower inside the Grand Palais. With two shows scheduled for Tuesday the 23rd of January at 10am and 12pm, you can expect your Instagram feed to be full of out-of-this-world fashion and theatrics.

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Each haute couture collection must contain 50 handmade outfits, for both day and night. Luckily Givenchy- following the departure of Riccardo Tisci- is on a serious quest to keep things interesting. Now at the helm of Clare Waight Keller, the British designer (previously of Chloé), you can expect all eyes to be on her as the fashion elite asses how the new creative director fares.

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Armani Privé

Scheduled on Tuesday the 23rd at 18.00, Armani Privé's show is usually vying with silver-screen dresses ready for the Oscars. Despite occasionally surprising, his couture collection is renowned for its sophisticated chic and being one of the most minimalistic shows of the week. As the designer himself says: “Elegance is not about being noticed, it’s about being remembered”

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Maison Margiela

Couture doesn't have to be classic. Now under the creative direction of John Galliano, the always unconventional Maison Margiela couture collection is set to even more beautifully weird. Opening the Wednesday 24th at 10am, you can expect Galliano to distort, cut and defy the norm with his signature flair. Whatever he does, the Margiela brand will be big news this year as a major retrospective, dedicated Belgian fashion designer Martin Margiela, goes on show in Paris from March 3rd.

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Elie Saab

After Margiela, all eyes will be on on Elie Saab- a favorite with First Lady of France Brigitte Macron. With the show starting at 12.30pm, it'll be exquisite evening wear before lunch.

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John Paul Gaultier

Later at 14.30, there will be lots of setting and attitude and Parisian spirit at the John Paul Gaultier show. Defined by its radical chic since it began in the 1970's, it'll be unconventional forms and a typically A-list crowd.

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What Haute Couture Fashion Week could be complete without a Valentino collection? Showcasing on the Wednesday at 18.00, you can expect an array of ceremonial looks that will set the tone for this year's award shows.