The recently concluded Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week once again showed the charm of haute couture in all its glory. In the four-day fashion feast, people indulged in the top designers’ interpretation and interpretation of fashion and art, but in all the discussions, the current hot topics of “slow fashion, environmental impact, ecological protection” and other sustainable fashion rarely appeared, not because the industry is more tolerant of the sustainability standards of haute couture, but because they already have the qualities of “sustainable fashion” in a sense. Rather, it is because they have, in a sense, the qualities of a “sustainable fashion” item.

In fact, these pieces, handmade by the best craftsmen, with intricate details and deeply engraved thoughts of excellence and perfection, have long gone beyond the concept of “clothing” and have been preserved not only as “works of art”, but also as witnesses of the times, appearing in different occasions in different times. They are not only kept as “artworks”, but also as witnesses of the times, appearing frequently in different occasions in different times, interpreting the true meaning of “slow fashion”. In this season’s Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week, the designers also fused their creative thinking with high-tech fabrics, innovative cutting methods and more new technological elements, extending the sustainable concept contained in haute couture clothing.

Viktor & Rolf’s shows are always playful and fun, and this time the two designers did not disappoint. They continued last season’s dramatic collars with exaggerated silhouettes that were chic and eye-catching. At the same time, all the garments in the collection can be transformed into clean, everyday wear by adjusting the drawstrings inside the lining to meet a variety of wear needs.

Returning to Paris Haute Couture Week this year, Iris Van Herpen’s collection showcases a deeper integration of haute couture and sustainable fashion through high-tech eco-friendly fabrics and digital technology. This season, Iris Van Herpen used Ovid’s poem Metamorphoses as inspiration for her collection, which tells the story of the intersection of Greek gods such as Minerva, Daphne, and Venus with modern post-humanism, metaverse, and digital technology. While collaborating with Microsoft to link the virtual and real worlds using augmented reality, Iris Van Herpen also uses biodegradable materials made from algae and cocoa bean shells, silk-like fabrics from pineapple fibers, and recycled polyester to illustrate her design philosophy and encourage more designers to explore the use of more sustainable materials.

In addition to the prestigious and established houses, there was also a younger generation of designers who presented their understanding and experimentation between haute couture and sustainable fashion at Paris Haute Couture Week.

Iranian-Swedish designer Bahareh Ardakani presented the first collection of his label ArdAzAei at the Muséedes Arts et Métiers in Paris. The collection, titled “Midnight in a Parisian Garden,” was inspired by the poetry of Guillaume Apollinaire and was made with fabrics certified to global organic textile standards. While presenting his own interpretation of flowers, Bahareh Ardakani also delved into traditional French craftsmanship and supply chain sustainability.

When it comes to working with traditional artisans, Bahareh Ardakani says, “My new perspective and experimentation has been a challenge for both of us. To me, ensuring sustainability means building a complete network of people to work with, and we’ve learned a lot by actually getting into the certification process. Like how do we do that? And how can we make things better? So in my opinion this collaboration was really a mutual challenge of different skills and experiences.”

While there are plans to open a ready-to-wear line in the future, Bahareh Ardakani says it will be seasonal, small releases that “avoid trends” to reduce the current problem of overconsumption of clothing. “It’s just a better choice. The use of organic textiles, sustainable manufacturing processes, and the use of traditional French craftsmanship not only make this collection an environmentally certified dress, it also means high quality and excellent quality.”

ArdAzAei targets young and sustainably conscious consumers who want to seamlessly connect the concept of sustainability with their purchases. Bahareh Ardakani is currently working to open up the supply chain, get more textiles certified organic and build a whole network of suppliers, starting with sustainable fibers.

Although naturally “sustainable,” couture can be expensive and out of reach for the masses. Dutch designer Ronald van der Kemp, who is known for his sustainable concepts, has a very different take on this fact. Ronald van der Kemp wants to send a message to people through his creations, saying, “It’s not about metaphors, everyone can create their own reality, but now we need to face The real reality. I think it’s very important that we see what’s happening in the world right now. The constant emergence of new things is one of the problems, and we all need to wake up and face the reality of the moment.”

This season, Ronald van der Kemp not only recycled stock fabrics as usual through patchwork, but also upcycled his previous pieces, including a dress that Naomi Campbell once wore. To him, it’s all about perspective. He says, “The same garment can look very different if it’s shown in a different environment. I think everyone should understand this – we don’t have to release a trench coat every season. It has to do with cost and it has to do with business, and such a growing trend is really destroying our world.”

Just as Ronald van der Kemp once said “clothes should be made with love and attention to detail, not rushed out in a formulaic way, just to fill a gap”, the designer who seamlessly links couture with environmentalism has also been pushing for sustainable fashion. To address the issue of overproduction, Ronald van der Kemp has built a network of suppliers that use surplus yarn from local knitting brands to reduce textile waste, in addition to the application of stock fabrics and garments. Sofia Crociani, founder of Aelis, agrees, saying, “More and more consumers are coming to us, interested in products that don’t pollute the planet, but also want more durable, versatile-looking and sustainable certified clothing.”

This season Aelis used recycled cashmere and worked with Italian mills to create a new fabric with a fluorescent effect without additional dyes by blending the yarns. At the same time, they collaborated with the University of Siena to develop a soft French terry fabric made from hemp, which can be used as a water-saving alternative to cotton.

Sofia Crociani said, “We are trying to find new things that will come from technological innovation and change the way people wear clothes. At the same time, we want to bring something to the whole industry that we can share, and we would be very happy if that were to happen. In terms of haute couture, we have no plans for commercialization. We just focus on beauty and we are willing to take the time to try new things. Personally, I believe very, very strongly that couture can really spread a message – the most positive message.