The last stop on the Fashion Diary this season is Paris Fashion Week. SS22 has the world’s leading fashion houses hosting their first physical runway shows in 18 months.
The city of romance has been host to a series of spectacular presentations this season. The schedule has been full of physical and live stream events from a variety of emerging and established brands.
The season ends this year with a show dedicated to the late Israeli fashion designer Alber Elbaz, founder of new label AZ Factory and former creative director of Lanvin.
Shows took place amongst the city’s historical landmarks and gardens, with fashion finally making its long-awaited return after three virtual seasons. Here are FIB’s highlights from Paris Fashion Week SS22.
Last season, Givenchy’s panoramic show film saw models stomp through water in the Paris La Défense Arena. The brand returns to the Paris La Défense Arena for its S/S 2022 presentation.
Creative director Matthew M Williams presents his first physical runway show for SS22 – delivering his vision of the future at Europe’s largest indoor performance venue, on the outskirts of Paris. It’s a sculptural, domed space by French architect Christian de Portzamparc, with a capacity of 40,000 spectators.
Indulgence and Discipline
The SS22 presentation constructs a contrast between indulgence and discipline, contemporary and traditional.
Williams is best known for his uniform-inspired utilitarian aesthetic. This season, he successfully merges with creatives across a variety of disciplines; resulting in some truly unique points of view.
Williams explains, “For the SS22 collection, I wanted to build on the tradition of Givenchy’s history while also really looking towards the future.”
The collaborators include the artist John Smith, whose work is incorporated throughout the collection and musician Young Thug, who scores the show. He says,
“The collaboration and this collection offer people a remarkably immersive and special experience.”
Defined by an intense contrast in style, the SS22 range celebrates the tradition of Givenchy. The collection encompasses streetwear mainstays like utility vests, track pants, and logo baseball caps, as well as experimental pieces like unisex thigh-high boots in leather and fitted suits.
Throughout the collection, material experimentation and expert construction provide the strength of classicism and the notion of rebellion, resulting in timeless silhouettes.
The collection’s broad spectrum finds enhancement in masterful raw edges, delicate Broderie Anglaise, tulle, and transparency. Bright and strong hues combine to bring Givenchy’s signature palette into the modern.
“This collection is a miracle. The sky is the limit. Thanks for taking a look.”
This season, Issey Miyake designer Satoshi Kondo and his team dream up cleverly designed garments, featuring some truly innovative techniques. Kondo presents fresh silhouettes whilst maintaining an aesthetic true to the brand’s roots.
The stand-out garments from the digital show are crafted from circular sections of fabric. Once they are lifted, gravity pulls them into full, fine, volumised clothes.
Kondo explains that the collection is inspired by the sub-aquatic, titled ‘A Voyage in Descent’.
He told Vogue,
“That’s a metaphor for the creative process,” he said via translator, “We always dig down in our process so the team can explore and discover many things they have never created before.”
Surprising and Unexpected
There are a few new concept series included in SS22. Fluidity Loop presents rib-knits that run in a spiral. The circularity of the knit alters its qualities and potential, resulting in structural designs which appear simplistic. It has minimal seaming and maximum movement. The Link Ring series gives the brand’s distinctive pleats a makeover. With fluid curves and contemporary side cutouts, the Carved series emphasises the waistline. Its adaptability allows it to be worn in a variety of ways.
The entire Issey Miyake SS22 collection is an expert exploration into the potential of fabric – cleverly morphing textiles into surprising and unexpected forms.
This year, Giambattista Valli’s SS22 collection was shown in the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris.
This playful and floral collection is a tribute to the pleasures of dressing up. The pieces are off-white, pale pink, and teal with frills and tulle – emanating flirty femininity.
The collection’s floral embroidery is highlighted by its bright and pastel colour scheme. This colourway acknowledges the importance of fun, within the construction of finely tailored garments.
Youthful and Timeless
The maxi and mini dresses and skirts throughout the collection have ruffles and flair. Tulle and feathers in candy-coloured hues feel youthful and timeless, with designs that border on 1960s-style minimalism at times.
Skin revealing styles are à la mode this season and Giambattista Valli is definitely on-trend. The full and short length dresses highlight the skin, with circular cutouts and scoop necklines. Sheer fabric, made of tulle or lace, features beautifully embroidered floral embellishments.
Giambattista Valli’s SS22 collection is a wonderful respite, transporting us to a spring garden on a warm summer day. To be dreamy, feminine, romantic, or delicate isn’t necessarily enough to stand out. Valli’s delightful suiting, skin-baring separates and blouson silhouettes, however, possess a soft-structured balance that sets him apart from the pack.
This season, Stella McCartney redefines sexiness via notions of softness and light. Her clothing for the future world includes clingy knits with ribcage cut-outs, crayon-coloured slacks, parkas in a parachute fabrication that double as dresses and sequin body stockings, a modern answer to the naked dress.
“It’s [about] transitioning from the past and into the now and what tomorrow looks like,” McCartney explained in a digital press briefing after the show.
“At Stella McCartney, obviously the future for us is always [about] sustainability and merging luxury fashion and keeping the planet healthy.”
Body-con silhouettes are back this season. McCartney’s sporty dresses and one-pieces also feature cut-outs at the waist, the new erogenous zone. McCartney explains in her show notes that, “[The collection] evokes a sensual femininity… that engages Stella women to redefine sexiness through feelings of softness and lightness.”
Sustainability is high on the priority list for McCartney. The designer’s Eco Fact Sheet details that almost two-thirds of the collection is made from eco-friendly materials.
These materials include recycled polyester and elastane, regenerated nylon, forest-friendly viscose and responsibly-traced wool, as well as an innovative dye made from recycled materials.
On the runway, McCartney prioritises comfort with her collection of pillowy, platform wedges, crafted from bio-based and recycled materials. The collection also includes a new bag, the Frame Milo, constructed entirely from mushroom leather.
The SS22 Stella McCartney collection is a healthy dose of sustainable style, successfully communicating an aesthetic of a more considerate future.
Loewe’s SS22 collection is pure experimentation. Within it, creative director Jonathan Anderson uncovers new silhouettes via the mysterious world of Renaissance painter Pontormo.
This latest offering includes dresses and outerwear, embellished with metal plates. Denim pieces boast exaggerated proportions. The artistic theme plays with the form, arriving as sculptural dresses and winged capes. The show notes describe these as evoking “erotic manga characters”.
The entire collection is reminiscent of Rei Kawakubo’s groundbreaking Comme des Garçons SS97 show, “Lumps and Bumps,”. To this day, it remains one of the most exquisite examples of pure experimentation on the Paris catwalks.
At the time, Kawakuba was cryptically criticising fashion’s chiselled figures and hyper-glossy culture. Jonathon Anderson appears to be adopting a similar perspective, distorting and shaping the body through clothes – challenging our very notions of normalcy and reality.
The beloved Flow sneaker has been rebuilt with compostable plastic and now has open feet. Soap bars, candles, eggs and a rose are amongst ready-made heel shapes for pumps and shoes.
Accessories include the draped Goya long clutch and the Flamenco made of teddy bear fabric. Also, the Luna purse and the Hammock Nugget – with brand new dimensions.
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