Paris is burning from the haute haute heat of couture week and to celebrate, we’re taking a look back at the five most over the top moments from couture history. From Yves Saint Laurent’s revolutionary Russian ballerinas to Mugler’s nineties mega-mutants, here’s a crash course in the collections that have shaped the fashion universe.
Yves Saint Laurent was undoubtedly the OG badass of couture. Taking over the house of Christian Dior from Monsieur himself at the ripe age of 21, Yves shook up the stodgy institution of couture by breaking out of its ultra-exclusive mold. First injecting the salon with a shot of the counterculture in 57, Yves’ diverse and dynamic couture collections would later prove him an expert of appropriation, elevating African breastplates and the souks of Marrakech to the realm of high fashion. Inspired by Léon Bakst’s early-20th-century costumes for the Ballets Russes, his 76 Russian Collection is one of the most renowned individual collections in fashion history. A celebration of ornamentation, opulence, colour, culture, and movement, this collection proved that elegant excess comes in many exotic flavours.