Paris Spring Summer 2013 Haute Couture

Five Days at the Paris Haute Couture:  

Of All the Breathtaking Fashions, Which  Will Wind Up on Oscar’s Red Carpet?


Considering the ever-increasing importance of Oscar’s red carpet, and the scary-to-the-stars proliferation of best and worst-dressed lists, the haute couture shows surely offer the ultimate picking grounds for anyone else heading for this month’s Academy Awards.

These made-in-Paris confections, designated haute couture, feature intricate handwork, the most elegant fabrics, precision tailoring for a perfect fit and unique – and often exotic – embellishments. This season, for example, On Aura Tout Vu decorated the collection with real beetle wings instead of sequins. (See the picture on this page – the beetle wings create the iridescence.)

So when the spring summer 2013 collections were shown in late January, celebrities, clients, stylists, international VIPs and fashion journalists from around the world descended on Paris to see the shows.

Spotted in the front rows were Uma Thurman, Hilary Swank, Kevin Costner, Olivia Munn, Kim Kardashian, Jessica Alba, Chloe Grace Moretz, Sigourney Weaver, Danielle Steel, Diane Kruger, Grimes, Rita Ora, NeYo, Hailee Steinfeld, Leelee Sobieski, Sophie Tweed Simmons, Nick Simmons, Melissa George, Dita Von Teese, Catherine Deneuve and Claudia Cardinale, among others.

In addition to Hollywood royalty, there were top French actresses, international models and the former First Lady of France Bernadette Chirac. Real royalty turned up, too, as Princess Charlene of Monaco sat front row at Versace and Clotilde, Princess of Venice and Piedmont attended the Elie Saab show.

As if the shows didn’t provide enough glamour, the Sidaction gala followed. Benefiting the fight against AIDS, this shindig at the Pavillon d’Armenonville in the Bois de Bologne brought out the fashion crowd and more VIPs from around the world.  Sutton Stracke of Los Angeles was among those hosting a table.

Since the shows, I’ve written 12 stories for “All the Rage,” the fashion section of the Los Angeles Times. Plus I’ve written 10 more stories for this website about individual designers, all of them including photos of the fashions and the celebrities who came to see the shows. (Links to those stories are below under “Also in Society News LA.”)

Life in Paris wasn’t 100% simple this season, however. Given the snowfall that paralyzed the airports, getting around was no simple task.

Personally I had an additional problem – my luggage didn’t arrive for the entire week. Not only did my bags sit in airports for days, but the airline also shipped it back to the US by mistake.

Having little time to shop between shows, I bought only bare necessities. At least in my flat travel shoes, I didn’t have to negotiate the Paris streets in high heels. Always a challenge, given the Paris cobblestones, walking became more difficult than ever due to the layer of snow on top, which had more than a few women literally slipping into the shows.

For me, the formal Sidaction gala presented the greatest challenge, as I didn’t wish to buy an evening gown in haste. So a French friend brought me to Zara, where I found a black jumpsuit that I could accessorize with jewelry, a glitzy belt and good shoes. As it turned out, all eyes at Sidaction were on the 6’ tall models anyway.

Check out the gallery below for an overview of the various collections from top designers and promising newcomers, including Christian Dior, Chanel, Versace, Valentino, Giorgio Armani, Stephane Rolland, Jean Paul Gaultier, Elie Saab, On Aura Tout Vu, Christophe Josse, Alexis Mabille, Zuhair Murad, Ulyana Sergeenko and Dilek Hanif.

Then try to guess which gowns will turn up Feb. 24 on the year’s most important red carpet. Many of the most beautiful gowns are shown here; more can be found by clicking on the designer’s names above.


Top photo: Karl Lagerfeld created a sandy beach inside the Grand Palais for its Paris spring summer 2013 haute couture fashion show (photo:

Second photo: Among celebrities at the Christian Dior Paris spring summer 2013 haute couture show were, from left, Isabelle Huppert of “Amour,” Sigourney Weaver of “Avatar” and Jessica Alba of “Sin City” (photo by Saskia, courtesy of Dior)

Third photo: Designers Yassen Samouilov and Livia Stoianova of On Aura Tout Vu showed fashions created of real beetle wings (photo, courtesy of On Aura Tout Vu)

Fourth photo: For the Grammys, Adele looked fantastic in the shortened version of this Valentino red gown with crocheted flowers from the Valentino Paris spring summer 2013 haute couture show (photo, courtesy of Valentino)



Designer of the Moment Zuhair Murad: Who Else Has Dressed Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, Gwen Stefani, Rihanna, Kristen Bell and More?

Sophie Tweed Simmons, Nick Simmons and the Great Valentino Himself at the Valentino Spring Summer 2013 Haute Couture Show

Jean Paul Gaultier: An Explosion of Color and the Week’s Best Surprise Ending

A New Generation: Tallulah Harlech, Harry Brant and Peter Brant Jr. Among Others at Elie Saab Show

Giorgio Armani Prive Attracts Hilary Swank, Uma Thurman, Isabelle Huppert & More

Kim Kardashian, Carmen Dell’Orefice Create a Stir at Stephane Rolland Haute Couture Show

Diane Kruger, Hailee Steinfeld, Grimes, Rita Ora and Two Brides Turn Up on the Chanel Couture Beach

Sheer Beauty – Literally – at Alexis Mabille, plus a Couture Costume for Dita Von Teese

Stunning, Brilliant Dior Couture with Jessica Alba, Chloe Grace Moretz, Sigourney Weaver, More VIPs & Jennifer Lawrence’s Dresses

Paris Couture Launch with Kevin Costner, Olivier Munn, Melissa George and Princess Charlene at Atelier Versace and a Word About Angelina Jolie’s Launch of a Trend

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Paris Spring Summer 2013 Haute Couture – Review

Published Feb. 18, 2013 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA