Jun 19, 2017
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Guest members, celebrations and absentees: what to expect from Paris haute couture week

Jun 19, 2017

As menswear month rolls out, some 30 fashion houses are busy preparing the most prestigious fashion shows of the year ahead of haute couture fashion week in Paris, July 2-6. This new session will be notable for its absences -- in particular, the label Vetements -- as well as anniversary celebrations and new fashion houses joining the schedule. 

Vetements will not be presenting a collection at the upcoming haute couture fashion week in Paris - ALAIN JOCARD / AFP

Keenly watched in the fashion world, each season's haute couture week showcases the exceptional custom-fitted and handcrafted creations of a select few fashion houses. The collections comprise a small number of looks, reserved for a handful of buyers around the world.

Only around a dozen fashion houses have official haute couture status (Chanel, Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, etc.). Other labels featured on the schedule are generally invited to take part as "guest members." This season's guests include Proenza Schouler and Rodarte -- which previously showed collections in New York in September -- as well as Azzaro, which returns to Paris, A.F. Vandevorst and Ronald van der Kemp.

Helmed by designer Demna Gvasalia, who is also creative director of Balenciaga, Vetements will not show a collection at the upcoming haute couture fashion week in Paris. This bold decision confirms that Demna Gvasalia has no fear of shaking up the traditional codes of the fashion world. 

Vetements caused a sensation with its first show as a guest member on the haute couture schedule in July 2016, taking a nonconformist and rebellious stance. The fashion house showed a series of pieces designed via collaborations with ready-to-wear and accessories brands, including Dr. Martens, Eastpak, Brioni, Levi's, Reebok and Schott. The collection was part way between ready-to-wear and haute couture, and instantly created a buzz on the first day of haute couture shows. Two shows later, the label has decided to pull out, lamenting the proliferation of shows and the resulting lack of surprise and spectacle.

Dutch designer Iris van Herpen's fashion house celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. The milestone is likely to be celebrated during haute couture week in Paris, probably on July 3, when the label known for its futuristic 3D silhouettes presents its new collection.

In the meantime, Iris van Herpen has shared a retrospective of her major collaborations from the last 10 years on Instagram -- a nice little teaser for the upcoming show, which will be one of the season's most anticipated.

Other unmissable haute couture rendezvous include shows from Schiaparelli and Christian Dior (July 3), Chanel, Giorgio Armani Privé and Alexandre Vauthier (July 4), and Maison Margiela, Elie Saab, Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino, Zuhair Murad and Fendi (July 5).

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