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What a Haute Couture Client Wears to Paris Fashion Week

What a Haute Couture Client Wears to Paris Fashion Week

Christine Chiu shows off the best looks from Chanel, Dior, Armani and many more.

For nearly the last 10 years, Christine Chiu has been a fixture at the Haute Couture shows in Paris. From Armani to Dior, the Los Angeles resident makes big-ticket purchases for her closet whether that’s a custom gown or high jewelry. However, this season, her approach to her front-row style was a little different. Normally she’d wear a couture look from the previous season, but since she took a year off during her pregnancy and birth to her first child, she had to get creative with off-the-rack options. She never wears the same couture look twice! With each look this season (and yes she changes for every show), Chiu endeavored to elaborate on the collaboration and continuity between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ designers within a house and to propose a dialogue between the luxury house’s ready-to-wear and haute couture collections. Click through to see her style diary.


I am fond of the classical Dior silhouette but wanted to infuse a bit of Maria’s Dior as well. As a result, we (myself and the Rodeo Drive boutique) enhanced the fullness of a tiered black tulle skirt (reminiscent of the ‘New Look’ silhouette from Christian Dior in the ’50s), and paired it with Maria’s more feminism elements via a white leather ‘saddle’ top, rodeo-esque hat, and lazer-cut leather saddle bag. The outcome was Christian’s New Look in Maria’s new era. Black ballerina and acrylic heels were the perfect final example of classical meets modernity.

Alexandre Vauthier

I wore a fun Vauthier black cocktail dress with cascading gold ruffles, paired with Vauthier satin slouchy boots, Vauthier sunnies and a Saint Laurent hat. Celine Dion wore my original haute couture look and nailed it; I happily conceded the original look I wanted to wear to her (but would not have been for anyone else!)


Although I am usually in haute couture, it was emotional for me to wear Look 59 from Karl’s last show: the ancient Egypt inspired Metiers d’ Arts show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I feel fortunate to have attended and experienced Karl’s last collection and by wearing it to couture this season, I felt that it was my ushering the spirit of Karl into Virginie’s new show.

Armani Prive

I attend in a customized Giorgio Armani mint seafoam green satin and sequined cocktail dress with Armani purse and crystal satin pumps. Armani Prive was my favorite collection of the season. I was immediately transformed into a dreamy yet powerful fairytale ball where the music, sequencing of the pieces, and the setting all lent itself as a glorious fantasy. I gasped in awe, I cried with appreciation of the intricacies of each piece, and there were moments I simply stopped breathing. This was an incredibly emotional invitation into the magnificent mind of one of our last living legends, Mr. Armani.

Elie Saab

Upon arrival at the show, Director of Haute Couture Jean-Paul approached me to approve of my red-on-red-on-red look for the show. “It is very auspicious and fitting for you to wear this today,” he winked. As the show began, I saw why – regal gowns with lavish adornments walked down the runway with significant inspiration from the East and celebrated the richness and romanticism of a bygone Asian empire. Red symbolizes energy, passion and love in Western cultures and celebration, prosperity and good fortune in Asian cultures. The collection was a perfect medley of these notes.


I wore a white long Givenchy dress, paired with laced black heels, Gaultier Haute Couture clutch, Stephen Webster earrings – it was a blended good girl/bad girl look. The looks from the collection were the impeccable combination of high art and exquisite craftsmanship – the collection defined haute couture in the fullest sense.


I attend the show in Look 58 of Valentino Haute Couture Spring 2018 collection, an elegant satin green ‘Picasso dove’ dress paired with Valentino gold clutch. The collection was sensational. I have not witnessed such mastery in the skillful and artful collaboration of colors before, in combination with exquisite applique, use of unpredictably delicious fabrics and embellishments. It was fun to watch Lauren Hutton walk the show as we had just shared a long haul flight from Los Angeles to Paris in our pajamas! The finale was perfection. Pierpaolo achieves it all – unparallel vision and execution in making women beautiful, sensual, regal, and delightful; exemplifying inclusivity in beauty, and gratitude for his team.

Giambattista Valli

Whilst a lovely presentation of signature Giambattista looks and evocative of the most amazing soirees in extravagant gardens, I miss the drama these gowns would have created if on models walking on a runway. I wore ivory and white satin Giambattista haute couture hand-painted trousers with silk blouse and a Moschino red satin bow. Afterall, I wasn’t able to wear a GV ballgown to a presentation!

Alexis Mabille

I wore a white Alexis Mabille gown with crystal embellishments that was unbuttoned in the front to expose the jeans underneath. Again, a presentation so I had to dress down the gown! The presentation location was too far off the beaten path and especially in Paris rush hour traffic, neither I nor the gown made it sadly.

Jean Paul Gaultier

In gold leaf Haute Couture Gaultier dress and custom-dyed heels. This was one of the few, if not the first time, I’ve worn Haute Couture twice! The first time I wore it to the most recent Vanity Fair Oscars Party and styled it more aggressively and sharply. This time, with a gold headpiece and full loose curls, I was able to evoke a softer, sexier feeling. The definition of a Gaultier Haute Couture show is precisely that – a true “show” where by the experience and looks are always exciting, and during which guests have a blast. I am seasoned enough with Gaultier Haute Couture that I do not permit the layers and layers of colorful (and thick/heavy) fabrics to intimidate me (petite gal residing in southern california). Gaultier Haute Couture always manages to bring the wild, sexy and bold out of me – even with the thinnest and softest looks I select.