Paris Haute Couture Fall 2011

The Paris Haute Couture Fall 2011: Stars, Spectaculars & Surprises


 Much as I love America’s 4th of July fireworks, there’ s no place I’d rather be in early July than at the Paris haute couture shows.

There are no clothes more dramatic or more intricately detailed, as some of the world’s best-dressed women know and some of most savvy, fashion-forward stars have discovered, too. Paris haute couture gowns turn up often as red carpet favorites in “best-dressed” lists and they are certainly the most memorable fashions. Witness Katy Perry’s glam wardrobe for the Aug. 28 Video Music Awards. Her most attention-getting change came straight from the Christian Dior haute couture runway, although granted, much of the attention came for the yellow headgear that topped her fun retro ensemble.     

I’ve been attending haute couture fashion shows for more than fifteen years. My first shows were intimate affairs, held for clientele in a couturier’s studio with one-of-a-kind, yet easily wearable fashions that were full of delicate hand-workmanship.

Somewhere along the way, the shows morphed into semi-annual, over-the-top  spectaculars, which are great fun, but no doubt because of the  over-the-top expenses, among other reasons, there are fewer of them. And what used to be a week’s worth of shows has dwindled down to a few days. Yet they are wonderful days, and well-worth the trip across the Atlantic.

Among those in at the Paris haute couture fall 2011 collections were Anne Hathaway, Amanda Peet, Cate Blanchett, Katie Holmes, Dita Von Teese, Milla Jovovich, Daisy Lowe, Diane Kruger, Elle Fanning, Astrid Berges-Frisbey and Danielle Steel. (most of them pictured in related stories on this site). And that’s in addition to other couture clients, political dignitaries, Hollywood stylists and journalists from all over the world.

As for me, I had the pleasure of seeing several superb fashion shows (see separate stories about Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier and Valentino and photos from Givenchy, Stephane Rolland, Giambattista Valli and Alexis Mabille in the gallery below). Plus, I visited ateliers, popped into a party for the new Rendez-Vous shoe and handbag collection at Roger Vivier; joined photographer Elger Esser at a dinner hosted by prominent contemporary art dealer Thaddaeus Ropac; and ventured out to the Palace of Versailles for a black-tie launch of the exhibition, “The 18th Century Back in Fashion,” attended by Gaultier, Rolland, Alexis Mabille, Vivienne Westwood and other designers. And as luck would have it, I got to see fireworks after all, as the latter soiree ended with a dazzling display in the palace gardens.

Photos: from top, Paris haute couture fall 2011 shows: Givenchy gowns, part of a beautiful, intricately detailed collection, shown at the Hotel d’Evreux; Astrid Berges-Frisbey of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” at the Chanel show.

Highlights from Paris haute couture fall 2011 shows in the gallery below and in separate Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier and Valentino stories.



Design Genius Karl Lagerfeld Creates a Paris Nightscape for the Chanel Haute Couture Shows

Anne Hathaway, Amanda Peet Turn up for Valentino Haute Couture

For a Grand Finale to the Paris Haute Couture: The 18th Century in Style at Versailles

Gaultier’s Fun, Fabulous & Eclectic Show 

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Paris Haute Couture Fall 2011

Published August 2011 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA