As Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2022 kicked off, the runway was once more lit up with trailblazing ideas and trends. Ace designers and noted names from the industry welcomed the show in person after a long-drawn halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic and audiences were treated to a long-awaited fashion extravaganza.
As the world gradually begins to get back on track, luxury fashion houses have taken to the coveted spaces of the Paris Fashion Week to showcase their collections and ranges with styles and trends that are sure to dominate the ensuing year.
The city of lights saw the perfect amalgamation of baggy denims and haute couture gowns and dresses during the week. Whether it was Off-White’s electrifying show or Dior’s sombre and protective display, the fashion week ushered in bold, new looks that set stage for 2022.
Here are some of the Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2022 trends and style ideas
Versatility of boots is back and how. Pop colours to neutral tones – leather boots, can elevate an outfit taking it to a whole new level. Givenchy showed how this statement piece can be paired with lighter dresses or bold monochrome ones to create a look that is not just trendy and fun but elegant as well.
Or you can take a cue from Isabel Marant who seamlessly paired them with knitted mini dresses or even an oversized coat, for that layered drama. The Fall/Winter collection articulated that whatever be the season, boots can be a constant with multiple outfits and create accentuated looks to carry all day long.
Courrèges showed how dark boots go perfectly well when paired with spliced leather trousers in colours like burgundy, black, silver, cherry red and orange. When married with the vinyl mini skirt, the outcome is casual and sporty with a hint of elegance.
Comfortable elegance seems to be the new norm and the trend is growing strong. Paris Fashion Week 2022 saw a number of fashion houses sport baggy pants, oversized coats and jackets to make a voluminous ensemble that is fun to carry.
The fashion trend that dominated the 90s and 2000s is making a comeback and is here to make the year all the more stylish. Oversized slouchy jeans and denims, with tattered edges, frailed hemlines, whimsical patchworks and cargo pockets are making the pants a rather glamorous style statement. Paired with fitted futuristic elements, as done by Balmain or oversized coats and jackets, as done by Acne Studios or EYTYS, the baggy pants are a major trend, sure to take over as people hit the streets after a long gap due to the pandemic.
Layering has never failed to create intrigue and mystery and no one knows it better than Emporio Armani, Louis Vuitton and debutante designer Cecilie Bahnsen. The Paris Fashion Week runway saw enough proof of it.
Juggling denim with leather, Isabel Marant seemed to have hit the nail. Be it partnering a denim men’s jacket or an oversized coat over a skinny mini dress, a leather jumpsuit over a fuzzy blouse as worn by Bella Hadid or even a knitted dress paired with high motorbike boots, this trend is all about raising the bar with volumes.
Taking whimsicality as its mantra, Louis Vuitton transported the youth to a domain of utopian adolescence. A light dress tied at the waist with a cardigan or large coats over voluminous shirts and trousers made its collection suited for the young adult. In keeping with the label’s theme, romantic ideals, hope for the future billow out in layers of intricate silhouettes.
Cecilie Bahnsen, on the other hand, took elegant layering to another level. The Danish designer’s show opened with a reading of Tove Ditlevsens ‘Night Wandering‘, which was translated to English for the first time by Michael Favala Goldman. Light monochrome outfits comprising fitted shirts with puffed sleeves and trousers made the poet’s voice come out loud and clear to hit the right chord.
Games in monochrome
Top brands seem to indulge in it quite a lot. Creating never-seen-before silhouettes with razor-edge craftsmanship, be it cutout mini dresses, sequined jumpsuits, and ‘Madonna meets the street’ necklines, in reference to Mary in Renaissance paintings, Valentino shows how to play like a veteran. On an uncharted route into the domain of Pink PP, a shade of the fuchsia pink, eponymous to the show, creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli carved out racy outfits of sharp overcoats, clavicle-revealing gowns and exaggerated platform shoes
Hinged on today’s dark grim reality, Givenchy’s creative director Matthew M Williams gave it an everyday feel. The results are seen in the leather leggings and baseball caps, band T-shirts, thigh-high boots and mini slips and long trench coats. No wonder he was the former art director for Kanye West’s clothing line.
A gallery of large female portraits based on the history of painting from the 16th to the 19th century, signed by Mariella Bettineschi, inspired Dior’s Paris Fashion Week collection. With a tacit understanding of the condition of women and an urge to break the mould, Dior created outfits that push the boundaries and question judgements.
Fashion with a message
Balenciaga took a strong stand with regard to the grim realities as the house deleted all its Instagram posts just a few days before the Paris show and only put up an image of the Ukrainian flag. In fact, Demna Gvasalia, questioned whether to present at all.
Guests were given a note at the beginning of the show by the Creative Director himself, where he wrote, “Fashion week feels like some kind of an absurdity. I thought for a moment about cancelling the show that I and my team worked hard on and were all looking forward to. But then I realised that cancelling this show would mean giving in, surrendering to the evil that has already hurt me so much for almost 30 years. I decided that I can no longer sacrifice parts of me to that senseless, heartless war of ego.”
For the presentation, titled ‘360° Show’, a giant circular arena in Le Bourget Airport was transformed into a post-apocalyptic snow storm. The interpretation then inclined towards another global pertinent issue— climate change. While some appeared in heavy faux fur coats and high heels, others, as if caught off guard, were seen in only underwear and sneakers. They also carried the new Balenciaga mycelium-based ‘leather’ bag. The two final looks of a yellow tracksuit and a bright blue asymmetric dress sent out a silent yet strong message.
Balmain took the armoury of its craftsmanship quite seriously with fitted corset tops, padded jackets and futuristic moto-gears. It may not have been a response to the ongoing aggression at the neighbouring borders of Ukraine and Russia, the Balmain collection was a direct nod to self empowerment and being united in the face of adversity. The tacit expressions of burnt bandages that the house’s creative director Olivier Rousteing wore after experiencing a harrowing fire at his place in 2021, became the voice and inspiration behind the protective and gilded look of the designs. The trend symbolises hope and truth in solidarity against aggression, taking us to a world better than the one of today.
The tweed affair
Starting from the invite and upholsteries, it was a tweed show all the way for Chanel. Creative Designer Virginie Viard created a gridded blend of bright colours like pink, turquoise and purple against an autumnal background.
The looks were accessorised with thick thigh-high stockings, striking wader boots and signature chain strap handbags, which also appeared in mini sizes. Guests were immediately reminded of the opening scene of Pablo Larran’s recent film Spencer where Kristen Stewart’s wardrobe was done by the label, especially when models entered wearing bright tweeds with short skirts and guild buttons.
Standing in solidarity with the sombre atmosphere due to the Ukraine war, the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life” played as the Chanel models appeared in school-girl hairstyles. Chanel said on Friday it would suspend business in Russia, along with LVMH Hermes and Kering.
Feminine moulds and petite tailoring is one of the emerging trends that have hit the Paris Fashion Week runway in many ways. Dries Van Noten, Courrèges and Rochas have traversed the curvy way to usher in a new trend of softly draped blouses with billowy sleeves, jackets and suits with rounded shoulders or seams.
The abstract prints and bejewelled outfits of Dries Van Noten, as opposed to the casual partywear of the Courrèges woman or the solid colour blocking and wide fringes of fur from the house of Rochas, all styled with rounded curvy shapes, stood out as winners all the way.
(Main and feature image credit: Givenchy, Louis Vuitton, Chanel/ @givenchyofficial, @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial/ Instagram)