If you like your fashion with a healthy dose of drama, Haute Couture Week is for you. The four-day event has just come to a close in Paris, delivering everything from Celine Dion looking incredible, to a ridiculous amount of feathers.

This isn’t your normal fashion week either – the clothes can’t just be bought online, but are custom made to order and have a hefty price tag to match. And so, fashion houses really pull out all the stops when it comes to putting on a show.

Here are some of the best bits from the extravaganza…

Chanel hits the books…

Paris Fashion F/W 2020 Chanel
(Kamil Zihnioglu/AP)

This was Chanel’s first couture show since Karl Lagerfeld passed away, so Virginie Viard had a lot to live up to. Luckily, it was business as usual for the brand: An elaborate set and typically Chanel clothes.

Inspired by Coco Chanel’s library in her Paris apartment, the Grand Palais was transformed into the chicest Bibliotheque in town – also a nod to the late Lagerfeld’s obsession with books. Models walked past heavily laden shelves, many of them wearing large spectacles showing that bookishness is in this season.

Paris Fashion F/W 2020 Chanel
Phoebe Tonkin, from right, Margot Robbie and Anna Wintour on the front row of the Chanel show (Kamil Zihnioglu/AP)

As it was a Chanel show, obviously the front row was star-studded, with everyone from Margot Robbie to Marion Cotillard in attendance.

Feathers at Givenchy…

Paris Fashion F/W 2020 Givenchy
(Kamil Zihnioglu/AP)

Givenchy couture shows generally adhere to the "more is more" way of thinking, and this season was no different.

Paris Fashion F/W 2020 Givenchy
(Kamil Zihnioglu/AP)

Givenchy is one of Kate Middleton’s favourite labels, although we’re not holding out for her to wear one of these feathered creations – but we would certainly love it if she did.

Optical illusions at Iris van Herpen…

Paris Fashion F/W 2019-2020 Iris van Herpen
(Francois Mori/AP)

Iris van Herpen occupies a very special place between fashion and sculpture. This season, the brand took inspiration from the moving, ‘kinetic’ sculptures of American artist Anthony Howe.

Paris Fashion F/W 2019-2020 Iris van Herpen
(Francois Mori/AP)

The result was a range of dresses which moved in the wind as the model walked the catwalk, managing to be both delicate and edgy at the same time.

A fashion great at Schiaparelli…

Paris Fashion S/S 2020 Schiaparelli
(Michel Euler/AP)

Schiaparelli has a long history of creating wearable art – it regularly collaborates with artists (such as Dali, to make the iconic lobster dress). In 2019, this tradition of architectural outfits continues – the collection would be equally at home in a gallery as on the runway.

However, the highlight of the show was an appearance from legendary model Debra Shaw, resplendent in a slinky black dress and bright green mantilla. Couture shows are often seen to be less diverse than ready-to-wear, so it’s particularly refreshing to see a model of colour in her 40s on the runway.

Big gowns at Elie Saab…

Paris Fashion F/W 2020 Saab
(Michel Euler/AP)

Couture week is famed for big, opulent gowns fit for a princess. Look no further than Elie Saab for this – the Lebanese designer sent the most elaborate creations down the runway; dresses that would be incredibly heavy to wear, but just so beautiful.

Paris Fashion F/W 2020 Saab
(Michel Euler/AP)

Emotions run high at Valentino…

Paris Fashion F/W 2020 Valentino
(Kamil Zihnioglu/AP)

Valentino is always a highlight of couture week, and it didn’t disappoint. It was a riot of colour and textures, all beautifully crafted. And at the end of the show, creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli did something unusual: He brought out all the petite mains (the seamstresses who make couture collections) and had them take a bow with him.

Afterwards, they all went and kissed Valentino Garavani himself, the man who set up the brand – making for a particularly emotional show.

Model Lauren Hutton wears a creation for the Valentino Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2020
Model Lauren Hutton wears a creation for the Valentino Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2020

Fashion greats like Lauren Hutton walked the runway, watched by other icons including Naomi Campbell and Celine Dion.

Celine at her best…


Speaking of Dion – forget about the shows, because she’s the real gift of couture week. A true fashion lover, she’s a regular face on the front rows, and her style choices were perfect for the occasion.

Whether she’s wearing a Chanel bodysuit or a skirt that looks a bit like Big Bird, you’ve got to love Dion for having a whole lot of fun with fashion.

Couture week has traditionally been seen as having quite a stiff upper lip, so Dion brings some welcome irreverence to proceedings.