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Courtesy of Zuhair Murad.
Courtesy of Elie Saab.
Courtesy of Elie Saab.
Courtesy of Yuima Nakazato.
Courtesy of Fendi.
Courtesy of Jean Paul Gaultier.
Courtesy of Jean Paul Gaultier.
Courtesy of Yuima Nakazato.
Courtesy of Yuima Nakazato.
Fashion

Couture Week FW22: Fendi, Elie Saab, and More

By Pearl Fontaine

July 9, 2021

This week in Paris, fashion houses are debuting their Haute Couture collections for the Fall/Winter 2021-2022 season. Here, we’re sharing details on the latest from names like Fendi, Elie Saab, and Jean Paul Gaultier.

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Courtesy of Fendi.

Fendi’s Kim Jones dove into the beauty of Rome for the new Haute Couture collection, imagined through the lens of the film director Pier Paolo Pasolini. With a backdrop depicting rooftop views of the Eternal City, models of all ages walked the runway in stunning designs that pulled details from the iconic architecture of the ancient city. Painted in a starry array of neutrals, there were trompe l’oeil silk mimicking the drapery of Roman statues, the swirls of stone volutes imagined as embroideries, architectural arches seen tucked within the heels of shoes, and pearlescent mosaics recreated atop dresses and handbags. Looks we just can’t get out of our minds include a sheer gown with embroidered flowers and a mosaic bolero, a magnificent, feathered gown in white that floated like a cloud, and a goddess-like one-shouldered silhouette in marbled silk with a chiseled stone pendant that reminded us of Bernini’s sculptural craftsmanship, each styled with a sleek updo and accessories like chandelier earrings or clutches.

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Courtesy of Elie Saab.

Blissful, flowering, and bold are terms that came to mind when we first saw Elie Saab’s Fall/Winter 2021-2022 collection, “Buds of Hope.” The collection embodied a lush garden in bloom, with gowns of all colors, textures, and volumes gliding down a buttery white runway, . Highlighting silhouettes focused on a cinched waist and full skirt, the house transformed classic styles through the use of fabrications, embellishments, and details, including striking cut-outs, statement sleeves, and feathers or embroidery. A few stand-outs included a silvery bridal look crusted in pearly flower petals featuring a sweetheart neckline and a matching veil, a multicolored coat covered entirely in feathers with a black sheer skirt and beaded skull-cap headpiece, and a soft green gown in textured details and embroidery featuring a velvet bow at the waist.

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Courtesy of Jean Paul Gaultier.

Jean Paul Gaultier joined forces with Chitose Abe’s Sacai for the Fall/Winter 2021-2022 season, marking the first in a series of collaborations inviting an outside creator to reinterpret Gaultier’s own codes for the creation of a new Haute Couture collection. The result was a suite of 31 avant-garde looks re-assembling elements from a classic, tailored wardrobe—which no longer resemble the shapes which they originally inhabited. Tartan was used to make ruffled petticoats, French trenches were seen as corseted dresses (like our favorite strapless style with tortoiseshell button pockets and a tie at the waist), vintage denim was reworked into underskirts, and brimmed sunhats were reassembled to create floating headpieces. The collection included several other collaborations, too, like two pairs of exclusive sneakers by Nike, a series of corset-inspired wedge-heeled boots executed by Pierre Hardy,and calligraphed tattoo prints by the artist Dr. Woo, which we saw covering otherwise-sheer shirts, peeking out from under jackets and dresses.

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Courtesy of Yuima Nakazato.

Entitled “EVOKE,” Yuima Nakazato’s Haute Couture collection was introduced trifold, through a runway show held at Yokohama, Japan’s Osanbashi Pier, photographs by Yasunari Kikuma, and a virtual film premiere during the Paris presentations. Based around the square, non-gendered silhouette of the kimono, the collection drew its inspiration from ideas of non-visual sensory perception—like the song of a whale, which informed several aspects of the collection. Working towards removing the use of new materials, the designs have been made from 30% upcycled fabrications, used in tandem with natural materials and new technologies, like the Brewed Protein fabric, which has been used as a more sustainable alternative to the traditional kimono textile, Nishijin-ori. The deep, aquatic-hued looks were captured within the whale-inspired passenger port at the pier, alongside a mix of water-themed works by Ryuichi Sakamoto. Standout looks incorporated ideas of sculpture, like an otherworldly structural robe with a globe worn around the head, a complexly textural piece reminiscent of underwater flora, and a pleated leather coat dress that reminded us of plated chainmail.

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Courtesy of Zuhair Murad.

Zuhair Murad embraced the spirit of mask-wearing by looking to Venice, a place where the tiny accessories are always welcome. Inspired by the city’s flamboyance and fierce love for beauty—even during times of turmoil—the house examined the grandiose canals, churches, and culture to bring us a collection of stunningly sensual, head-turning silhouettes. Flowing capes, long gloves, embroidered tulle, and jewel tones were staples of the season’s magnificent gowns, which embodied a Renaissance spirit and the details that make up romantic Venezia.Luxurious creations we’re longing to wear include a body-hugging bejeweled gown in black with a flowing tulle skirt, an emerald caped gown with a daring split up the skirt, and a princess-worthy silhouette in a deep magenta with long puffed sleeves and an embroidered bodice.  

brandsFall/Winter 2020-21Haute Couture FW21-22

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