With the haute couture having recently concluded in Paris, we pick our favourite looks
Haute couture autumn/winter 2018-19: our favourite looks from the runway so far
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.
What a wonderful world Valentino creates, filled with colour, frills and oh-so-much volume.
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 restrained show by Pei's normal standards, but this caged dress, based on architecture, was beautifully complex.
With mulitple looks using sequins, chiffon and tulle instead of fur, was Fendi signalling a move in a new direction?
Outdoing even himself, this collection was breathtaking in its beauty and technical mastery.
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.
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.
By far the strongest look from Alexandre Vauthier was this burnt sienna asymmetric dress over crumpled snakeskin boots.
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.
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.
In a tough and urban-inspired show, Chanel delivered this stunning hybrid of an LBD under a slashed, oversized knitted wrap skirt
Proving that he remains the master of dishevelled tulle, Valli's confection in aqua was positively dreamy.
Iris Van Herpen
Using cutting-edge technology, Van Herpen stunned with this hypnotic mirrored headpiece.
Nude feathers provided movement in this otherwise simple silhouette.
In an animal-themed show, Schiaparelli presented this gilded cat mask, paired with a bold leopard print look.
Another look was this shocking - also known as Schiaparelli pink - pink watered silk gown, with butterfly mask
This breathtakingly romantic dress, with its layers of tulle and a bow at the nape of the neck, is by Eva Minge.
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.
Another highlight was a white cape that folded, envelope-style, around the torso.