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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 October 2018

Haute couture autumn/winter 2018-19: our favourite looks from the runway so far

With the haute couture having recently concluded in Paris, we pick our favourite looks 

A look by Zuhair Murad Haute Couture. EPA 
A look by Zuhair Murad Haute Couture. EPA 

As the very height of fashion expertise, the haute couture collections are the most hotly anticipated shows of the entire fashion calender, where designers and makers test the very limits of what is possible. Best seen as little works of art, rather than clothes - and affordable to only a handful of women worldwide - the shows offer a glimpse into a very privileged world. Here are some of the highlights so far.

Valentino

What a wonderful world Valentino creates, filled with colour, frills and oh-so-much volume.

A look by Valentino Haute Couture. Getty
A look by Valentino. Getty Images

Jean Paul Gaultier

Amid the expected craziness from the former enfant terrible of fashion, the show had its moments of sublime craft and sophistication.

A look by Jean-Paul Gaultier Haute Couture. Getty 
A look by Jean-Paul Gaultier. Getty Images

Guo Pei

A restrained show by Pei's normal standards, but this caged dress, based on architecture, was beautifully complex.

Guo Pei Haute Couture. Getty 
A look by Guo Pei. Getty Images

Fendi

With mulitple looks using sequins, chiffon and tulle instead of fur, was Fendi signalling a move in a new direction?

A look by Fendi Haute Couture. REUTERS
A look by Fendi. Reuters

Zuhair Murad

Outdoing even himself, this collection was breathtaking in its beauty and technical mastery.

A look by Zuhair Murad Haute Couture. EPA 
A look by Zuhair Murad. EPA

Maison Margiela

Oh, to get a glimpse into the mind of John Galliano. His latest couture collection for Maison Margiela is a strange but glorious journey through recycling, deconstruction and virtual reality as seen through the prism of a creative tour de force.

Maison Margiela Haute Couture Fall Winter 2018/2019 show 
A look from Maison Margiela. Getty Images

Franck Sorbier

Part dance piece, part couture show, Franck Sorbier's collection explored the fine line between haute couture and theatrical costume. Beautifully crafted from feathers and tulle, this is the stuff of dreamlike whimsy.

Fall/Winter 2018/19 Haute Couture collection by French designer Franck Sorbier  
A look from Franck Sorbier. EPA

Alexandre Vauthier

By far the strongest look from Alexandre Vauthier was this burnt sienna asymmetric dress over crumpled snakeskin boots.

Alexandre Vauthier Haute Couture Fall Winter 2018/2019 show 
A look from Alexandre Vauthier. Getty Images

Armani Prive

The master of understated elegance, Armani sent out this look that combined a velvet sheath dress with a veil that segued into a sleeved bolero.

Giorgio Armani Prive Haute Couture Fall Winter 2018/2019 show  
A look from Giorgio Armani Prive. Getty Images

Xuan Couture

The designer Xuan-Thu Nguyen may not have the scale of a grand runway show yet, but this look of couture as daywear was breathtaking in its boldness.

A look by Xuan Couture. EPA  
A look by Xuan Couture. EPA  

Chanel

In a tough and urban-inspired show, Chanel delivered this stunning hybrid of an LBD under a slashed, oversized knitted wrap skirt

Chanel Haute Couture Fall Winter 2018/2019 
A look from Chanel. Getty Images

Giambattista Valli

Proving that he remains the master of dishevelled tulle, Valli's confection in aqua was positively dreamy.

Giambattista Valli  2018-2019 Fall/Winter Haute Couture collection fashion show 
A look from Giambattista Valli. AFP

Iris Van Herpen

Using cutting-edge technology, Van Herpen stunned with this hypnotic mirrored headpiece.

Headress by Iris Van Herpen as part of her Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2018/2019 collection show 
A look from Iris Van Herpen. Reuters

Christian Dior

Nude feathers provided movement in this otherwise simple silhouette.

Christian Dior Haute Couture Fall Winter 2018/2019 show 
A look from Christian Dior. Getty Images

Schiaparelli

In an animal-themed show, Schiaparelli presented this gilded cat mask, paired with a bold leopard print look.

With a animal head mask, this leopard print is by Bertrand Guyon for the Schiaparelli Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2018/2019 fashion show
A look from Schiaparelli. Reuters

Another look was this shocking - also known as Schiaparelli pink - pink watered silk gown, with butterfly mask

Bertrand Guyon presents this shocking pink watered silk gown as part of his Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2018/2019 fashion show for Schiaparelli in Paris
A shocking pink watered silk gown from Schiaparelli. Reuters

Eva Minge

This breathtakingly romantic dress, with its layers of tulle and a bow at the nape of the neck, is by Eva Minge.

This romantic, frothy gown is by Eva Minge, for its Haute Couture Fall Winter 2018/2019 collection. 
This romantic frothy gown is by Eva Minge. Getty Images

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Givenchy

In a couture collection dedicated to the house's founder Hubert de Givenchy, artistic director Clare Waight Keller created looks that celebrated his legacy, such as this two-toned dress that sat proud on the body.

A sculptured look by Givenchy, 2018-2019 Fall/Winter Haute Couture 
A sculptured look by Givenchy, 2018-2019 Fall/Winter Haute Couture 

Another highlight was a white cape that folded, envelope-style, around the torso.

A wrap like cape as part of the Givenchy Haute Couture Fall Winter 2018/2019 show  
A wrap like cape as part of the Givenchy Haute Couture Fall Winter 2018/2019 show