Paris Haute Couture Week AW21 has started—here's everything you need to know

Paris Haute Couture Week AW21 has started—here's everything you need to know

Stay tuned

Text: Kelly Lim

Image: Anton Corbijn for Chanel
Image: IMaxTree
Image: Getty Images

Taking place between July 5 to July 8, the upcoming Paris Couture Week looks to be an unmissable season full of firsts with the return of couture heavyweights and the arrival of exciting newcomers

After two seasons of digital-only presentations, Paris Haute Couture Week makes a return to the real world for the Autumn-Winter 2021 season. With France ditching its rules for mandatory mask-wearing and fully lifting its lockdown curfew last month, eight physical runway events are scheduled to take place across the city alongside the continuation of digital formats.

According to the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, the brands hosting in-person catwalks include Chanel, Dior, Balenciaga, Giorgio Armani Privé, Azzaro Couture, Jean Paul Gaultier, Zuhair Murad and Vaishali S, the first female Indian designer to showcase her collection at Paris Couture Week and second ever to achieve this feat after fellow designer Rahul Mishra. 

Closing the Paris schedule with a livestream of his physical show, New York based-label Pyer Moss will make a historic couture debut after creative director Kerby Jean-Raymond became the first Black American designer to be invited by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture to present his collection. Fret not, IRL runways will also be live-streamed so you can watch the shows online as they take place in Paris with limited guests. 

Also making their debuts are Pieter Mulier, who will be showcasing his first couture collection for Maison Alaia since assuming his role as the brand's new creative director, and Sacai's Chitose Abe who will be presenting designs as the first in a series of guest designers for Jean Paul Gaultier. 

Other brands including Fendi, Giambattista Valli, Schiaparelli and Elie Saab will continue to present their collections digitally. 

A definite one to watch will be Balenciaga––the brand is making its official return to haute couture week after 53 years of absence with a live-streamed show taking place on July 7 at their historic 10 Avenue Georges V headquarters. Maison Margiela is also back on the schedule with a digital presentation on July 8 after skipping Couture Week for SS21 and the AW21 Ready-To-Wear schedule in March.

For Chanel fans, keep your eyes peeled on July 6 as the Parisian house plans to stage their show twice for two batches of guests at fashion museum Palais Galliera, where a grand retrospective devoted to Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel herself is being held. A film of the show will be revealed in between. 

Valentino, who normally shows in Paris, has opted to present their new haute couture collection to a live audience several days later in Venice on June 15.

To help you mark your calendars, here's a low-down of the upcoming schedule in Malaysia time: 

Monday, July 5

4pm - Schiaparelli

5pm - Ulyana Sergeenko

6pm - Iris Van Herpen

7pm - Georges Hobeika

8.30pm & 11pm - Christian Dior

10pm - Azzaro Couture

Tuesday, July 6

12am - Maison Rabih Kayrouz

1am - Giambattista Valli 

4pm & 6pm - Chanel

7.30pm - Alexis Mabille

8.30pm - Stephane Rolland 

9.30pm - Julien Fournie

10.30pm - Alexandre Vauthier 

11.30pm - RVDK Ronald Van Der Kemp

Wednesday, July 7 

1am - Giorgio Armani Prive 

4pm - Yuima Nakazato

5pm - Franck Sorbier

5.30pm - Balenciaga

7.30pm - Elie Saab

8.30pm - Jean Paul Gaultier 

10pm - Viktor & Rolf

11pm - Zuhair Murad 

Thursday, July 8

12am - Rahul Mishra 

1am - Charles De Vilmorin 

4pm - Aelis 

5pm - Julie de Libran 

6pm - Imane Ayissi

8.30pm - Fendi Couture 

9.30pm - Christophe Josse 

10pm - Maison Margiela

11.30pm - Vaishali S

Friday, July 9 

12.30am - Maurizio Galante 

2am - Pyer Moss Couture 

Stay tuned for updates on Paris Haute Couture Week AW21 here.