Two of the Best

At Paris Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2018
What did the two standout shows at Paris Haute Couture FW18 have in common? Both names are longstanding Swarovski collaborators, of course.

On July 4, Viktor&Rolf took the opportunity to celebrate 25 years of rocking the runway, 19 of which have sparkled with the world’s favorite crystals. It’s what made this collection remarkable, a stunning showcase of the rich and continually evolving legacy of this outrageously creative design duo. Nineteen of the label’s most iconic looks had been re-imagined in silver-splashed, crystallized white, like so many glittering ghosts of collections past. In fact, it took over half a million crystals, both new and upcycled, to bring them back to life.

Among these reminders of how big Viktor&Rolf thinks, we spotted the crystal-edged “NO” coat from Fall/Winter 2008; the asymmetric “I love you” gown; and that crystal-studded tucked-up-in-bed outfit from Fall/Winter 2005’s Bedtime Stories show; the so-gorgeous-I-just-had-to-take-a-bite tulle gown from Spring/Summer 2010; and the crystal-pinstriped suit with multiplying shirt collar from Spring/Summer 2011’s Shirt Symphony collection. The curtain closed on this crazy quarter-century with a piece from the legendary Fall/Winter 1999 Russian Doll show: a boulder-shouldered oversize coat covered in shimmering shards of Crystal Transfers. Like, wow!

Over at Alexandre Vauthier, 250,000 crystals in hues of Hyacinth, Montana and Light Topaz blazed down the runway. This was the glamour guru’s 19th partnership with Swarovski, and the brilliance showed no sign of dimming. Signature sleek silhouettes were shot through with light-filled detail. Key pieces included three luxurious, fully crystal-drenched gowns; a dramatic black, multi-tiered gown, its ruffles highlighted with crystal edging; and a black strapless tutu-dress, beribboned and embroidered with crystals by Maison Lesage. Clever detailing came in the form of crystal buttons, plus feather embellishments by Maison Lemarié. Crystal-blitzed eyewear, crystallized statement earrings and stiletto boots dipped in crystals made the perfect accessories to a killer collection. That’s another “Wow!” from us.


Backstage Images: Marion Leflour