Couture Dresses: Three-Dimensional & Sculptural is the New Normal

From dramatic, oversized capes to exaggerated, sculptural layers, check out the best couture dresses from Paris Fashion Week Spring 2018 below!

paris-fashion-week-spring-summer-2018-haute couture dresses kaia-gerber-valentinoHey gorgeous! Couture has never been about minimalism. The process of spending hours and hours on every cut and stitch, sewing every detail together by hand, painstakingly putting together every bead, every flower for applique, or every crystal for embellishment makes it, by definition, about extravagance and show.

But fashion trends come and go. And then they return. We saw themes like nature, zen, and ethereal in couture fashion in the last few years. But from those minimalist silhouettes that focused on breathable, sheer fabrics and draping the natural, feminine silhouettes, couture dresses have now moved on to being three-dimensional and roomy. Dramatic is the new normal. And overstated silhouettes are one of the biggest emerging trends in couture dresses.


Actually, three-dimensional, poofy couture dresses are not new to the world of fashion. Even 3D details. Christian Dior’s famous bar jacket was first unveiled in 1947 and it had exaggerated, padded hips to make the waist look tinier. And of course, Marilyn Monroe’s iconic pink cocktail dress from the song “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” had a large bow at the waist. Bulging ball gowns are the stuff of renaissance royalty and medieval queens were all about puffy sleeves, inflated skirts, and some badass ruffs!

It’s the return of these 3D silhouettes and details we’re seeing back on the runways in Spring Summer 2018 couture collections. From dramatic headdresses to poofy applique, from layers of large swirling waves to inverted basket-shaped skirts, it’s all about taking up more space than required! Fashion designers are going all out with going all out! This season’s fashion forgets to draw the line between dresses and costumes. So it all makes us wonder – is it about being creative or making a show?

paris fashion week ss18 chanel spring summer 2018 haute couture

Is this year’s biggest couture trend all about social envy?
Does social media have anything to do with this new fashion trend? Every celeb is a social media celeb these days. In our generation, where image “likes” speak of stardom and viral articles count for publicity, celebrities and fashionistas are left wanting more ostentatious and sometimes even pompous outfits that make them photographed more and covered more by, well, websites like this one. Standing out in the crowd is literally the bread and butter of these celebs. And so is being remembered, which may or may not involve donning a dress that people talk about (or “share”), for years to come.
guo-pei-couture-collection-paris-fashion-week-spring-2018-ss18Whatever the reason may be, let’s just celebrate fashion for now and take a look at these three-dimensional couture dresses and looks from the SS18 collections…

Best Couture Dresses

Armani Privé

couture-fashion-week-pfw-ss18 (3)spring-summer-armani-priveThe sky and watercolor-inspired collection by Armani Privé at Spring 2018 Couture Week was light, dreamy and elegant. All the outfits in the show were sleek, fitted and tailored except for the last two couture dresses, that brought the show to a fabulous end. But the one above is my favorite, it has an asymmetrical sequinned bodice and an exaggerated balloon skirt, draped in a way that looks as if it was sculpted out of clay!

Alexandre Vauthier

couture-fashion-week-pfw-ss18 (6)spring-summer-alexandre-vauthier-high-low-topWith oversized silhouettes, poufy fabrics and dramatized neck details, Alexandre Vauthier’s couture dresses from PFW Spring Summer 2018 are truly one-of-a-kind. This 3D white couture look is a soft and layered high-low top with a high ruffled neck. The cake-like layers of ruffles give it volume and make it almost seem like a fluffy cloud!

Guo Pei

couture-fashion-week-pfw-ss18 (16)spring-summer-guo-peiGuo Pei brought drama to the runways of Paris Fashion Week with her plant and flower inspired fashion show at PFW. Almost all the looks were pretty three dimensional but this one was too spectacular to ignore. The dress has a sheer bodice with appliqué and the lower half is a wide metallic caged skirt with the same floral appliqué. With rings, earcuffs and a headpiece to match, the look, like most couture dresses in the show, took my breath away!

Giambatista Valli

giambatista-valli-ruffled-gown-couture-collection-paris-fashion-week-ss18Feminine and charming is what we saw at Giambatista Valli’s SS18 collection at couture week. As much as I loved all the couture dresses from the collection, this one was a definite show-stopper! An apple green colored high-low tulle dress with tiers of ruffles, bows and more ruffles! Even the neckline and sleeve were not forgotten when it came to the ruffles.


couture-fashion-week-pfw-ss18 (4)spring-summer-chanel-kaia-gerberKaia Gerber made her couture debut with Chanel Spring 2018 show at PFW in a beautiful pink mini dress with a wide drop-waist silhouette. The surface work on the dress – rhinestones and feathers, is adorable! I’m also loving the accessories from the show – veils with crystals & flowers and boots with rhinestones and clear heels!


couture-fashion-week-pfw-ss18 (8)spring-summer-valentino-feather-headdressVolume, volume and more volume! That’s what Valentino’s couture fashion week 2018 was all about. However, the final look from the show was a sight to behold! The model donned a simple LBD with a teal oversized cape with enormous ruffles along the neckline. If that wasn’t enough to make a statement, the designer also added a matching headpiece with lots of face-covering feathers sticking out to the look!

Iris Van Herpen

couture-fashion-week-pfw-ss18 (11)spring-summer-iris-van-herpenThree dimensional couture dresses are hardly a new concept for Iris Van Herpen. With parametric cuts and rhythmic lines, the fashion house’s name has become synonymous with futuristic, sculptural fashion.

Out of all the 3D couture dresses from Paris Fashion Week, this artistic and surreal dress is my favorite. “I zoomed out to look at the earth’s skin, trying to find the forces behind the forms. Looking from this perspective, I felt inspired by the patterns of chaos and order, nature and civilization blending into infinite hybrids,” she said about her collection.


couture-fashion-week-pfw-ss18 (5)spring-summer-dior-feather-capeCouture dresses from the Dio show at Couture Fashion Week 2018 were theatrics and otherworldly imagination-inspired, flowy and achromatic. This look though, was an absolute standout. A long white cape with feather appliqué. The look is accessorized with mismatched cage and feather earrings. Love! The eyewear and tulle masks that were made to look like puffs of smoke were also interesting.

Alexis Mabille

couture-fashion-week-pfw-ss18 (2)spring-summer-alexis-mabille-silver-gownAlmost all the couture dresses at Alexis Mabille were voluminous but this silver ball gown was spectacular! An asymmetrical metallic gown in a striking silver color with a huge rose on one sleeve.

Elie Saabcouture-fashion-week-pfw-ss18 (14)spring-summer-elie-saab

Elie Saab SS18 couture collection had all the glitz and glam to make heads turn in a crowd. The show had couture dresses with embroidery, rhinestones, lace, applique and lots of feathers! This beautiful dress in particular even has a dramatic train at the back! The couture dresses were all accessorized with headdresses and asymmetrical earrings.


couture-fashion-week-pfw-ss18 (15)spring-summer-givenchyThemed mysteries of the night garden, the Givenchy Spring 2018 couture show was modern, dark and full of classy couture dresses! This sheer look, despite being a dull grey color, is still a statement-making dress. Because of the layers of sculpted lace at the bottom.

Ralph & Russocouture-fashion-week-pfw-ss18 (1)spring-summer-ralph-russo

Ralph & Russo’s collection at Paris Fashion Week consisted of couture dresses with sculptural origami-esque elements. With all the textures, forms, movement and layers in this look, you’d never go unnoticed in a crowd. And it’d also make for a stunning wedding couture dress.

Jean Paul Gaultier

couture-fashion-week-pfw-ss18 (12)spring-summer-jean-paul-gaultierThis designer’s edgy couture week collection for Spring Summer 2018 was a head-to-toe architectural look. From the sturdy shoulder detail to the sculpted spiral hairstyle, this dress did everything three-dimensional.

Viktor & Rolf

couture-fashion-week-pfw-ss18 (7)spring-summer-viktor-rolf-bow-cocktail-dressThe designer cocktail dresses from Viktor & Rolf’s surreal satin collection at Paris Fashion Week were feminine, fun and of course, satin! This mini asymmetric dress has a giant bow, which gives it the 3D liquid metallic look. It’s also accessorized with a mask with a long stemmed plant that contributes to the taller, larger than life aspect we’re seeing in today’s fashion.

Zuhair Murad

couture-fashion-week-pfw-ss18 (13)spring-summer-zuhair-muradInspired by Native American civilization, this show at PFW had tribal & aztec prints and feathers. This particular look was a stand-out from all the other couture dresses in the collection. It’s like a kaftan dress with feathers that start at the shoulder and end at the sleeves, giving it an unmissable appearance.

Ronald van der Kemp

couture-fashion-week-pfw-ss18 (9)spring-summer-ronald-van-der-kempThe makeup from this show was a complete stand-out to me. But the couture dresses deserve credit too. The wild and colorful makeup complemented the quirky 3D pleated and gathered couture dresses.


couture-fashion-week-pfw-ss18 (17)spring-summer-schiaparelliThe look is a puffy feather and plastic coat over a minimal pair of shorts and shirt. The imbalanced proportions and out-of-the-box fabric choice, all add to the 3D look.

So those were the best couture dresses and couture evening gowns from Paris Fashion Week. And do let us know your thoughts and opinions by tweeting @shilpa1ahuja!
Also read:
11 Sexy Evening Gowns Trends From Spring 2018 Couture Collections

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