Haute Couture Week SS23: The best moments from Schiaparelli, Valentino and more

Beautifully constructed


By Benedict Unang

Haute Couture Week SS23: The best moments from Schiaparelli, Valentino and more

Just as Men’s Fashion Week wraps up, Haute Couture Week Spring/Summer 2023 begins at the City of Lights, drawing the fashion world’s elite for packed days of high fashion. From January 23 to January 26, fashion aficionados were treated to four days of beautifully handcrafted garments, fashioned from the finest materials by the toughest hands. These lavish presentations are a visual feast for the eyes and a chance to highlight each house’s exceptional talents.

Schiaparelli had the honour of kicking things off with a collection that sent the internet into a meltdown. In attendance were rapper Doja Cat, who was covered head to toe in 30,000 Swarovski crystals, and Kylie Jenner, who was dressed in a custom-made lion head gown. Elsewhere, Valentino unveiled its collection in what felt like an underground club, attended by a star-studded lineup that included Suga of BTS, Anne Hathaway, and Charli XCX. Ahead, we’ve rounded up five of the best shows during haute couture week—scroll through to see the best of the best looks.



Schiaparelli raised the bar high with its Inferno collection. Taking cues from Dante’s Divine Comedy, Schiaparelli’s SS23 Haute Couture collection by Daniel Roseberry was a bold portrayal of pride and gave even more authority to women to overcome insecurities. From extreme hourglass silhouettes that were corseted in the back to bustiers decorated with mother of pearl, marquetry, and broken glass jewellery, each piece enthralled the audience as they walked down the runway. 

Of course, the ensembles donned by supermodels on the runway, inspired by the three sinful animal symbols Dante talked of—lion, leopard, and wolf—were the real scene-stealers. Roseberry and his team poured effort into shaping, sculpting and embellishing each piece, which garnered unexpected intense attention across the internet.


Giorgio Armani Privé

Inspired by a painting of a Harlequin—an Italian comedic character in pantomime—Giorgio Armani coupled his love for embellishments and Italian tailoring for the Haute Couture SS23 collection. Seventy-seven exquisite pieces were centred on this single premise and displayed on the diagonally-chequered painted runway that immediately left the audience in awe. 

Sleek coats, fitting skirts, and seductive dresses alike sparkled and shimmered along the runway, displaying Armani’s love—or obsession—with dazzling sequins. Ruffled collars, headgear, and balloon pants, to name a few, were more explicit nods to the Harlequin. Meanwhile, cropped jackets paired with ankle-grazing cigarette pants and billowing gowns appeared in between everything, illustrating Armani’s versatility when creating the show-stopping line. 



Maria Grazia Chiuri’s latest Haute Couture collection for Dior was inspired by African-American performer Josephine Baker who made her name in Paris in the 1920s. Set against a backdrop designed in collaboration with African-American artist Mickalene Thomas, the collection captured the glamorous icon who embodied the modernity of the decade. In what appears to be a mostly black-and-white colour palette—with liquid silver, metallic gold and muted green in between—the expansive line revived Baker’s style and era. 

Models strolled the runway in velvet-embroidered, ankle-strap platform sandals, wearing everything from dressing robe-inspired pieces to corseted dresses and belted overcoats. Other items, like the black gown that was subtly tightened at the waist, and coat jackets that flowed away into crisp pleats, looked stunning in their simplicity. Chiuri also adds feminine touches, including floral appliques on sheer tops and playful tassels swinging at the hems of voluminous skirts.




Gabrielle Chanel’s apartment at 31 Rue Cambon is the inspiration for Virginie Viard’s latest Haute Couture collection. In particular, the animal iconography that was interpreted by artist Xavier Veilhan in the show’s set. Tweed skirt sets and dresses are adorned with various creatures that reflect Chanel’s sartorial playfulness throughout the entire collection. 

Parade and circus garments were highlighted as well, with capes and tailed jackets rendered with an elaborate technique of the Maison’s couture atelier. The elegant line gradually transitions to intricate layers of transparency, where floral Chantilly lace and organza ruffles lend a feeling of lightness. A modest, shortened bridal gown appeared towards the end, complete with a thin veil adorned with a flock of swallows, adding a sensual touch.



Dubbed ‘Le Club Couture’, Pierpaolo Piccioli unveiled the Valentino collection that perfectly straddles two different universes: couture and club. Set in a club by the Seine river, Piccioli took the theme as a literal invitation for anyone to be free to be themselves. Boldness is conveyed across the seductive collection with voluminous silhouettes, scandalous cut-outs and never-ending embellishments. 

Even so, the whimsical elements did not detract from the awe-inspiring craftsmanship that was always present. Individualism was abundantly clear in all eighty-nine looks— from a dress with cut-out polka dot to men’s suits in vibrant colours like emerald green and electric blue. Also, we love how a pop of the iconic Valentino’s Pink PP colour can be found among the accessories.


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