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  • Anna-Louise McDougall

Intoxicating Elegance: Trends from Paris Fashion Week FW22

Paris Fashion Week was as intoxicating as it was sobering. The extravaganza of clothing and accessories came with that heightened Parisian elegance you can’t get anywhere else. Here are the trends that are taking us into 2022, and beyond.

Paris Fashion Week detail shots from Rick Owens, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Balmain, and Saint Laurent

It’s bewildering to think that Paris Fashion Week began a little over a week ago when processing the trends that emerged from the fashion world’s biggest names, newcomers, and creative thinkers. We were reminded once more of the weight of the week considering the layers of production, model casting, fitting, seating (or standing) arrangements, and social media that occurred.

It’s quite a startling feat in the city of lights. So, where to begin?

With special mention to Jacquemus’ Hawaiian escape and Burberry back in London tacking on the end of a huge week, Paris Fashion Week was as intoxicating as it was sobering. The extravaganza of clothing, shoes, bags, and accessories was at an all-time high.

Excitement brewed post-show for labels like Rick Owens, Saint Laurent, Givenchy and Burberry who’s offering significantly evolved in direction. Valentino presented 48 show-stopping head-to-toe looks in shocking pink and Balenciaga’s blizzard runway was eerily reflective of the outside world. Miu Miu had the final say on mini skirts with another round of the silhouette that caused a media storm.

As the final leg of fashion month wound to an end, the biggest Fall 2022 trends were on display: Christian Dior, Paco Rabanne, and Balmain leading the charge in feminine protective wear in quilted or hard metal breastplates, and chain mail knight-inspired ensembles, while others explored extreme sportswear motifs in skater sneakers, giant puffers, windbreakers and ski-goggles.

Elsewhere, there was a renewed exploration in deconstructed minimalism and leather abounded at labels like Isabel Marant, Chloe and Hermes. An indelible feeling of the metaverse continues to creep in, but all in all - it was that heightened Parisian elegance you can't get anywhere else.

Here are the trends that are taking us into 2022, and beyond.

Schoolyard sartorialism

Paris Fashion Week models from Louis Vuitton, Coperni, Miu Miu, Rokh
Louis Vuitton, Coperni, Miu Miu, Rokh

Designers like Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, and Rokh were seemingly inspired by the spirit of youth, the schoolyard, and every stereotype of the angsty teen. Collars and ties under shearling jackets, tartan minis, sporty polos and knits, and varsity-emblazoned bombers.

A sartorial private school of preppy punks.

Coperni’s locker room set-up took us Euphoria-side in itty bitty mini dresses and risqué suiting, while Givenchy showed perfectly moody, emo accents with smart blazers.

Glamour suiting

Paris Fashion Week models from Ann Demeulemeester, Balmain, Saint Laurent, Givenchy
Ann Demeulemeester, Balmain, Saint Laurent, Givenchy

After New York, London and Milan, we’re quite used to suiting with a little twist here and there in pant styles, shoulder pads, and shirting as everything but an actual shirt. However, leave it to Paris to have suiting descend on the boardroom with all the black-tie sultriness of VIP-only. Saint Laurent’s outing brought with it a new level of sinuosity and mystery to suiting.

Suits so precise in silhouette - one needn’t anything else except a pair of stilettos.

Coperni showed sexy cutouts and a sideless blazer, while Balmain and Givenchy tightly nipped in the waist of satin and oversized blazers with knee-high boots.

More micro mini

Paris Fashion Week models from Off White, Miu Miu, Coperni, Courrèges
Off White, Miu Miu, Coperni, Courrèges

Yes, we’re back right where we finished last season - micro. Paris continued the maximal minis trend seen this year in London and last season in Paris. Miuccia Prada once again having the last laugh sending the micro-mini back down the runway, and this time (thankfully) with longer iterations for the faint of heart.

Appearing in more business-appropriate fabrics across the board, brands like Coperni, Courregès and Off White ran with the Instagram-friendly look, the leggiest of their cast taking on mini-midriff sets in leather, tweed and vinyl.

Armour d’amor

Paris Fashion Week models from Dior, Balmain, Balmain, Burberry
Dior, Balmain, Balmain, Burberry

They’re calling it “Regencycore redux”. Put simply, protective elements (not their first outing in recent seasons) have become a prominent theme at the Paris shows, especially where Balmain and Dior are concerned.

Breastplates, shoulder pads, and medieval-inspired corsetry have left the super-feminine flounce of puffy sleeves and billowing hems behind in favour of a defiant sense of strength and sisterhood. Sartorial versions of your classic knight get-up came to the fore in the form of dresses, tops, trousers, and skirts.

Out there outerwear

Paris Fashion Week models from Saint Laurent, Rick Owens, Coperni, Acne Studios
Saint Laurent, Rick Owens, Coperni, Acne Studios

Pragmatism? Who needs it! Statement outerwear was on heavy rotation during Paris fashion week, with shock-value the calling card.

Why wear your puffer for useful purposes, when you can go full Rick Owens and parade the midnight sidewalk, wear your trench as a dress a la Burberry, or show up in a glittering duster like the Dries Van Noten girl. Elsewhere, impactful faux-fur clutch coats at Saint Laurent, giant robes at Acne or just cozy up in one of Chloé’s cocooning ponchos.

About the Author

Anna is a writer and journalist, with seven years experience in copywriting, digital marketing and eCommerce. Anna has worked with leading Australian fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands over the past seven years, including sass & bide, Sportscraft, and Peppermayo. She now runs her own freelance business, Papercut Copy, and will never not feel weird about writing her bio in the third person.

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