Paris Haute Couture Week Spring ‘22
This week, couture came back with a vengeance. With a celebratory feel that can only be attributed to the pandemic-induced lull of more recent seasons, this time haute couture returned to the runway as Paris hosted almost double the amount of shows compared to the last.
The joy, fused with some understandable nerves, was palpable in both the backstage reports and runway designs. Regardless, Spring ‘22 couture felt a lot more like it’s pre-COVID collections.
We saw out of this world looks by Schiaparelli and Fendi, nods to historical icons (some more unexpected than others) from Alexandre Vaulthier and Viktor & Rolf, outstanding ornamentations by Azzaro and Roland Van Der Kemp, and the celebration of form with Valentino.
Here’s some of Glossi Mag’s highlights for the much-anticipated season.
Creative director Daniel Roseberry found escapism in space cinema during the past winter’s pandemic. Looking to Hollywood hits like Dune, Prometheus, Arrival and Interstellar — this designer’s inspiration was clear to see. With intergalactic and ethereal structures, alien-esque embellishments, orbital head and body plates, and planetary beading; we were welcomed into ‘Planet Schiaparelli’ with open arms.
Since taking on Azzaro, Olivier Theyskens has made a new name for himself, embracing shine, gloss and lustre. This couture season was no exception. The ornamentation magician paved the Paris runway with sleek sequined suits, fluid crystallized shapes and metallic-speckled tunics. The designer’s recent success with menswear meant we were treated to both traditional tailoring and feminine fluidity.
Just before we entered the season, the fashion industry mourned the loss of indisputable icon Thierry Mugler. Alexandre Vauthier was once mentored by Mugler, spending the formative years of his career in the late designer’s studio. For Couture ‘22, subtle (and perhaps unintentional) nods to the design legend were noticed. Vauthier fused the decorative opulence of the 1920s with bold new cuts and proportions. The result was an array of art deco barely-there creations that slinked across the runway.
Ronald Van Der Kemp
This season’s runway show unfortunately had to be cancelled for Ronald Van Der Kemp, however we were treated to a collection video opened and closed by the beloved Pat Cleveland. Van Der Kemp announced this incredible appearance as a “present for the fashion world”, and of course we are grateful. As usual, for Spring ‘22 we were treated to beautifully crafted creations of waste materials, vintage fabrics, and collection scraps from the designer’s archive. The recycled pieces of art were decorated with hand-painted finishings, resin rose petals and sculptural shoulders.
“In couture you never see these bodies. Never.” said creative director, Pierpaolo Piccioli, prior to the show. This season, Valentino injected a fresh lease of life into couture, making it that bit more relevant to today’s industry. We were given display after display of different body and design proportions, with the aptly named ‘Anatomy of Couture’ collection. Nudes, creams and blacks complemented the standout lime, lilac and fuschia looks, while oversized ribbons made for playful finishing touches.
Jean Paul Gaultier
Glenn Martens’ first and only couture collection for the house was a true celebration of Gaultier. Marten’s inventiveness was out to play with a collection consisting of chiffon, deconstructed corsets, delicate lacing and cable panelled knits. The range of playful looks screamed joyful escapism with an element of drama to channel the Gaultier diva.
Viktor & Rolf
It’s not hard to spot which Old Hollywood icon inspired this collection. “Dracula is such a powerful symbol of the fear of change in society,” Rolf Snoeren explained. The house hasn’t hit the runway for two years, and this horror-infused yet playful collection perfectly demonstrated that the brand is back — and more fun than ever. High-rise shoulders, oversized collars, structured capes, tuxedo jackets and trenches brought vampire elegance to couture.
Couture is the perfect place to explore the blurred line between fantasy and reality, especially for this innovative Japanese couturier. For Spring ‘22 Namazato continued his pursuit of democratizing couture and creating designs that transcend time, identity and push the boundaries of craft. Known for steering away from typical dressmaking practices, this season the designer presented a futuristic vision with some unexpected traditional crafting, including machine-sewed kimonos made by an 80-year old expert.
Kim Jones was another designer inspired by Dune. This season he transported us to a Marvel-esque universe that took ethereal evening wear to another level. While futuristic influence was evident, this was contrasted with hand-painted iconic statues of Rome, which can be found right outside the Fendi Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana headquarters. Velvet dresses, mink capes and nymph-like gowns effortlessly fused historic fashion with sci-fi.