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Why is Paris Haute Couture Week so important and unmissable? Model and fashion expert Mercy Maddox took us inside of the world’s most important days for fashion industry

July 5, 2023. Paris, France – Despite its French heritage, it was English couturier Charles Frederick Worth who established the first haute couture fashion house in 1858. In 1945, a set of guidelines were put in place to define exactly what made labels worthy of the title, which translates as high dressmaking. Twice a year designers had to present collections of 50-plus pieces spanning both day and eveningwear, demonstrate exquisite hand-craftsmanship and operate from a Paris-based atelier with a minimum of 15 employees. The label also had to offer a bespoke made-to-measure service.

This season, Mercy Maddox, a professional model and a multi-hyphenated fashion industry professional,  and is currently the Chief Marketing Officer & Fashion Show Director for Canadian-based QB Elite Model & Talent Corporation was exclusively invited to attend one of the biggest show on this year’s Haute Couture Week – the George Hobeika Fall Winter 23/24 Collection, and here’s what she has to say:

What can you say about the George Hobeika show?

The George Hobeika show was polished, graceful, and clean. The model selection perfectly complemented the collection. I always look for variety in not only the collection but the models representing the collection as well. This is important to me in my initiatives for inclusivity in the fashion industry and my goal working with the QB Elite Model & Talent Corporation as we branch out internationally. It is wonderful to see in a couture show strides in showcasing various tones and shapes. I was particularly a fan of the strikingly bold purple they integrated into their palette and the stringy pieces that employed it. The dress adorned by Fan Bing Bing was an absolutely breathtaking showstopper, and choosing her to model it harmonized a feel of enchantment.

What do you think is the secret of Arab designers on creating Haute Couture pieces?

I feel like the immediate assumption from most would be that Arab designers would shy away from creating revealing haute couture pieces, but I feel they are masterful at creating revealing pieces that evoke a sense of refinement, artistry, and propriety. Arab designers are particularly skilled at making modesty desirable or melding the illusion of revealing pieces with modesty using mesh, sheer, and crystallized accents where appropriate.

Can you share with us your overall experience during the show – where you amused, or excited?

The show was captivating; the crystallized accents and variety in textures left the audiences’ eyes fixed on each piece until the last second and straight to the next, never losing focus. The show definitely captured “un rêve” with its fittingly soft palette and graceful presence.