Above all, haute couture is about dreams, and this week’s shows lived up to couture’s daydreamer reputation. Fur went in two directions: wildly glamorous Game of Thrones-like statement fox or romantic fairytale mink. What united the two is fashion’s current yearning for fantasy and escapism, where fur really brings the magic.
Yiqing Yin dreamt up wild, fierce warriors in magnificent fox that wrapped softly around the body, following its curves in an almost organic way: a showstopping oversize Silver Fox and Gold Cross Fox hooded scarf and a stunning tonal combination of Smokey Fox and Gold Cross Fox on a gilet with tails. The pieces seemed to link mankind’s origins of wearing fur for survival with an empowering, modern femininity. Yin had visited the Saga Furs Design Centre to collaborate on the technical craftsmanship, joining forces with fur specialist Coen Carstens introduced to her by Saga Furs. The result was an off-the-shoulder mink intarsia patchwork knitted dress building into a striking fox column skirt and a tailcoat in the same technique.
With everyone doing bombers – fashion’s favourite go-to jacket – Jean Paul Gaultier took things to the next level with a mink bomber jacket dyed a high-visibility orange. It was as if he’d turned an iconic MA1 flight jacket with its signature orange lining inside out and upgraded it to a ticket on a private jet.
At Valentino, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have long been leading the romantic wave of dreamy renaissance aesthetics that’s sweeping through fashion. This season, the designers showed a delicate beaded robe lined with sumptuous brown mink that trailed behind the model, tying in with menswear’s AW16 trend for precious fur-lined silk robes.
This kind of fairy tale fur was also echoed at Giambattista Valli, who showed a white fur princess coat covered in pink mink roses and branches that climbed across the wavy fur. Looking at the gorgeous craftsmanship, you couldn’t help but think of Sleeping Beauty behind the wild rose brambles.