Inspiration overload: Fantasy pieces from Paris Couture Fashion Week … don’t mind that it takes place in Rome

I have a special treat for you. It’s total indulgence. And for me, a super sweet spot. 

I’ve always had a thing for Rome.

As a little girl in Brooklyn, I imagined myself living in Italy back in the 50s and 60s during the time of black and white movies, anything Fellini, red sports cars, chic black dresses worn with merry widows underneath, sharp eyeliner, Marcello Mastroianni, elegant yet wild parties, and everything Rome in all its decadent, gorgeous, crazy glory. Truth be told, decades later I did have a lot of fun in the Eternal City once I was old enough to visit time and time again. But I digress.

So anything that combines the breathtaking backdrop of Rome with fantasy and fashion just takes my breath away. Naveed Hussain will give you a few reasons that are hard to ignore when it comes to  gazing over at what couture has to offer. Just to trigger your creative juices. -S.H.

Before we go any further, to set the scene, watch this video of The Fendi show in the Trevi Fountain.

I’ve never understood people who say that they couldn’t care less about fashion…

What confuses me about that statement is the fact that yes, we all need to wear clothes, but more so, I think deep down we all instinctively like beautiful things.

And since our outfit is what we carry on our backs as we conquer the world, how can clothing not be more than essential?

Sure, fashion shows may be far removed from your every day reality, but what’s not to love about them?

Trust me, they can at times be beyond inspiring.

The better the designer, more often than not, the fashion shows are brilliantly produced fantasy worlds that make you crave the best through story lines, gorgeous sets and carefully choreographed performances. Consider them free entertainment (especially the European ones).

Have you ever YouTube’d any old Alexander McQueen or Dior shows circa John Galliano? I suggest you do – and, be prepared to be blown away.

Because as the ladies in the C’est Chic Crash Course come to know, inspiration is all around you.

You just need to let it in.

Fashion is not frivolous, and fashion shows not at all. Just look at what Chanel and Fendi produced this week.

Leave it to designer Karl Lagerfeld, the mastermind behind both Chanel and Fendi, to put on parades of inspiring looks that while exquisite, also brought a sense of theater to fashion week.

In the past, Lagerfeld has had runway sets created to mirror everyday situations in a way only Chanel could, from a CC grocery store to an art gallery complete with full scale pop-art pieces cleverly branded with house iconography. For fall, he paid tribute to the hundreds of skilled workers who meticulously craft his collections by bringing their studios front and center by letting them serve as backdrop.


That bold, unexpected move made for an ingenious way to let the audience see how many skilled artisans it takes to create his collections while reminding them about the human touch and love behind each garment. It’s easy to take for granted the anonymity of the person who made your shirt, making his gesture to connect his clientele with what is literally behind the seams, quite endearing.



At Fendi, Lagerfeld celebrated the iconic Italian label’s 90th anniversary by hosting an haute couture show at Rome’s immaculately renovated Trevi fountain of La Dolce Vita fame.

Taking inspiration from a favorite childhood tome of his, he played with a legends and fairy tales theme that evoked a spirit of play while showcasing Fendi’s hold on lush workmanship. Floral appliques crafted from mink and intricate embroideries worked as testament to the achievements of the house while pushing the envelope of experimentation. After all, a grand venue so spectacular calls for clothing equally masterful.

And, isn’t your life grand in its special way? Enjoy!

Find more inspiration by looking at our favorite looks from Couture Fall 2016 with us on Pinterest


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