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Paris Fashion Week is in the works and Whitewall is sharing details on the latest debuts for the Fall/Winter 2022 season. Here, we’re looking at collections by Saint Laurent, Balmain, Acne Studios, and Dries Van Noten.
This season, Anthony Vaccarello looked to the Art Deco movement that inspired Monsieur Yves Saint Laurent. Combined with cues from the activist publisher Nancy Cunard (renowned for her bold dawning of menswear styles in the earlier 1900s), the maison debuted a sleek and glamorous suite of designs centered in the menswear sartorial oeuvre. Imagined almost entirely in black, dress silhouettes were form-hugging and flutelike, pants elongated the figure with floor-brushing hems, and outerwear and suiting remained classic, highlighting a timeless tuxedo style. Looks maintained femininity through sensual details like plunging necklines, sheer fabrications, and slits or rouching—like a black tux worn sans shirt, a slip gown with a deep V front styled with a long fur overcoat, and a pair of shiny, skintight cigarette pants with a strong-shouldered blouse paired with strappy heels.
The experience of healing from severe burns under the harsh gaze of the public eye lead Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing to the realization that the only way to find liberation from the critiques of social media is to face it. From this, the designer came to explore the somewhat conflicting ideas of transparency and protection for the Fall/Winter 2022 season. Reflected in the details, we saw a palette of pale hues (like pastels, creams, and soft denim tones) and fragile or delicate fabrications, paired with protective gear and harsh materials forming shields, body armor, and gilets. The effect was a powerful one, recalling imagery of intergalactic protagonists, dressed with poise, yet ready at a moments’ notice for battle. This energy was exemplified through styles like long, rippling gowns with protective structures built into the bodice; soft knits layered under golden chest plates; sheer lace skirts with padded, structured corsetry; and suiting with details reminiscent of Kevlar. The looks were styled with futuristic accessories, like chunky platform footwear, thick metal bangles or rings, golden lip cuffs, and protective shades.
Dries Van Noten expanded on ideas of opulence this season, inspired by the late architect, designer, and artist Carlo Mollino—noted for the vivid interiors of his 1960s home, Casa Mollino, and the artful eroticism of Polaroid images found after his death. The house has photographed its Fall/Winter 2022 designs with these images in mind, in a lookbook emanating an air of mystery and subtle seduction, capturing in hazy light a suite of designs embracing exuberance, femininity, and clashing combinations. There was an array of animal prints—cheetah, zebra, tortoise, and cow spots—pops of vivid pinks, purples, and reds, and textural combinations of knitwear, leather, crinkled crepe, shiny metallics, and velvet. Shapes were contrasting, pairing together mannish silhouettes with more sensual ones, tailoring with soft lines, padding with cinched details. Looks we’re still thinking about include a pearlescent quilted coat with wide, round, padded shoulders, styled with an animal printed handbag; a purple and white sweater and a spotted pink skirt paired with a shiny silver jacket and tall white stiletto boots that laced up the front; and an ensemble comprised of a black draped midi skirt, a high-necked leopard print blouse, a puffy, padded velvet blazer, and a pair of glossy red boots.
The Fall/Winter 2022 collection from Acne Studios can be traced back to Jonny Johansson’s childhood, when the designer first began exploring fashion by cutting things up and putting them back together. Described as an “emotional patchwork,” the collection centered the importance of self-expression through old things becoming new, exemplified through elements like raw seams, padding left exposed, purposeful repairs and patchworking, and the intermixing of ideas borrowed from couture and everyday. Ensembles had a repaired or thrifted appearance, featuring designs that strayed from their origins—like oversized jackets worn as dresses, scarves that appeared to be made from leftover t-shirt material, sunglasses purposefully crafted upside-down, and silverware replacing the clasps of handbags. Collection highlights included a patchwork ballgown with a fitted, strapless bodice, made from visible denim remnants with seams and buttons left intact; a long paper bag skirt cinched with a leather belt outfitted with a large silver ornate fixture, styled with long gloves and a tank; and a red look featuring a disintegrating sweater repaired with tiny crystals, a long garment made from tied and draped fabric, and a pair of boots covered in ribbed knit.