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Armani Privé FW22

Haute Couture FW22: Maison Margiela, ArdAzAei, and More

Continuing this week in Paris, fashion houses debut their haute couture collections. Whitewall brings you the latest from Maison Margiela, ArdAzAei, Armani Privé, and Elie Saab.

Maison Margiela 2022 Artisanal Collection Courtesy of Maison Margiela.

For the 2022 Artisanal Collection, Maison Margiela staged Cinema Inferno, an haute couture performance piece, at the Palais de Chaillot. Creative Director John Galliano crafted an immersive, multi-faceted format: a theater played out in front of live spectators, captured by cameras that integrated with the performance in a film simultaneously broadcast to a digital audience. A Southern Gothic tale was brought to life in collaboration with British theatrer company Imitating the Dog. It explored the patriarchal abuse of power—parental, legal, educational, religious, and medical—in unique fabric and cutting techniques developed in the atelier. Sandstorming, a new Maison Margiela motif that intricately creates the impression of a sandstorm, was featured in fabric weaves, needle-punching, flocking, and beading. Prom dresses were constructed in tulle and double-duchess silk satin. Teen band member characters appeared in bark cloth and brocade. Communal figures emerged in prints depicting florals, horror motifs, and Venus flytraps. The power-cut introduced a way of cutting in which dress codes associated with power are evoked within a garment. Paintings of American scenery by the 20th century realist Andrew Wyeth informed a palette founded in the desert neutrals of the dark, poetic heartland, with memories of the sand of Arizona: black, anthracite, gray, gold, beige and white. Prom looks assumed the colors of sorbets, from berries and lavender, to melon, peach and lemon. 

ArdAzAei Haute Couture 2022 Courtesy of ArdAzAei.

ArdAzAei, the new Swedish luxury womenswear brand, presented its first haute couture runway show, Midnight in the Persian Garden, at the Musée des Arts et Métiers. Earthly manifestations of an imaginary paradise, where architecture and horticulture were brought together, was the point of inspiration. The presentation honored the complex systems of engineering required to create such spaces through couture’s techniques of smocking, pleating, embroidery, and appliqué. The evening wear collection consisted of red-carpet worthy gowns and cocktail dresses. We noted a recurring reference to the Persian Rose and the Parrot Tulip, with the flowers informing silhouettes, three-dimensional sculptural forms, and elaborately embroidered jacquard. Sharp tailoring came in the form of contemporary women’s suits—sleek jackets and flared pants—with hypnotic floral patterning evoking the undulating chaos of nature’s rhythms. The dynamic between mathematical forms of composition—a key element of Persian garden architecture—and the craft of the handmade was evident in crystal sequins custom-cut to the lines of the ArdAzAei logo. It was also evident in an evening dress which saw 60 meters of fabric, pleated and cut into geometric shapes, appliqued to its top, while 100 hand-painted pleated fans went into the construction of its flared skirt.

Armani Privé FW22 Courtesy of Armani Privé.

Pétillant (Sparkling) was the overarching theme for Armani Privé’s Fall/Winter 22/23 collection. Realism, a distinctive trait within Giorgio Armani’s style, has always filtered through his personal vision; it was a constant presence in this collection, which arose from the need to give new space to sparkle and frivolity, offering an escape into dreams and creativity—as it was in the 1920s. The aesthetics of that decade reverberated in the figure of a strong-willed, independent and brilliant woman. Echoes of a rebellious elegance were felt in the succession of silhouettes first minimal and linear, then voluminous and evanescent, and in the individual way they were worn. Sophisticated, elongated jackets were adorned with embroidery; trousers embraced curvilinear shapes to then tighten at the ankle; long strapless dresses were gleaming and almost weightless. References to the Eastern world abounded on surfaces and in details, while the optical motifs on day suits were broken up by splashes of bright color that ignited the palette of whites, blacks and blues with hints of intense blues and pinks. The light refracted by the embroidery took over in a persistent magical movement that sent a message of pure feminine energy.

ELIE SAAB HC FW 2022-23 Courtesy of Elie Saab.

The Beginning of Twilight smoldered with Elie Saab’s haute couture Fall/Winter 22/23 collection. The presentation stirred an enchanted moment of possibility where fantasies and mystery can manifest. Ethereal hues, opulent textures, and curvaceous lines embodied the subtlety in between day and night. Sumptuous fabrics overlapped with intricately embellished embroideries in sweeping gradations of vibrant red, pink, blue and gray. Shimmering beads swirled through nude tulle, as large silver sequins glowed. Feathers danced with tapestries of black velvet, and streaked into bodices that alternated between opacity and transparency. Lace tresses rushed across overstated collars and exaggerated necklines, while beaded fringe swished down sleeves. Braided silk and mirrored gem embroidery came together in voluminous jackets. Floor-sweeping satin capes with majestic shoulder lines exhibited a masculine dominance in layers of wispy multicolor plumage. Large braids of gold beads snaked around colored stones, morphing into neck ornaments, collars, and sculptured waistlines of simple off-white mermaid gowns. 

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