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Courtesy of Alexandre Vauthier.
Courtesy of Viktor & Rolf.
Courtesy of Viktor & Rolf.
Courtesy of Valentino.
Courtesy of Elie Saab.
Courtesy of Valentino.
Courtesy of Valentino.
Courtesy of Viktor & Rolf.
Fashion

Haute Couture SS22: Valentino, Viktor & Rolf, Elie Saab, and More

By Pearl Fontaine

January 27, 2022

This week in Paris, fashion houses are debuting their Haute Couture collections for the Spring/Summer 2022 season. Today, we’re looking at what’s new from Valentino, Viktor & Rolf, Elie Saab, Alexandre Vauthier, and Zuhair Murad.

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Courtesy of Valentino.

Maison Valentino presented its new collection “The Anatomy of Couture” amid the palatial interiors of Place Vendôme. Its gold gilding and high ceilings were a fitting backdrop for the intimate Spring/Summer 2022 couture presentation, which featured a variety of opulent garments in technicolor. Taking into consideration that beauty constructs are a subjective matter, changing based on time and location, Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli employed a diverse cast of models to showcase the ways different body frames interact with garments. This created a lineup of individuals devoid of specific genders, sizes, or ages sporting the graceful looks. A few of our favorites included a pant suit in powder blue with a cape of immense cascading ruffles, a ballgown in chocolate satin with a bow at the waist, and a short dress in bright violet with an intermingling of smooth structural and softly pleated details.

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Courtesy of Viktor & Rolf.

Viktor & Rolf aimed to transform our fears into positivity for its Spring/Summer 2022 couture debuts, which wowed with architectural silhouettes and a dramatic presentation that played with shadows. Old Hollywood Dracula films were the channel by which the maison looked at notions of fear, inspired by the character’s representation of society’s apprehension surrounding change—a theme many of us may find relatable in the current day. The vampire’s iconic tuxedo and cape ensemble was a clear influence on the new designs, immediately recognizable through exaggeratedly high, structural shoulders. Applied to most of the silhouettes, this singular detail gave an eerie twist to styles that might have walked straight out of the retro films, including long gowns with elegant sleeves and cascading bows, cloak-like outerwear with high collars that engulfed the wearer’s neck, and pairings that explored the tuxedo and its many parts. A collaboration with TENCEL LUXE saw the luxurious gowns and structural suiting imagined in conscious fabrications, while vegan footwear by Melissa accompanied the looks, which were completed by details like claw-length nails and dark lipstick.

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Courtesy of Elie Saab.

Fittingly titled “Eden on Earth,” Elie Saab’s couture debuts looked to the charm and beauty of the Mediterranean landscape. A palette informed by details like wild bougainvillea, crystalline seas, and the warm rays of the sun saw extravagant garments in gradients of vibrant hues. The collection of formal and eveningwear silhouettes accentuated the feminine form with classic shapes like sweeping ballgowns, miniature lengths that hugged the body, plunging necklines, and statement sleeves or bows. The collection was made special by detailing like feathers, beading, embroidering, layers of bright taffeta, and glittering embellishments in crystal and sequins—seen on some of the dreamiest looks, including a voluminous design in the palest pink, decked in sprays of pearls, feathers, and beading, draped with a veil to match, or a pink and green gown with a sheer skirt and train, long gloves, and an asymmetric puffed embellishment.

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Courtesy of Alexandre Vauthier.

Alexandre Vauthier focused on luxurious fabrications and sensuous, floaty silhouettes for its Spring/Summer 2022 couture collection. There were garments imagined in a sumptuous selection of velvet, sequins, feathers, silk, fur, and organza, painted in grayscale tones, and the occasional pop of red or muted teal. Gown silhouettes were draped over the wearer’s body, often detailed with cascading ruffles, cut-outs down the side, sections of feathers, or barely-there fabrications—like our favorite sheer slip with a ruffled skirt, or a suite of slinky silver gowns with pink embellished hems. An array of suiting featuring androgynous shapes and proportions kept an air of softness through cinched waistlines and blazers worn sans shirts and gave the option for both evening attire (like a gunmetal gray iteration in velvet) and elevated daywear, which was seen in slightly less-formal fabrications.

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Considering the digital age to be without mystery, Zuhair Murad embraced the allure and mystique of lost treasure, oceanic voyages, and grandiose pirate tales for its latest haute couture debuts. Images of ornate jewels, coveted gold, majestic ships, and captain’s uniforms informed the collection of lavish gowns and formal attire. A rich maritime palette of blues, reds, aged pinks, ceremonious whites, and oxidized metallics saw an array of silhouettes, encompassing full ballgowns, shorts and blazers, mini dresses, two-piece skirt sets, and sleek dress shapes with long billowing capes. Some looks bore a more understated take on the inspiration at hand (like bejeweled gowns with corset bodices and billowing sleeves, or beading reminiscent of map topography). Others offered slightly more playful interpretations—seen in looks like a top and skirt styled with a matching tricorn hat, or a dress in gauzy black, covered in a beaded scene of a ship at sea, finished with a thick leather belt at the waist.

Alexandre VauthierElie saabParis CoutureSS22ValentinoViktor & RolfZuhair Murad

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