5 Artworks That Remind Us of the Latest Runway Gowns
Straight from gallery walls to the catwalk.
New York fashion week may be over, but we still can’t get enough of the looks we’ve seen on runways from Manhattan to Paris. At the pinnacle of fashion, couture houses set the tone for fashion trends each year: From dreamy Valentino to the sparkling party over at Elie Saab, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite looks and paired them with what we think would be their artistic muse.
As seen above, Christian Dior’s fairytale-like garden party was a standout from couture week. What really made the show were the smaller moments seen in designer Maria Grazia Chiuri’s use of masks, flowers, and feathers. These details enhanced the delicate, floaty gowns and helped create a distinctive dream-like ambiance. We can’t help but think of Yana Movchan’s painting Embrace: Similar to the Dior collection, the woman’s quiet elegance is enhanced by the butterflies floating around her head, almost like a crown, and even by the monkey delicately sitting on her shoulder—she could step right out of the canvas and onto the runway.
Giambattista Valli is into major fashion moments. This year, more than ever, was reminiscent of a modern-day Marie Antoinette: With its over the top trains, ruffles, and embellishments, one can’t help but think of photographer Tyler Shields’ Decadence. The work in this series shares his vision of life inside Versailles, and it’s easy to imagine the women featured in his photograph The Queen’s Grand Chateau wearing the opulent gowns and dresses that were sent down the catwalk.
Lebanese designer Elie Saab added a delightful amount of sparkle and Egyptian glamour to his latest collection. His use of hand-embroidered sequins and crystals to form images of ships passing through the Nile and waving palm trees added a touch of whimsy. It’s not a stretch to imagine his incredibly detailed gowns making an appearance in Axel Crieger’s photograph Dolce Vita Roma, with its elaborately dressed women on the balcony exotic enough to be sporting one of the shimmering Elie Saab gowns.
Ralph & Russo’s show featured look after look of red carpet-worthy designs. There was an understated and classic simplicity to the show that shone through the entire collection, despite the heavy use of flowers, crystals, and an array of ornate embellishments. Similarly, in artist Cecilia Paredes’ uncomfortable painting Skin Deep, we see a woman facing a wall, painted to match the wall paper. Both the woman and the ornate wallpaper, together, create an unpretentious and beautiful image. Something about her beautiful self-adornment would put her right at home in the Ralph & Russo collection.
Valentino is one of couture’s shining stars, and this season didn’t fail to deliver another radiant performance, with wispy gowns that were as dreamlike and dream-inspiring as ever. The loose silhouettes and layers of tulle added a delicate, fantastical quality to each design that brought to mind the surreal, tragic but undeniably beautiful Alexander James photograph Turned from Heaven’s Doors, featuring a drowned but peaceful woman in billowing silks.
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