11th March 2022

Paris Fashion Week AW22 – Round-Up

Paris recently ended its long fashion week on a high. These are some of the collections that took it there.

Paris Fashion Week was perhaps the first ‘real’ fashion week of the new era.  It was the longest with the most physical shows on the calendar.  It meant there was a lot to take in, a lot to do and a lot to see.  The week began in amazing ways with Off-White’s tribute to their late head captain, Virgil Abloh, and ended with what felt like the welcome return of an old friend with Miuccia and Miu Miu.

In between, there were many shows and collections to give you really warm feelings towards the coming winter months.  Here were some of the best and brightest.


For the Off-White AW22 show, at Paris Fashion Week we were transported into the imagination of the late visionary founder, Virgil Abloh, with an event titled Spaceship Earth. With a celebratory atmosphere in the air, we were treated to two collections.  The AW ready-to-wear men’s tailoring took us on that space traveller’s journey, with blazers in deep-space black and worn with both a skirt and trousers to let us know this is the new world now.

It was the Off-White creative team who showed Abloh he wasn’t alone on that journey with the second half of the show.  When former Hood By Air creative director Ian Isiah graced the stage with a joint and wearing an exquisite black velvet tux, we were finally introduced to the long-rumoured Off-White haute couture.  The sweeping romantic lines and voluminous sleeves of the Carrie B dress carried the perfect amount of Abloh spirt with the gigantic shopping tote slung over the shoulder. And just to let us know we will be in good hands.   Ebonee Emani.


With an opening arts performance by the all–monogrammed Balmain Army, the new AW22 collection began with and returned to white, neutral and pastel shades dressed in various guises throughout the show, perhaps reflecting a need for a little more purity and truth in the world.  Blue and metallic pieces transited into soft denims and hard leathers.  Olivier Rousteing’s armoured silhouettes to told a story of self-protection, with the mixture of textures and fabrics mirroring a sense of venerability and strength.  It stood as the visual representation of Rousteing’s message for the AW season: united in solidarity, we can rely on the power of hope and truth to push back against hate, lies and aggression.  Ebonee Emani.


The future faced the past’s judgment with Dior’s AW22 collection. Numerous upscaled portraits of women spanning a 300-year timeline clung to the walls of a showroom edited with optics stacked and reversed.  A subversion of historical judgement greeted the studied eyes in a collection filled with sartorial elegance and savoir-faire.  Across 82 uniquely curated looks, we saw precisely tailored blazers paired with contrasting loose-fit trousers and skirts, as well as laced shirts, corsets and dresses that revealed a cascade of geometric patterns. A trifling of rebellion buzzed throughout this extensive collection, making the rallying to its cause a compelling one.  Jacob Coburn-Blaauw.


For Saint Laurent’s AW22 collection, Anthony Vaccarello looked through the lens of Yves’ past devotion to Art Deco aesthetics.  Sleek and streamlined forms were signatures of collection, taking flight in flute dresses and paletot coats.  A colour palette restrained to blacks, browns, golds and whites expressed an understated simplicity whilst remaining aesthetically pleasing to the eye, further alluding the Art Deco underpinnings of the designs.  Poetic luxury came with a series of four innovatively cut tuxedos making a formal exeunt, whilst Look crushed velvet two-pieces featured stacked silver, gold and bronze bracelets that were an elemental motif for the collection’s entirety.  Jacob Coburn-Blaauw.


Vivienne Westwood’s AW22 ready-to-wear collection abundantly flowed with drapery, romance and extravagance.  The cast were adorned with theatrical veils, large feathers and tulle ruffles in an asymmetrical ensemble of outfits that served as an homage to the real Queen of England herself.  Thick crimson fabric overlapped like theatre curtains, while tartan checks, bold stripes and rich colours fed through the entire collection to hold the whole story together like an iconic Westwood bustier corset.  And when you catch a glimpse of even the small touches, like the flashes of school tea towel print, and smile to yourself, you remember why Vivienne Westwood has already had such an enduring legacy.  Georgia Hambury.


For Balenciaga’s AW22 collection, the brand deconstructed the concept of seasons to create a futuristic snow-globe catwalk that saw the cast stride through turbulent and frosty synthetic weather.  Each look brought oddly nostalgic memories of a dystopian Matrix-type future.  In a starkly monochrome palette that favoured blues and blacks, the collection still surprised. On the one hand there were the hot flashes of pinks, reds and golds that looked almost superimposed against the cold haze.  On the other hand, there were the exciting new silhouettes to enjoy when the blacks were contrasted against the white ‘snow.’  Be Different, said one of the slogans.  For Balenciaga, it’s the best way to be.  Georgia Hambury.


In a celebration of the legacy of the great Gabrielle Chanel, the House that bears her name presented a new AW22 collection that explored the infinite possibilities of tweed.  Traditional codes were reimagined with slightly oversized silhouettes, and familiar outlines, like the multi-pocket hunting jackets, took on new psychedelic colours.  Even The Grand Palais Éphémère was swathed in tweed, with the pale blue runway seemingly serving as Scotland’s River Tweed, where Gabrielle once found so much inspiration.  “She would gather ferns and bouquets of flowers to inspire the local artisans,” says Virginie.  And, with this new collection, she’s still inspiring us today. Lestine Manduakila.


Miu Miu’s influence on the fashion industry was further reinforced by Miuccia Prada’s new AW22 collection.  Building on the themes of the SS22 story, with the continuation of silhouettes like the mini skirt and micro shorts, the feeling of winter was was young, fresh and forward-thinking.  Even when that forward thinking came from a blast from the past, with the return of menswear on the catwalk for Miu Miu for the first time in 13 years.  When you’re closing Paris Fashion Week, there’s no harm in ‘running up the score’ while you’re there.  And, while the menswear might only have been a tentative toe back in the waters this time, from what we saw on the catwalk we’ll be looking forward to the full show in seasons to come. Lestine Manduakila.


It seems fitting that the new Louis Vuitton AW22 collection should have been shown at Paris’ Musée d’Orsay.  Surprisingly, it was the first time the famous old museum had ever hosted a catwalk show.  So, of course Nicolas Ghesquière new collection would equal the occasion.  Vuitton’s winter theme played with the sometimes spontaneous nature of adolescence.  Generously oversized jackets, suits and coats evoked images of ‘dress-up’ and the days of first find your style.  Looking at the evening dresses teamed with rugby shirts or with chunky sweaters wrapped around waists, you could almost have been taken back to the night after your first school dance.  Paradoxically, it’s that kind of romanticism of the past that tells of a bright future for Ghesquière.


Stella by Stella as a title does not tell the story you might think.  The new AW22 Stella McCartney collection in fact took inspiration from the work of celebrated American creative artist, Frank Stella.  And, for such a fusion of art and high fashion, the Centre Pompidou could have been the only appropriate setting.  The fascination with geometric patterning seen throughout spoke to the shared abstractionism running through both mediums and both designers.  Silhouettes where strong and purposeful to maximise the canvas for the designs.  The colours were bold and direct, and when they clashed as they did in the single-breasted suit or long-sleeved dress, all sorts of new stories were being told.  For McCartney, this has always been an art.  And, now winter will now it too.


To see our Paris Fashion Week SS22 Round-up, click here

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