From the standout models to the accessories that will be everywhere this spring.
Each season in Paris, some of the world’s top designers get together to present their most spectacular creations, ending fashion month with a bang. The pandemic threw things off course, but for the spring 2022 shows, Paris was back in a big way. Brands took guests to the outskirts of the city for experiences that ranged from concerts to intimate debuts in unexpected places. More than ever, it felt like a season of renewal: new emerging designers to watch, new models to get excited about, and most importantly, new clothes to covet. Here, a primer on the things we loved from Paris Fashion Week 2022.
Dior’s Color-Wonderful Set
Dior proved that we all need a little bit of color during times like these. Instead of doing a traditional runway show where the models walked down the catwalk, the set was reimagined in a collaboration by the artist Anna Paparatti, who paid tribute to the colorful Roman nightclub The Piper Club, a mainstay for the bright aesthetic revolution of the swinging 1960s in Italy. The platform rotated below disco balls and models stepped off one-by-one to walk the circular runway. With a heavy dose of color and print, guests were spellbound by the kaleidoscopic presentation.
Rochas’ Buzzy New Designer
It was a quiet season in terms of designer debuts (a rarity in recent years), but there was one that stood out. Rochas, known for its flounce and romance, got an impactful punch of print, color, and youth in the hands of Charles de Vilmorin. At only 24 years old, the designer had already gained praise from the industry, as he was invited to show on the couture schedule as guest designer earlier this year. He recently graduated from École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, but he clearly knows how to shake things up and make a bold impact.
Balmain’s Democratic Approach
It may have just been the largest fashion show in all of history, with thousands of guests. Balmain opened its hybrid show-concert to the public, who came to watch live performances including Doja Cat, Franz Ferdinand, and more. Beyoncé opened up the show with a heartwarming pre-recorded speech that touched on inclusivity in the industry and Olivier Rousteing’s ten-year anniversary at the brand. When iconic figures Naomi Campbell and Carla Bruni took their turns on the runway both industry insiders and fans who came from all over went wild.
Loewe’s Innovative Shoes
Jonathan Anderson decided he was going to focus on experimentation for the spring 2022 show. And that he did, with 3D graphic protrusions in pastel shades. But the accessories were really special, perhaps some of the most creative and standout of the season. Heels were embellished with cracked egg yolks, bottles of nail polish, bars of soap, birthday candles, and a single rose stem.
Schiaparelli’s Watchful Accessories
Sometimes there are things you just have to see in person to believe them, and Schiaparelli’s jewelry is one of those things. The lips, eyes, ears, and nipples that dot the spring 2022 collection aren’t just limited to jewelry, they also cover skirts, denim jackets, bags and even bathing suits, and they’re wildly realistic and unique. It’s just the sort of OTT glam we’ve been craving.
Yohji Yamamoto’s Subtly Impactful Show
After all the noise of getting back to a regular IRL fashion week, we couldn’t help but marvel at the beauty of a little bit of quietness. Yohji Yamamoto celebrated his 40th year anniversary of debuting in Paris with a subtle show that spoke volumes. Models glided down the runway in pairs and trios wearing signature draped and twisted dresses in shades of black, gray, and navy. Exposed hoop cages covered with barely-there dresses closed the show and drew audible gasps from the audience, especially when each model handed a front-row guest a black rose rendered in fabric.
Givenchy’s Killer Artist Collab
Matthew M. Williams debuted his first in-person show for the house of Givenchy, and he did so with a bold perspective. He infused classic silhouettes such as massive shoulders with nipped waists, or expertly tailored, sculptured blouses with a bright burst of color courtesy of a collaboration with Josh Smith, the New York based artist. Abstract faces, clown noses, and gasoline cans dotted the runway and brought a real sense of playfulness and modernity to the age-old fashion house.
Balenciaga’s Runway Innovation
Even as things return to normal, it seems that designers are struggling to figure out the next big move when it comes to fashion shows. Pre-pandemic, there was a definite feeling that the system needed to change. Well, it may just be that Demna Gvasalia has started to figure it all out. For the spring 2022 Balenciaga show, the designer had industry guests, models, and celebs walk the red carpet before entering a screening room to view everyone else arrive. This was followed by an original Balenciaga-themed Simpsons episode that had everyone in the room laughing. The audience essentially became the show.
Miu Miu’s Hybrid Show
It seemed like many brands felt like they had to choose between debuting digital shows via video or in-person runway shows, but you can always count on Miuccia Prada to give the best of both worlds. For the Miu Miu spring 2022 show, the label debuted a short film directed by Meriem Bennani which intermixed with real time footage of the guests at the show, while models walked the runway in an exploration of universal garments. All the essentials were there: khaki jackets, chunky sweaters, and for the Miu Miu girls at heart, heavily embellished slip dresses and perfectly boxy skirt suits covered in shimmering beads. Models marched by in the brand’s new collab by New Balance, while the video played in the background on custom-made screens.
Chanel’s Social Media Beloved Throwback
There’s been a lot of talk about archive fashion lately, and there’s no question that vintage is becoming more and more mainstream. What’s more, the ’90s have reached peak popularity in 2021. So, Chanel gave us the throwback show we’ve all been dreaming of. Photographers lined the span of the catwalk like they did in the days before social media, while Christine and the Queen’s cover of George Michael’s “Freedom! ’90” played. There were all the covetable late ’80s and early ’90s looks too. Heart-shaped flap bags, little logo rompers and butterfly prints were everywhere.
AZ Factory’s Moving Celebration
The passing of Alber Elbaz shocked and saddened the entire industry. But with that also came an outpouring of love and celebration that made everyone in the room shed tears. Over 40 major fashion houses from Dior to Thom Browne and Christopher John Rogers came together to create tribute l0oks inspired by the designer’s singular aesthetic. At the end of the show, a handful of l0oks were also shown by the design team of AZ Factory in memory of Elbaz. The show was not only sentimental but extremely moving—the perfect way to end the season.
Quannah Chasinghorse’s Breakout Season
Quannah Chasinghorse walked in Gabriela Hearst, Prabal Gurung, and Jonathan Simkhai at New York Fashion Week. But she really hit her (catwalk) stride in Paris. The 19-year-old Indigenous model is Hän Gwich’in and Oglala Lakota, and made an appearance both at Chloé and Chanel. Chasinghorse is also a fourth-generation land protector for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, part of the Alaska Wilderness League.
Paris’ New Designers
This season in Paris saw one of the most diverse line-ups of emerging designers, with many that were completely new to showing in the city of lights. Ester Manas showcased a thought-provoking collection focused on sustainable inclusivity, with dresses designed to fit across multiple sizes. Meanwhile, celeb favorite line Dipetsa showed its signature wet dresses with a mini performance. Two new labels also stood out in terms of gender fluidity, something that isn’t quite as common in Paris as it is in New York, London or even Milan. Weinsanto, run by Victor Weinsanto, who worked at Y/Project, Maxime Simoens, Chloé and is a protege of Jean Paul Gaultier showed an explosive show full of bursts of color and dramatic shape attended by Simon Porte Jacquemus and Adrian Joffe. Pressiat, showed rave-ready gossamer dresses with sky-high platforms and sculptural blazers. Vincent Garnier Pressiat has worked for Margiela, Galliano and Saint Laurent and is also one to watch.