The Architecture of Couture

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Grand Palais 02
Grand PalaisPhotography by Matthieu Venot

We look at the Paris locations set to house some of our favourite couture shows in coming days

Last night, Atelier Versace sent their Maid Marian-meets-Titania goddesses down a runway of 26,000 orchids, opening a season of couture with a magical dreamscape. The next few days are set to show some of the world's greatest designers at their finest; from Chanel to Christian Dior, it is an opportunity for the artisanal side of the houses to shine – as Karl Largerfeld told Susannah Frankel after Spring Couture, "the train alone [of the bridal gown, traditionally the closing look] took a month for fifteen girls to do. The train alone."

In honour of the start of the season, we asked Matthieu Venot to document some of the locations that, later in the week, are set to be filled with the slightly mysterious guests of couture. Hailing from Brest, France – a fishing town destroyed during WWII and rebuilt with an industrial aesthetic – Venot uses architecture to "compose abstract photography; I love the universality of it." Here, he takes some of the best known locations in Paris and transforms their classical styles into a wonderfully modern series of imagery, uniting the old and the new with brilliant finesse.