A dive into the world before it. The Spring-Summer 2022 Women’s Collections week, which runs until October 5 in Paris, has clearly gone the opposite way from this year-and-a-half, pulling out all the stops, with shows and international stars causing hysteria. On the catwalks, designers have committed to navigating between this before and this after, offering collections on the thread between past and future.
It was at the Battesti Riding School of the Republican Guard that Jonathan Anderson presented his collection for Loewe. The Irishman always pushes the correlations between art and fashion a little further: “The starting point is “The Deposition”, a painting by Pontormo, in Florence. There is a very psychedelic, almost hysterical notion in this 16th century painting.and century. In clothing, this translates into sensuality, the idea of playing with the shadows of draperies. I’ve been working at Loewe for almost eight years, it’s time to move to new areas. This season’s woman looks straight to the future, but is at peace with her past. †
Trench coats are cut and swung back, pieces of fabric drape the shoulders and hips, denim jackets become capes… Also borrowed from surreal codes, the designer offers dresses distorted by golden metal pieces and silver melted into the fabric, all served by shoes with heels in the shape of candles, broken eggs or even nail polish. A wardrobe in which every detail is perfectly executed.
At Valentino, Pierpaolo Piccioli casts his eye on the street. Literally: on the Carreau du Temple, a former covered market, he presented his line for spring-summer 2022. The models continued their procession on the street, parading in front of the café terraces that were made up for the occasion. “I wanted to make a change and be more inclusive, bring life to the parade. † What’s more open than the street?
The modernity of the subject continues in the collection, through high-waisted jeans mixed with richly embroidered shirts or jackets, shirt dresses that flare into capes in electric colors and floral prints with bermudas and bras… fine strips of tulle are inlaid in jackets and white dresses or cut in colored sequins, creating a disturbing optical effect. Looking to the past, Pierpaolo Piccioli has chosen five pieces from the archives to offer a current version, including a long zebra coat – worn by model Veruschka in 1968 – who is married here in black shorts.
A deluge of accessories
Véronique Leroy says she found in her office an old box filled with leather printed with kitschy flowers from the 80s. I thought for a long time that I had to do something about it.” she says. She showed these relics to illustrator Jeanne Detallante who was inspired by them for floral prints, on flowing dresses or terry cloth bathrobes, in the middle of a frivolous and refreshing collection where brown and yellow dominate, “my favorite colors since childhood”.
Mid-day at the office, washed down with vodka by mid-night, Lutz Huelle’s new vintage military trousers and dresses with gold sequins combine jeans, bombers and off-the-shoulder cocktail dresses for women and – a first – for men. To compose it, he had hung his six previous collections on the wall of his studio. “I like having my creative past in mind to ask myself what we want in six monthsexplains Lutz Huelle. I took capes from three years ago by treating them like couture to make them lighter, a white shirt from last winter to cut it off one side. †
Looking back is also on the agenda at Lanvin, where Bruno Sialelli tries to orientate himself. We can tell he’s flipped through comic book classics for his Batman, Robin, or Catwoman prints (a collaboration with Warner Bros.). To perfect his busty silhouettes, he adds a plethora of accessories that overshadow glamour: Betty Boop-style heels, heart-shaped crystal minaudières, sequined hats… Not to mention a nod to Alber Elbaz, his Pastor died in April from draped dresses he had autographed.
Guillaume Henry van Patou offers a wardrobe focused on storytelling. † No fairy tales. The Patou woman doesn’t have to be a princess, she can be a musketeer! † he specifies. An old-fashioned starting point for an anything but dusty collection. The volumes, puss in boot prints and floral motifs on airy blouses, dresses with puff sleeves or sportswear-inspired parkas confirm the contemporary spirit of the ensemble.
Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga hit him really hard. It was at the Théâtre du Châtelet that the guests sat down to watch what they believed to be the showing of a mini-film featuring the collection. However, the big screen broadcast the red carpet laid outside and the arrival of the guests. Between two fashion editors, it was the models wearing the large nighttime collection who posed. Among them are actor Elliot Page in a loose suit worn with a new version of Crocs shoes, Isabelle Huppert in a very form-fitting black knit dress or rapper Devonté Hynes, in a bomber jacket with a checked shirt sticking out.
We also saw a pink and electric red scarf dress or even these off-the-shoulder, house signature suit jackets. Following this reproduction of the red carpets of yesteryear, the house featured an episode of “The Simpson” series, featuring the famous American family who took part in a larger-than-life Balenciaga fashion show, Anna Wintour in first row understood. A happy and smart moment.
At Le Bourget airport, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski presented her collection for Hermès. A line dedicated to new possibilities, articulated around yellow, the color “of the sun, of wheat, but also of ancient women.” The leather of the dresses and trousers is supple, the jackets are zipped, the overalls are loose and encourage movement, the shoes are flat and comfortable. A floral motif runs through the collection. “The print comes from a scarf from the archives. I wanted to appropriate it and give it a modern transcription. It is important not to be nostalgic, to understand your heritage, but to place it in the present. †
Finally, on Sunday 3 October, Matthew Williams invited his guests to the Accor Arena in Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine) for what was his first fashion show with the public since taking office at Givenchy in June 2020. † I could spend my days in the workshop watching the craftsmen at work. That’s what makes me happiest.”he confided a few minutes before the show.
One eye on the French tradition of the couture studios, the other on the future, which is reflected in peplum skirts worn with long leather thigh-high boots, evoking the Givenchy period of Alexander McQueen, boiled wool tops that reflect the accentuating shoulders, skirts embroidered with tulle or sequins, and large sneakers on the feet, imposing an assertive step and a futuristic silhouette.