Peet Dullaert made the most dramatic of entrances to the official couture calendar as the first-ever fashion show at France’s National Archives.
The show was a meditation on the idea of couture set to silence (save the shouting of unruly photographers, which unfortunately broke the spell), with one of the first looks a jacket stitched to appear as tailor’s chalk tracing the curves of the model.
More from WWD
And there were curves. Dullaert made it clear that his collection was about the body of all shapes and sizes and he played with proportions to expose it in new ways.
A beaded tunic arched at the shoulder, covering the arms like a sheath and exposing a bare back, and indeed a few looks were deceptively demure and featured open backs imprinted with “Haute Couture, Paris, Peet Dullaert,” as if an official stamp of approval.
Twisted clouds snaked around asymmetric cuts, or as elevated collars dripping down into trains. Fabric wrapped around the bust on a soft column, easing into gentle folds at the neck. The seam of a black gown undulated with pearl buttons gathered like a wave to expose a rush of blue satin. Tulle frothed on airy gowns while a black coat featured heavy silver embroidery, a traditional marker of couture.
His use of jewels and pearls added texture, cinching a shoulder here, and movement, cascading down a back there, adding swing and the sound of soft chimes.
Dullaert works with unique materials, in many cases Tencel Luxe, and used crochet techniques that gave a more casual air, particularly on a suit for men that featured a vest and bell bottom pant. Can knitwear be couture? It is the craft not the texture, as defined by Dullaert. There was no standard silhouette, with each look taking its own shape.
What is perhaps most unique about Dullaert is that he had made his mark even before the show began, as he ran around showing guests to their seats and making everyone welcome. His is a more grounded approach to the unapproachability of couture.
Launch Gallery: Peet Dullaert Couture Spring 2024
Best of WWD