If you loved everything Milan Fashion Week brought us, then buckle your seatbelts because Paris Fashion Week was even more awe-inspiring and opulent. The schedule poignantly provided a much-needed rebirth in the City of Light, with no shortage of jovial and experimental shows and unabashed glamour. Color palettes were brighter, designs were bolder, and the energy was vibrant. With all this in mind, here are the top key takeaways for Spring Summer 2022.
It’s all a game, isn’t it?
The queen of Paris did it again: for Dior’s newest collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri transformed the runway into a colorful board game under the whelm of disco lights. You heard right. The collection was presented in a specially-designed structure in the Jardin des Tuileries, with a scenography designed by Italian artist Anna Paparatti. Paparatti transformed the space into a collage of colorful and playful paintings from the Sixties, while the clothing was influenced by the maison’s heritage from 1961—specifically Marc Bohan’s ‘Slim Look’ line. Adding her own interpretation to the marvelous world of mod, Chiuri sprinkled vast amounts of freshness onto paneled suits and coats. Silhouettes became more liberated, and trim tailoring featured shortened jackets and skirts worn with square-toed, block-heeled shoes resembling a cross-mix between a Mary Jane and a sandal.
Fashion shouldn’t be taken too seriously
If Dior reminded us that fashion is a game, then Balenciaga only amplified the conversation. For the show, the audience was seated inside the Theatre du Chatelet, only to find themselves viewing a cheeky 10-minute episode of The Simpsons, custom-created for the occasion. As Demna Gvasalia invited the whole town of Springfield to walk in his latest fashion show for the house, Marge’s dream of making her runway debut had finally come to life. And the audience could not stop laughing and applauding! This tongue-in-cheek approach to showcasing the maison’s styles only cemented Gvasalia’s position in the fashion world as a true innovator and creative genius. The actual collection itself was true to Balenciaga—a grand black lace ballgown opened the collection followed by wide-legged ripped denim, skin-tight bodysuits. For the finale, Gvasalia himself appeared in a black veil and hoodie, just like at The Met Gala last month.
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It’s time to celebrate
A consistent theme in Paris has been pure celebration and ecstasy. This sense of joie de vivre was best understood by Olivier Rousteing, who is marking his tenth year at Balmain. Suffice to say, wanting to go all out with a festival felt fitting. But what really struck a chord was the designer’s honesty and vulnerability in telling his story. During the COVID-19 lockdown, Rousteing suffered painful burns in an accident that landed him in the hospital full of bandages and gauze wraps. He learned to embrace the pain and through his collection, celebrated the power of healing through various components in his designs. In addition to his reflection on recovery and renewal, Rousteing highlighted the brand’s esteemed savoir-faire with razor-sharp cuts, precise tailoring, and some more than impressive artisanship. Rousteing says, “The Balmain Army has always had its ranks filled by passionate rebels who are stubborn troublemakers. They’re most comfortable when they are pushing forward and nobody can stop them when they feel the need to push back.”
When in doubt, add height
So we’ve covered how fashion shouldn’t be too serious and that it’s time to party, and what better way to do so than with the hottest shoe trend of the season: platform heels! We saw disco-ready footwear all over Milan, and now they’re stomping down practically every runway in Paris. No one did it better than Roger Vivier, though. After a series of tributes to the world of cinema, Gherardo Felloni delivered a declaration of love for music and film through “Flooded,” in which he even sang a song. What caught my eye both in the film, and even more so during the in-person presentation, were (tah-dah!) platform heels in an array of wild colors. When I asked Felloni what inspired him to create his Spring Summer 2022 offering, he didn’t waste a breathe before answering, “Color and joy for life.” Here, here!
Welcome to the start of the new roaring ’20s. This is not a decade for the drab, but one of jubilee. Isabel Marant’s newest collection was inspired by the playful vibe and the futuristic spirit of Hans Feurer’s photos. The collection played with the ever-evolving codes of sexiness, and playfully pulsated on the “out of office” mode. Models glided down the runway in shades of pastel reminiscent of the 1980s and Marant brought back all aspects we love about spring and summer to the fore. The mood watching the show was nothing short of uplifting; speaking to the audience’s overwhelming desire for escapism and celebration.
Until next season! Written by Idalia Salsamendi.