White and pure at Chanel 2009, and colourful and complex at Maison Margiela 2014. Two of the best couture moments in fashion history, Getty Images.

White and pure at Chanel 2009, and colourful and complex at Maison Margiela 2014. Two of the best couture moments in fashion history, Getty Images.

THE 10 BEST COUTURE MOMENTS

It’s couture week – the stuff that fashion dreams are made of, the place where designers can let their imaginations run wild and free. Here are ten haute couture moments to remember.

Dior 1953, Getty Images.

10. CHRISTIAN DIOR IN THE 1950s
During the peak of Dior’s couture-mania in the 1950s, every show became an iconic moment. Salons would fill with women eager to see the latest designs, at a time that the designer himself called the “golden age”. 

Jean Paul Gaultier 2001, Getty Images.

9. JEAN PAUL GAULTIER, AUTUMN 2001
This collection from Gaultier stood out for a number of reasons, but in particular those unusual hairpieces that crowned each model, finishing off looks inspired by a variety of costumes from East Asia.

Christian Lacroix, Getty Images.

8. CHRISTIAN LACROIX, SPRING 1987
Lacroix burst on to Paris’s sombre couture scene in 1987 with a bang – a theatrical show filled with extravagant, excessive designs that earmarked him as a designer with a lot of personality.

Givenchy, Getty Images.

7. GIVENCHY HAUTE COUTURE BY MCQUEEN SS 1997
“The Golden Fleece” was McQueen’s debut at Givenchy, and the bombastic collection of sleek white looks edged with gold was criticised by the press and by the designer, too. But now we see it as an exciting and beautiful collection from a talented designer.

Valentino, Getty Images.

6. VALENTINO, SPRING 2011
Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri’s reign at Valentino came into its own in 2011 with this collection of breathtaking, intricate dresses that defined the pair’s modern interpretation of a storied Italian house.

Chanel S/S 2014, Getty Images.

5. CHANEL’S SNEAKERS, SPRING 2014
Lagerfeld made waves at Chanel’s Spring 2014 show when he jumped on fashion’s sporty bandwagon with couture sneakers, using all the famous Chanel signatures like pearls, lace and tweed. 

Yves Saint Laurent says goodbye, Getty Images.

4. YVES SAINT LAURENT, SPRING 2002
YSL’s 200th fashion show was also his last, and it combined some classic archive looks with 20 new couture gowns. Some famous faces, like Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer, celebrated the designer’s 40-year career.

Barbie Goes to Tibet according to John Galliano, Getty Images.

3. JOHN GALLIANO FOR CHRISTIAN DIOR, AUTUMN 2001
It was quintessential Galliano – a heady blend of global inspiration from trips to the Himalayas and the Middle East, in a range of colourful and decadent designs. It was, in the designer’s own words, “Barbie Goes to Tibet”.

Maison Margiela S/S 2015, Getty Images.

2. GALLIANO’S DEBUT FOR MAISON MARGIELA, SPRING 2015
The most anticipated debut in years: Maison Margiela in the hands of John Galliano. He returned to his – and to Margiela’s – roots in deconstruction with a complex collection of intricate looks that let the world know that Galliano was back.

Chanel S/S 2009, Getty Images.

1. CHANEL, SPRING 2009 
In 2009 Lagerfeld went back to the drawing board – literally – with a collection inspired by clean white paper. Presented in a room filled with laser-cut paper, a series of pure, pristine looks made an impression, at a time when couture is often more excessive than minimal.

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