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The Power of Texture at Paris Fashion Week

AP Photo/Francois Mori
AP Photo/Francois Mori

Examining texture through the lens of Xuan, Valentino, and Schiaparelli.

Paris Haute Couture Week has come and gone, leaving a trail of puffy sleeves and dramatic leg slits in its wake. This season saw the world's greatest fashion designers exploring texture--via textile choice, fabric distortment and ruching, and intended effect--creating altogether otherworldly ensembles that beg their viewers to touch them.

We explore this season's textural transformations through the eyes of three top trendsetters: Valentino, Xuan, and Schiaparelli. The first, and perhaps most high-profile, of the three gave a positive jungle gym of different surfaces to their runway: there are giant feathery gowns, poofy satins, floral headpieces, and, of course, beehive hair for the gods (as seen here on Kaia Gerber):

Don't you just want to dig your fingers in?

Xuan, a smaller-scale designer with a more concise collection, still gave us much to fawn over texture-wise. Here, we see lumpy florals on shirts, cascading tulle, and bunchy pants: a more corporate approach to Haute Couture:

With Schiaparelli, we see the boldest approach to texture of the season. Here, textile choice and implementation is used to transform models into literal animals. Scream!

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