Harlequins and Pierrot clowns entertained at Christian Dior’s Haute Couture catwalk show in Paris on Monday, as models sporting ruffs, sequined dresses and ringmaster jackets paraded through a circus tent, surrounded by acrobats.
Glittering bonnets by milliner Stephen Jones and sparkling shoes added to the whimsical collection, on the first day of Haute Couture Fashion Week, a celebration of an elite club of high-end designers with one-of-a-kind outfits.
Actresses Felicity Jones and Rachel Brosnahan looked on from the front row, as the models wove their way through human towers formed by the troupe of female acrobats.
Polka-dotted skirts and extravagantly beaded bodysuits contrasted with more subtle looks at the show, with black or white ruffle necks recalling the melancholic Pierrot, a fictional love-worn clown.
Standout numbers at the LVMH -owned brand included a gold pleated evening dress with a Grecian twist.
Dior said in show notes that the circus was a “magical place” which its eponymous late founder had enjoyed visiting.
“The circus is something that goes around the world and changes the city when it arrives. It’s like fashion week when arriving in Paris or Milan, it changes the atmosphere,” womenswear designer Maria Grazia Chiuri told journalists.
Haute Couture Week runs until Jan. 24, with grandees of Parisian fashion like Chanel and Jean Paul Gaultier as well as newer designers such as Julien Fournie and Alexis Mabille set to present their styles in the run of 30 catwalk shows.