With elements of Earth being the focus of Sarah Burton’s AW22 collection, soil and mulch blanketed the venue floors and untouched forest mushrooms provided vibrant psychedelic hues. The same themes were echoed in the collection, which included sharply cut pantsuits tinted in radiant neons, and knits with silk fringes that replicated the precious mycelia of the mushrooms.
In honour of the Ukraine war, Demna Gvasalia goes through with the showcasing of his collection, with a rather dawning stoical elegance. Stiletto heels and dramatic asymmetrical silhouettes, the iconic Balenciaga taping fostering all kinds of curves; harmoniously tread through the windstorm together with hearts bearing feelings of sacrifice, encouragement, and love.
Olivier Rousteing’s concept for his AW22 collection was to rebel against online image dysmorphia, but the message shifted somewhat as he paid tribute to the people of Ukraine before the start of the show. Models walked the runway in detailed white body armour and sharply tailored suits with compressed padding to accentuate the silhouettes of the female body. The combination of technical clothing with the occasional lace and oversized fur coats created an undeniable elegance.
Since being named Bottega Veneta’s new creative director, Matthieu Blazy has set out to create a sense of movement and freedom. “There are many characters and they all have places to go,” he says. “They feel quite free.” His latest collection featured cropped flares, caban coats and leather skirts adorned with vibrant fringes, all paired with dramatic thigh-high leather boots – paying homage to the subtle simplicity yet luxurious aesthetic of
the classic Bottega woman.
Authenticity can’t get more real. Burberry’s Riccardo Tisci sent models to walk among the audience, then climb up on tables while an orchestra played and the choir sang in London’s Central Hall Westminster, across from the Houses of Parliament. The collection, meanwhile, celebrated Tisci’s ideas about nonconformity in the brand’s traditional checks and trenches as well as the symbol of the Burberry Prorsum knight on horseback.
Entitled Dans Paris, Celine’s AW22 women’s collection was filmed, in March 2022, at both the newly restored Salons D’Apparat at the Hôtel de la Marine and the Hotel National Des Invalides in Paris. Accompanying the lavish architectural features of the French settings were a variety of timeless clean-cut looks, including crisp coats, sleek blazers, vibrant knitwear and strapless minidresses, each look finished off with sharp-heeled leather boots.
Paying homage to the Scottish countryside, Virginie Viard took inspiration from the noble hues of local ferns and flowers by the River Tweed – a region Coco Chanel was known to frequent – for AW22. Also enticed by 1960s London, the designer showed a tweed-filled collection featuring bright pops of pink, blue, purple, green and yellow alongside rubber Wellies and sophisticated kitten-heel skimmers.
Rewilding. It’s one way that Gabriela Hearst visualises climate success. Rallying against the onslaught of climate change, the designer presented a collection of minimalist pieces made from socially responsible materials – including real leather, which is a byproduct of the meat industry. Earthy hues of tan, brown, black and yellow were dominant while silhouettes ranged from pantsuits to fit-and-flare dresses.
This show is considered the most daring yet in the history of Christian Dior, with Maria Grazia Chiuri injecting modernity and elements of technology into her traditional design recipe. The enduring theme of female empowerment took a new turn as the first model emerged in a futuristic bodysuit with glow-in-the-dark wiring, followed by new versions of iconic Dior pieces, intricate knitwear and inspirations ranging from technical biker jackets to football shoulder pads and vivid motor gloves.
Providing a view into the Fendi archives, Kim Jones celebrated the 25th anniversary of the renowned Fendi Baguette Bag designed by Silvia Venturini Fendi while also revisiting the depths of the vintage wardrobe as seen in the reappearance of Venturini’s Memphis-print blouse. Terrifically tailored, the breezy crisp chiffon blouses and pants certainly made a statement, along with the mild palette of pastel pink and blue tones, accessorised with ankle-strap heels and the occasional knee-high boot.
Another collection presented the war in Ukraine, the Armani show was held in silence as a sign of respect “to the people affected by the evolving tragedy”. Restrained and elegant, the collection encompassed soft yet striking elements, highlighted by slim tailored suits synched neatly around the waist, styled with luminescent velvet pants that nearly masked the entire lower body when worn with midnight velvet boots.
“Treat the informal with as much care as the formal.” Reinventing streetwear with the help of the Givenchy archives, Matthew Williams presented raw-hemmed and layered graphic band T-shirts with pearl-embroidered denim trousers, intricately patterned eveningwear and the occasional floor-length coat. “I’m interested in making clothes that people wear, and that ease of it, so I guess it was finding those archetypes for today that I found interesting,” Williams said.
Combining the codes of Adidas sportswear and the archives of Gucci, Alessandro Michele perfectly and elegantly merged the two aesthetics while centring the collection around the pervading topic of gender fluidity. Expressing the indefinite spectrum of femininity, latex dresses were paired with contemporary zip-up corsets while others were embellished with extravagant velvet corduroy tuxedos.
“How do you translate classicism and sophistication and chic into the idea of a woman really assuming her femininity?” That was the question Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski attempted to answer in her interplay between sensuality and practicality for AW22. A monotone palette was accentuated with opaque mesh sleeves and handsomely tailored blazers while sheer, vertically striped socks shaped the thigh, along with knee-high boots.
Partially inspired by the ballad “Cat on Tin Roof” by Blonde Redhead, who played at the show, Marant drew on the subtlety of young, female charm this season. Her cosy, comforting spin on the essentials included an array of stonewash denim, knitwear and thigh-high boots, as well as a tasteful interplay of form-fitting dresses and low-hung, baggy pants reminiscent of Y2K.
Adopting an elegant, sophisticated approach without foregoing modernity, designers Lucie and Luke Meier centred their AW22 collection on creating sleek silhouettes through a focus on sculptural tailoring. Of particular note were the wool skirt suits, full-length LBDs and above-the-knee dresses as well as the gold-encrusted flat ankle boots and the array of textured fabrics that provided a more minimalistic alternative to fine detailing.
In an ode to Jeanne Lanvin’s iconography, Bruno Sialelli united the past, present and future in his AW22 collection, with Art Deco, ancient Egyptian and French film noir influences. Described as a “celebration of the paradox and contradiction” of fashion, the collection used a bold mix of faux furs and crushed velvets, layered lace and all-over beading. The combination of contrasting elements and volumes created a sense of illusion and paid homage to the brand’s heritage.
Unlike most designers who chose to focus on wearability this season, Jonathan Anderson made his emphasis on surrealism evident from the get-go, with Anthea Hamilton’s acrylic pumpkins littering the runway. Highlights of the boundary-pushing show included dresses with cars suspended at the hem, gowns with puckered lips as a bustier, and leather dresses sculpted to look as though they were perpetually swishing in the wind.
With this season’s collection, Loro Piana provided luxurious variations on comfort with its cashmere-cotton jeans, ribbed cashmere camisoles and loose trousers. This is an aesthetic that will no doubt be popular as we ease back into our regular lifestyles following years of lounging at home in our most comfortable, but not necessarily most presentable, clothes. Once again, the Italian brand has given an alternative to loungewear that is both cosy and sophisticated.
The first runway show ever held at the Musée d’Orsay, Louis Vuitton’s AW22 presentation celebrated young adulthood through its vivid romanticism and hopeful idealism. Nicolas Ghesquière’s innovative layering of chiffon and tulle, and oversized shapes and photographs by David Sims echoed the instinctive, liberating and experimental attitudes of adolescents to fashion. The unexpected pairings of flower-print ties with LV-print foulards and baggy polo shirts over flowy dresses reflected an emphasis on youthful freedom and androgynous, non-conventional attitudes towards fashion that Ghesquière wishes to emanate.
Ian Griffiths’ collection this season paid tribute to the work of Sophie Taeuber-Arp, who was part of the Dada movement that rejected nationalism and violence, a message evidently relevant amidst the war in Ukraine. With highlights including parachute pants, turtlenecks and fuzzy oversized coats, and statement winter accessorising, the collection was infused precisely with the “magic” that the designer felt the world has been craving for the past two years.
After setting the trend of sweaters paired with micro-skirts that dominated last season, Miuccia Prada’s opted this season for low-waisted micro tennis skirts, lace-panelled tops, leather aviator jackets and oversized tweed blazers. Her collection was a bold dismissal of the gender binary through incorporation of both men’s and women’s sizes for the pieces in the collection.
With single- and double-breasted jackets adorned with faux fur and geometrics incorporated in jacquard knits, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons’ latest collection blurred the line between genders, disrupting conventionally masculine attire with feminine elements. Highlights included fitted white tanks with the triangular Prada logo front and centre, and mid-length skirts reminiscent of the 1990s with mesh and floral detailing.
Alluding to Yves Saint Laurent’s admiration for Art Deco design, Anthony Vaccarello’s “quietly poetic” collection involved a breathtaking array of floor-length faux fur coats and swooping V necklines. He drew upon Nancy Cunard’s androgynous influence on the world of fashion during the Jazz Age, with heavy outerwear paired with light, flowing gowns, and placing subtle sensuality over overt sexiness while remaining loyal to the brand’s signature luxury.
Described as “intelligent informal” by the luxury brand, this season’s collection included trench coats with built-in wrap scarves and belts, a red top with a ruffled circular cut-out, and knit bodysuits that accentuated a lean silhouette. More formal evening attire such as knit tops were dressed down with brown trousers while leather chains worn as chokers elevated simpler looks.
Reflective of his belief that fashion should be “provocative, upending, challenging and meaningful,” Daniel Roseberry’s collection for Schiaparelli, featuring studded cone bras, extravagant headpieces and embroidered denim, was as bold and shocking as it was beautiful. Highlights included a black velvet coat with drawer-shaped pockets and a pair of gloves like the ones from Edward Scissorhands.
Referencing a sleek ’90s cut, Walter Chiapponi’s collection united casual wear with an air of sophistication, creating elegant silhouettes through coats cinched at the waist and with belts and shapely dresses. Particular elements of note were the masculine suits with toned-down tailoring, highlighting the “sensual side of traditional Italian tailoring.”
With a collection of bright fuchsia only briefly interrupted by an intermission of black ensembles, Pierpaolo Piccioli aimed to “subvert” the traditionally restrictive connotations of colour. His collection featured off-the-shoulder sweaters, embroidered mesh tops, dramatic feathered coats and sweeping capes, with the monochrome hues calling attention to the sophisticated cutting and careful details of each piece.