Valentino gave his fashion-reduced audience a taste of real Parisian life on Friday. His show featured flower stalls, chairs and traditional bistro tables where guests including singer Giveon and The crown star Vanessa Kirby, the waiters served them wine.
Members of the public watched in disbelief from real-life cafes in Le Marais outside the venue. But they too got some action when, to thumping applause, the models took to the real Parisian streets following the show in a myriad of bright and colorful designs.
Here are some highlights of the Spring 2022 collections presented on Friday:
In the heart of the most elegant and street-wise neighborhood in Paris, Le Marais, Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli let his hair down. It was a vibrant and varied collection titled “In the streets of Paris”.
For spring, his goal was to show fashion as it should be: worn on the street. And that literally did.
There were shimmering gold sequins, dazzling colors, baggy jeans, and shimmering Juliette sleeves that smacked of the ’80s. This season, the Italian designer moved in a welcome disco-infused direction.
Yet the designs remained refined despite street musings: a loose-fitting emerald men’s suit had a lavender silk scarf collar that billowed delicately from below. The silk material ensured that this collection maintained a true luxurious feel throughout.
“(This is) the street not thought of as streetwear but conceived… as real life,” the house clarified about Piccioli’s intentions.
When the show ended, like true Parisians, guests received bouquets of local flowers from real flower vendors in the Ile-de-France region, while the models strutted through the city streets to thunderous cheers.
ISSEY MIYAKE IS SOFT
The elasticity of water was the anchor of Issey Miyake’s collection, which featured swim caps and brightly colored hats resembling sea creatures.
But it was form in its purest form that kicked off Friday’s collection, against a backdrop of minimalist square panels.
A sporty vest, refined and in pale pastel tones, set the spring tone. It was the upper part of a dress whose skirt was made of flattened Japanese lanterns. This idea of flattened three-dimensional shapes was present in all 40 looks. The lantern motif also reappeared on several key items, one featuring the hole placed in the model’s chest as a talisman.
Instead of regular lantern ribbing, the Japanese house, which is known for its use of techno fabrics, employed stretchy pleats to give structure and bounce to the bottoms of its lightweight dresses. The house called this the “linking rings” motif.
It was a smooth, portable screen.
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET BY RAF SIMONS
For years, Paris Fashion Week has blurred the lines between men’s and women’s fashion. Raf Simons took this tried and tested theme for his spring show, but went a little further.
This was a collection exploring androgyny in the corporate office, the last place that would come to mind as a non-binary safe space.
It was fun.
At the Bourse de la Commence, a smart-cut formal jacket was paraded over a gray skirt with a ruffle cut on the bias. The models sported grunge, non-gender-specific hair, the long styles that were all the rage in the mid-1990s.
Simple oversized blouses and large swaths of nude fabric added the minimalist touch often associated with the Belgian designer, who once designed for Dior.
But there was also a splash of color that broke up the collection, which employed an otherwise muted palette. Red prints flooded the front of a black jacket, while blue text on a skirt looked almost as if it had been sprayed on like graffiti.
MCQUEEN RECRUITS PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTISTS
With many houses only having a digital presence during Fashion Week, some are engaging in targeted campaigns to promote their designs. Alexander McQueen is one. The brand launched a global art and fashion campaign this season in which it enlisted photographers to take its popular Tread Slick book in a natural setting. Photographers such as Katie Burnett, Max Farago, Gwen Trannoy and Charlie Gates participated in the project, photographing the thick-soled boots at the water’s edge, on rocks, next to flowers and covered in foam bubbles. It’s probably the most romantic thing fashion week gets.