The Olympic Games were a guest at Haute Couture Week

If the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games have forced Haute Couture Houses to change their calendar, they have also become a source of inspiration for designers. A look back at the Fall-Winter 2024-2025 shows that bridge fashion and sports.


New York may be “the city that never sleeps,” but Paris is also not one to rest. As the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games are fast approaching, the capital hosted another major event: the Haute Couture Week, which ended on Thursday, June 27.


Usually held in July, this Fashion Week saw its schedule disrupted by the preparations for the grand sporting event. Although the fashion houses initially resented this setback, they quickly had to adapt to ensure this rendezvous. “It was in March 2023 that the executive committee of the Federation and the member houses began to anticipate the impact of the Olympic and Paralympic Games on the holding of Paris Fashion Week and Haute Couture Week,” explained Pascal Morand, Executive President of the Fédération française de la haute couture et de la mode.


Moved forward by a week, this Fashion Week thus ended up coinciding with the one dedicated to menswear. An unprecedented shift in the history of the official calendar but far from impacting the creativity of the participating Houses.


At a time when ready-to-wear has become a staple in everyone’s wardrobe, Haute Couture today stands as a gateway to experimentation. Less subjected to the dictates of commercial success, these collections allow designers to give free rein to their imagination. However, this ideal playground is not without rules, as Haute Couture remains a serious affair accompanied by certain conditions.


To qualify for this legally protected appellation, each creation must be handmade, within the House’s workshops, which must consist of at least 20 people. The House must imperatively show twice a year and present at least 25 models in each show. It must also have a “flou” workshop dedicated to flowing materials and silhouettes and a “tailoring” workshop for trousers, jackets, and coats.


Thom Browne aims for the medal


© Thom Browne


Far from being resentful, the Couture Houses chose to use the upcoming sporting event as a source of inspiration. “Couture is the Olympics of fashion,” said Thom Browne. The American designer, a master of tailoring, remained true to his subversive side.


Upon their arrival, guests at his Fall-Winter 2024-2025 Haute Couture show were greeted by a dozen models lined up holding a rope. Dressed in suit jackets and pleated skirts, they then engaged in a tug-of-war that kicked off the show.


The silhouettes, at first glance minimalistic, displayed a return to the fundamentals of tailoring. As if the pieces had been taken out of the workshop before their finishes, they were adorned with embroidery and patchwork echoing the manufacturing process.


To close this collection, the designer placed his models on a podium that rivaled that of the Olympic Games. In reference to the medals awarded to athletes, three models appeared side by side, dressed in embroidered jackets in three colors: bronze, silver, and gold.


Sporty lines in a couture style

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Featured photo: © Thom Browne

Picture of Charline Point
Charline Point
Passionate about art in all its forms, Charline Point is a young journalist driven by fierce curiosity and a keen appetite for culture. After several years in press relations, Charline decided to take up a career in journalism. Her favorite subjects are travel, gastronomy, cinema and fashion.

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