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  • Writer's pictureClaudio Fibonacci

Spring 2024 Fashion Recap: Navigating Couture, Control, and Chaos

At Couture, Control and Chaos—A Reflection on the Spring 2024 Season

At Couture, Control and Chaos—A Reflection on the Spring 2024 Season

Barbie Triumphs at the Spring 2024 Couture Shows

Whether or not Barbie was snubbed by the Academy is a matter of opinion; her resplendent triumph at the spring 2024 couture shows is indisputable. The waist, whittled by a corset, is back (for men as well as women), as is the constructed silhouette, an inheritance passed down in contemporary Western fashion by Christian Dior and Charles James. And yet it wasn’t quite business as usual—what is these days?

The Couture Collections

Things were a bit off chez Dior where Maria Grazia Chiuri referenced the jutting angles of the house founders’ 1953 Profile collection. At Jean Paul Gaultier by Simone Rocha and at Viktor & Rolf, the “support beams” were exposed. Models inhabited their own ivory towers at Schiaparelli, and the opening looks at Ronald Van Der Kemp evoked both the Bauhaus and Legos.

  1. Dior simplified their color palettes

  2. Fendi simplified the lines of their garments

  3. Viktor & Rolf exposed the “support beams”

Trends and Themes

Colleagues on the ground at the spring 2024 couture collections reported a sense of paring back at the shows. Some designers trimmed their guest lists, others simplified their color palettes, or the lines of their garments. Simultaneously there was a gathering of fragments in bricolage designs that conveyed a power-in-numbers or parts-making-a-whole kind of symbolism.

The Power of Craftsmanship

Couture is about mastery of craftsmanship, which is a kind of control. And control is the pressing issue of the time. Control of political parties, of territories, and of bodies. So it was the Ozempic body versus the corseted/fecund silhouette (Barbie versus Mae West); the coexistence of the no-pants brief and the padded hip. Will tiny waists, and waist-to-hip ratios once again be associated with women’s worth?

The Future of Fashion

History seems to have been foreshortened, allowing curvy and femme fatales to coexist in collections. Designers like AZ Factory guest designer Jenny Hytönen are making new things from old, emphasizing the importance of continuity and progress.

A Look at the Runway

From delicate dresses hinting at a red-carpet revolution to designs with jutting corners and intriguing deconstructions, the spring 2024 couture season was a mix of control and chaos, tradition and innovation.

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