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Romanticism and nature at Paris Fashion Week

photo from @georgeshobeika on Instagram
photo from @georgeshobeika on Instagram

While edginess and opulence took center stage in many of this year’s Paris Fashion Week shows, designer Georges Hobeika stood out with a different direction. 

The relatively new couturier's ethereal collection, named "Orchidée Précieuse" (Precious Orchid), evoked imagery of fairy tales, nature and magic. A quintessential example of the fantastical, dreamy wonder that Paris symbolizes. 

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, society has been in an uncertain and fearful place. Many aspects of life have become muddled in this mess, and lack excitement and hopefulness. Hobeika responded to society’s recent changes and conflicts in a particularly beautiful way through classic elegance, romanticism and dreaminess. 

Over the last couple years, people have been immersed in storytelling as quarantine brought everyone inside to spend time binge watching TV and movies. The comfort of fantasy and idealizing life has become popular, so this romantic and idyllic aesthetic is perfectly fitting.

Hobeika evoked the art nouveau style by including nature imagery and flowing, loose structures. Each look drew inspiration from and evoked the meaning and imagery of the Orchid flower. 

The orchid flows and swirls in the air, looking soft and dainty. Hobeika nailed this in each and every piece of the collection. He used free-flowing fabric and an assortment of delicate colors and textiles. Many of the garments were made up of a variety of soft pastels and floral detailing. Some were decorated with feathers, jewels, petals and prints.  

One of the standout looks was a pastel pink, one-shoulder gown with a fluid sheer bottom and magenta feathers and silver embroidery across the torso. Another magical pink dress was magenta with a midi-length, A-line skirt. It was made up almost completely of feathers with a pink sequined corset. These dresses simultaneously showed the delicacy and power of feminine romanticism beautifully. 

Many of the garments also used pastel yellows and blues. One fitted blue gown was sheer with light pink feathers and embroidery forming swirling shapes creeping up to the shoulder. The fluidity and movement in the garment brought the nature imagery in a very subtle and soft way. 

Many of the other garments in the collection weren’t quite as colorful. The looks made up of black and neutral toned fabric with fewer embellishments allowed the silhouettes and movements to do the talking. 

This collection also gave symbolism into themes of female empowerment, much like Paris fashion powerhouse Saint Laurent did in its Spring/Summer 2022 ready-to-wear collection. 

While Saint Laurent used subtle sensuality and empowerment through reclamation of female sexuality, Hobeika embraced elegance and femininity to empower women.

According to the overview of the collection on Hoebeika's website, “the knots, pleats, ruffles, patterns, attesting to the know-how of the Maison’s workshops, enliven the refinement of these outfits designed for modern goddesses.” 

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The collection is made for the woman who is empowered and energized through nature, fantasy, etherealness, and tenderness. 

youngkr5@miamioh.edu 


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