January kicks off the season of the Fashion Weeks with some lush haute couture fashion shows in Paris. During the Pars Haute Couture Week, the beautiful streets of the grandiose city are filled with elaborate outfits, uber-stylish fashion personalities and photographers chasing the best looks.

Haute couture is the summum of high-end fashion. In fact, it is so exclusive that in the whole world, its market consists of only an estimated 2,000 customers.

The term Haute Couture only applies to certain houses and designers. Every year, they have to be approved by the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture to keep this prestigious label. Fashion houses like Chanel or Dior confirm their statuses year after year by creating shows that write unaltered fashion history. In 2015, Chanel’s famous guests sat and played poker in a casino while models paraded around them wearing the new collection. In 1998, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Dior’s head of design, created what must be one of the most spectacular fashion shows of all time. The show ended with all the models dressed in extraordinary couture lounging gracefully in the marble staircase of Opera Garnier with tissue-paper butterflies raining over them.

The words luxurious, hand-sewn and innovative characterise all haute couture collections. For instance, in the last Valentino’s Fall Couture collection, a sleeveless gown in rose gauze squares took around 2,010 hours to be put together. Strictly opposed to the ‘prêt-à-porter’ approach to fashion, Haute Couture is made to fit the client precisely. A piece of art that you can wear.

With such creativity filling the streets of Paris, it is no wonder Parisians are known to have such an enviable sense of style and a something ‘je ne sais quoi’ about them. If you are planning to visit Paris during the Haute Couture Week, you had better wear your best ensemble and prove that the French are not the only ones with style aplenty.

What: Haute Couture Spring-Summer Collections.
Where: Paris, France
When: 20-23 January
How: Fashion shows are generally invitation only. But that’s no reason to be put off. Get as close to the action as you can; the street style in the areas surrounding each event is just as powerful and inspiring as the catwalk.

Annelise Michelson, Solar earrings

WHAT TO WEAR?

Less is more when talking French style, so keep your outfit simple with pieces that stand out for their refined details and well-made structure.

A piece of the sun

Parisian jewellery designer Annelise Michelson wants to empower women through her sculptural pieces of jewellery. These statement hoops are part of her Solar collection inspired by earth, fire and volcanic spaces.

Annelise Michelson, Solar earrings, €450

www.annelisemichelson.com

Left to right: Leather mac from Uterqüe | Dress from The Kooples | Boots from Saint Laurent

A classic in leather

It’s all about the unconventional mac now, and this mac in soft leather from Uterqüe will be a versatile piece to use during the cold months but also once Spring starts gracing us with its presence.

Uterqüe, leather mac with belt, €399.

www.uterque.com

Dark florals

Dream of Spring days wearing this gorgeous floral dress from the epic French brand The Kooples. Channel a Victorian vibe with a slightly puffed-up sleeve, perfectly balanced with the mini length to keep it modern. Wear with sheer black tights for a bit of an edge and to keep warm during freezing January.

The Kooples, short formal dress in floral print, €328

www.thekooples.com

The perfect pair

Complete your Parisian-inspired look by wearing the perfect pair of black boots by one of the greatest houses of French design, Saint Laurent.

Saint Laurent, Laura boots in suede, €1,195

www.ysl.com

Gran Canaria-born, London-based Noelia Santana is wrapped in high fashion, from head to heal. As founder of Estilistas, she runs a digital one-stop-shop for fashion lovers and a personal styling platform for the masses.
www.estilistas.co.uk

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