While the fashionistas in the Northern Hemisphere are eagerly awaiting warmer days with spring on their doorstep, the crisp mornings and nippy evenings are a clear indication that autumn is on ours.
The Autumn/Winter 2022 collections shown over the past month’s during fashion weeks – Paris, Milan, New York and London – have provided us with insight into what international fashion houses see our winter wardrobes looking like this season.
This year we were happy to see the return of physical fashion shows. Not only does this bring the drama we all love and so eagerly look forward to on the runway with over-the-top productions but it brought out celebrities who once again brought their fashion A-game to the front row.
Of course, there were some shows that left more of an impression than others.
Balenciaga’s show deserves an honourable mention. With Paris Fashion Week came devastating news of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
While the label’s Creative Director, Demna Gvasalia intended the show to be a commentary on climate change showing models battling to walk through a realistic-looking snowstorm, the Georgian designer also paid tribute to the heartbreak and suffering in Ukraine.
On every seat, Gvasalia left a personal note saying, “The war in Ukraine has triggered the pain of a past trauma I have carried in me since 1993 when the same thing happened in my home country and I became a forever refugee. This is why working on this show was so incredibly hard for me. Because in a time like this, fashion loses its relevance and its actual right to exist. Fashion week feels like some kind of absurdity.”
He did however choose to carry on with the show saying: “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.”
Another stand-out show was Valentino’s all pink show. Fashion houses have been doing all-black or white shows for years but we’ve not seen a show dedicated to such a bold colour.
The 81-piece “Valentino Pink PP Collection”, was designed in the same shade of pink which was creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli in collaboration with the Pantone Color Institute.
In the show notes, he explains, “Pink as a manifestation of the unconscious and liberation from the need for realism. The accumulation of pink elements is such as to eliminate the visual shock to bring out, together, the unique character of the person, expressed by the face and the eyes, and the work on the pieces of clothing: the signs that shape them into a silhouette, the textures that give them consistency, the decorations that are part of the construction…The pink-out is an experimental yet deeply human gesture that enhances individuality, capturing values and feelings.”
While these two shows will continue to have a lasting impact on the fashion industry, there are other shows that have set the trend for the chilly season ahead.
Here are three trends that came through strong on the runway. Trends we will undoubtedly be seeing a lot more of.
Oversized outerwear and mega shoulders
At the Prada show, we saw leather trench coats with sharp exaggerated broad shoulders as well as oversized puffer jackets. The Dolce & Gabbana show was all about oversized structured suits with dramatic, completely over the top shoulders. Their gold and black double-breast suit made a shimmering statement while their oversized basketball bomber inspired jacket and hoodies are a more subtle take on the trend. Louis Vuitton went huge on outerwear. From coats to biker jackets, the look was bigger is better.
Knee and thigh high boots
While knee-high boots are not uncommon to a winter wardrobe, they are certainly big this winter. From Kim Kardashian to Rihanna we’ve already seen the celebrities out and about in them. We’re loving the more baggy, relaxed fit of this season’s knee and over the knee boots.
Isabel Marant is known for her fabulous shoe designs and her winter boots are no exception.
The metallic blue leather boots and slouchy motocross-inspired boots stole the show.
No Bottega Veneta collection is complete without a Bottega Green must-have item. This season it’s their metallic green thigh-high boot.
We saw flower-embellished, a common thread throughout the collection, on their baggy boots at the Roberto Cavalli show.
This is a trend we can all welcome with open arms. The colder it becomes the more layers we tend to wear. This season we see designers embrace the need for layering. We saw this best at the Louis Vuitton show where they layered different textured fabrics and styles. Mixing feminine and masculine. Layering structured suits over flowing delicate fabric. Layers of skirts over dresses.
Givenchy’s take on the trend took more of a grunge feel, with all-over black on black layering of T-shirts, sweaters and baggy jeans.
This article first appeared in Saturday Insider, March 19, 2022