Minimalism No More: Top Trends from Paris Fashion Week SS22

Anna-Louise McDougall
Last Updated:
August 21, 2023
4 min

Paris Fashion Week has cemented spectacle, sensuality, and tactility into the summer of 2022. We take a look at the trends impossible to ignore from the week that was.

Minimalism no more; it’s time to make some room in thy carefully curated black, beige and white closet because Paris Fashion Week has cemented spectacle, sensuality, and tactility into the summer of 2022. From Marge Simpson in Balenciaga to the throwback confidence at Chanel, and those Miu Miu mini skirts, the return of the Paris runways brought with it the drama, energy, and sartorial surprises we’ve so long-awaited from our front row armchairs.

There’s no escaping the low-rise pants, deep-soled flip flops and the mini-mania that conflicted showgoer (and social media) reactions by either a) conjuring middle-school memories of pop starlet trends or b) offering a genuinely refreshing departure from billowing, shapeless garments abundant in our lives over the last few seasons. You see, when A$AP Rocky wears an actual doona to the Met Gala, satire replaces sartorialism in one fell swoop; calling for the fashion cycle to start again. And it has. It’s sexy, it’s fearless and it’s free. We take a look at the trends impossible to ignore from the Paris fashion week that was.

Long Story Shorts

Lacoste, Miu Miu, Isabel Marant, Raf Simons

It was back to school for a number of designers who took to the casual cool of knee-length shorts for just about any occasion. Miu Miu’s low-slung iterations were designed for the corporate cool girl, who also revealed a New Balance 574 collaboration in beige and white colourways; bound to fly off the shelves and onto the feet of Instagram darlings across the metaverse. Isabel Marant’s pairs were devil-may-care with bikini tops and tanks, Lacoste’s cut-off sweat-pant designs were paired with sheer polos, while Raf Simons took us to detention with slightly more serious tailoring, graffiti slogans and pulled-up socks.

Start again Suiting

Lanvin, Miu Miu, Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton

The put-together, polished effect of SS22’s suiting offering is the perfect antidote to mismatched tops and bottom of the zoom era. And they’re not just for the 9-5. Whether you’re simply adding a barely-there bandeau underneath a slouchy jacket or you’re going for the Saint Laurent smoking silhouette, there’s a suit for all hours and all purposes. Louis Vuitton’s oversized, shouldered designs were matched to more relaxed codes of denim and dresses, while Givenchy’s exposed seams, peplum cuts and skinny leg trousers possessed gothic darkness seemingly reserved for after-hours.

Mini Skirts

Coperni, Dior, Chanel, Miu Miu, Dior

High, high hemlines are back in the fashion zeitgeist, and luckily for us in the Southern Hemisphere set to welcome our long, hot summer - not a moment too soon. While Coperni paired theirs with platform sandals and neon crops, Miu Miu’s take may have been the most reminiscent of Y2K (ahem, Xtina Stripped era) nostalgia. Dior offered a preppier take, and Chanel’s sets offered a summer workwear staple. And with the suiting silhouettes on offer, office workers can easily offset the mini look with an oversized blazer or shirt. Hey, it’s 2021, and when it comes to workwear; anything goes.

Unexpected Leather

Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Christopher Kane, Hermès

Leather came on strong - but soft - and in unexpected ways throughout the week. Stella McCartney’s sustainable ethos was upheld with the introduction of her mushroom leather totes, while Hermès took to sunny, buttery pieces in shift and corseted dresses, jackets, pantsuits, and skirts matched with knitwear.

Creative director, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulsk said of the collection, “For me it’s really about clothes that enable you to move freely. I think it’s not about going to anything too casual—I think it’s about making an effort, but also the ability to move within your clothes.” Meanwhile, Christopher Kane’s patent dresses, skirts and jackets are perfect for strong-arming and skulking through nightclubs and grungy city streets. Take your pick.

90s for Now

Chanel, Coperni, Acne Studios, Hermès, Coperni

If you thought the 90s redux was over, think again - but sleeker, and more attention to detail. Each brand that employed the wildness of the 90s in their collections also considered the continued demand for comfort; wearability was key among the heritage labels. While Chanel opted for more of the bombshell supermodel do-over, Hermès played to a more refined offering with fitted tanks and skirts. Acne played to the early 2000s MTV videos with skin-tight leather and sheer blouses, and Coperni took to the “futurism” of pre-Y2K beachwear with neon accents, open party shirts over bandeaus, and low rise midi skirts.

Key Takeaways

Fashion month came to a close leaving its avid followers with a renewed sense of vigor and perhaps even, danger. While the shows skated ever-so-close to the Mean Girls era of mini skirts and halter tanks, there was a definite sense of refinement and luxury when it came to the major houses fusing Gen-Z interests with their traditional codes. From exposed skin, to macrame everything, nonchalant suiting and outrageous accessories, SS22 is yours for the choosing. More than anything, the Paris shows were about pushing the boundaries in spectacle and celebrating a lively return to the physical world.

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