Fall/Winter 2022 Best Couture
As Fall/Winter 2022 Couture draws to a close, here’s our pick of the best shows we’ve seen this season.
Historically, Haute Couture week was a time for socialites to hang out, drink, look at clothes and, on occasion, spend a few tens of thousands of dollars. Now? Well, it’s changing. And we, for one, couldn’t be happier to see skateboarders at Valentino and a certain real estate reality TV star at Balenciaga.
Here are some of our favorite shows from Couture Week Fall/Winter 2022
Daniel Roseberry’s Fall/Winter 2022 Couture collection for Schiaparelli stood atop a pyramid of inspirations and references – the most prominent being Christian Lacroix, or his 1987 debut, influenced by Elsa Schiaparelli herself. The line lacked the all-consuming golden maximalism of its Spring/Summer 2022 Couture predecessor – instead, it focused on precise tailoring: perfect corset, perfect jacket. The founding genius of the brand has not been forgotten. Her legacy strutted down the catwalk in the form of the heart detail above a one-button bustier in the final crimson red look, gorgeous earrings with grapes for the eyelashes that required a headband in metal to be held and, of course, Stephen Jones’s exquisite hats.
Iris Van Herpen’s 15th anniversary couture collection defied all expectations – as expected. We hear that the Dutch couturier was inspired by the poem from Ovid’s 8th century Metamorphoses, especially those about Daphne, Arachne and Narcissus. The 16-look collection didn’t just reinvent some of Van Herpen’s archive pieces (a retrospective in the event of such an anniversary would be entirely appropriate), but put itself forward, using cutting-edge materials like the banana-raw silk blend, most prominently featured in the drape of the opening look. The haunting brown bodysuit with sleeves that levitated above the ground was made, almost entirely, from fibers extracted from the husks of cocoa beans.
Maria Grazia Chiuri’s couture sensibility is above all consistent. Drawing inspiration from Ukrainian folk costumes and collaboration with artist Olesia Trofymenko, Chiuri paid homage to life itself. The Couture Fall/Winter 2022 collection’s reserved color palette of white and beige, with occasional pops of green, yellow and red, created a light and soft vibe. A plethora of rich embroidery, elements of Victorian dress, such as a jabot pattern, as well as shapes echoing the Ukrainian sarafan, ranged in execution from literal to surprisingly more abstract. From the first impression, one could deduce that the Dior corsetry had become obsolete. In fact, the house staple has been transformed into part of the dirndl dresses.
Unlike her iconic predecessor, Virginie Viard tends to ensure that her collections embody the feeling of evolution – each change – subtle, silent and private. Consider it a more refined version of the work of the late Virgil Abloh (if comparisons are absolutely to be drawn, of course). The show opened with a bright green tweed two-piece, inspired by the piece in which Lagerfeld had dressed Inès de Fressange. Then there were bursts of pink, of course, that bled into the well-received Spring 2022 runway collection. The most striking novelty – for those aspiring to experience the slightest bit of daring – was the sheer black dress in the final part of the show which featured a herringbone pattern morphing into a dynamic fishtail.
Alexandre Vauthier’s Fall/Winter 2022 Couture collection, like its predecessors, continues the proud traditions of avant-garde French couturiers – Mugler, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Yves Saint Laurent. Cyclonic silhouettes that have become somewhat of a house signature, in silver, black and beige, defined the fantastical nightgowns, balanced by oversized suits and a sheer micro-dress. The wide variety of cuts, materials (it’s nice to see the return of shiny crocodile-embossed leather and mink) and historical influences (the feather-trimmed nightie, for example), shoes (boots that merge perfectly with , made in suede and sequins) dictated the new loop of vintage French cool.
Demna Gvasalia has recently established himself as fashion’s new enfant terrible, whether it’s couture or streetwear. The Fall/Winter 2022 Couture collection showed the audience, as well as the screaming young fans outside the venue and the squeals of social media citizens, the vast and delicious phantasmagoria of the Gvasalia universe. The collection opened with neoprene-covered alien figures with glowing shields covering their faces. Then came tweed dresses, followed by streetwear (like Demna’s homage to – well – himself). The final part of the collection with revealed faces included a tribute to Cristobal Balenciaga’s iconic silhouettes and some celebrities who were integral to Demna’s vision of the brand.
Pierpaolo Piccioli was among the first designers to adopt men’s fashion in Haute Couture. Its approach this season lies in the chimera of its two identities: self and Valentino, between electric colors and extreme sophistication, cuts and couture materials – with an exceptionally diversified distribution. Valentino red suits with large roses on the breasts and thighs mixed in a fantastic swirl of purple ruffles, silver sequins (on the dress and face), lime green feathers, fishnet and black velvet. Not the biggest but by far the funniest part of the show was, by far, seeing a pink haired skater strut the steps of Trinità dei Monti in a lime green chiffon dress.