Haute couture: Juana Martín’s revival and Yanina Couture’s rainbow explosion
Paris Haute Couture’s return to physical runway shows reserved its last day for two foreign fashion house’s finishing touches on Thursday, Jan. 27. The first show, against a backdrop of Francisco de Goya’s tapestries in the Spanish Embassy in Paris, was the Cordovan designer Juana Martín, marking her return to the French capital after two years since her last physical show.
"Returning to Paris is like a revival for the brand. The pandemic was a dark period for everyone; It has been very complicated to get things back on track, but you have to take risks, continue on with life and take a chance on Spanish and Andalusian fashion," said the designer confidently backstage, claiming her "strength as a woman" and the pressure of being the only Spanish representation on the Haute Couture agenda, taking on this responsibility seriously and with a strong sense of pride. "Being the only gypsy woman at the head of a brand is sometimes a disadvantage that does not always make things easy, but I like a challenge," said the Andalusian designer as her face hid behind a Cordovan hat.
Martín’s return came in the form of a collection composed of a total of 22 looks, strictly limited to a monochromatic color palette of black and white which symbolized "the light at the end of the tunnel that can be seen after lingering feelings of sadness", perfectly describing the emotions felt after the first two long years of the pandemic. Juana Martín aims to celebrate the present instead of dwelling on the past, focusing on the craftsmanship of her country as well as her flamenco roots. The result? Voluptuous silhouettes loyal to the traditional costume of Andalusia, the dresses' polka dots reinterpreted as rocker studs, along with details of lace, guipure embroideries, volume sleeves, and hoods of organza.
The illusion of blooming flowers created by the tops' overlapping layers of silk were contrasted by the masculine touches provided by the short bullfighter-inspired jackets. The suggestive transparent mini dresses adorned with rhinestones shared the spotlight with the contemporary sunglasses tailored by Japanese artisans, provided by the eyewear brand, VOA Collective.
Just a few hours later, Russian brand Yanina Couture closed the Paris Haute Couture Week. The halls of the impressive Russian embassy inside the imposing building located in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, served as the backdrop for the elegant looks. A voluptuous jacket featuring waves of chiffon, dyed in rainbow-colored stripes, was the look chosen to open the show. The design, which the designer confessed was her favorite of the looks presented, started the collection off on a positive foot as it symbolized optimism and freedom.
Sixties silhouettes, disco background music, and reminiscences of Brigitte Bardot composed the collection resembling a spring explosion. The spring theme was ever-present not only through a bright-colored palette but also through the lightweight fabrics and puffed sleeves that created the illusion of delicate butterfly wings. Overlapping ruffles, voluminous layers, feather details and rhinestones placed atop transparent fabrics helped complete the dreamy ensembles.
"After two very tough years, I am extremely happy to be back in Paris. This collection speaks of nature, ideas of desire and emits a positive lively energy, making it the most exciting collection of my career. We are able to appreciate everything much more than before and notice small details that we couldn't see before,” expressed the designer behind the Moscow-based brand, Yulia Yanina, excitedly. "We have to go back to enjoying life, to dreaming, to celebrating big events, to enjoying red carpets," she added, promising to return to next July’s Haute Couture Week with a new and equally exciting collection.
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