Couture Spring 2022 Was a Fashion Week for the Books

Early on in the spring 2022 couture shows, we resigned ourselves to the fact Kanye West and Julia Fox were going to make the latest Paris Fashion Week all about them. It turns out, we underestimated the extent to which the scene is newly reinvigorated, because within a few days, it was the runways turning the most heads. The sea change first became apparent at Schiaparelli, which found creative director Daniel Roseberry in his true prime di lui. He started out by acknowledging what everyone was thinking in the rather existential show notes: “Fashion has insisted upon its relevance over these past two years, and yet I can feel that even some of its practitioners are no longer convinced.” Now that the week has wrapped, we think it’s safe to say couture has changed their minds. Catch up on the biggest standout moments, below.

The Voyage to Planet Schiaparelli

Roseberry almost singlehandedly injected hope back into the fashion industry with a showing unlike any other we’ve seen amid the pandemic. “Planet Schiaparelli,” as the house referred to it behind the scenes, was an otherworldly celebration of surrealism infused with 24 karat gold leaf. The fact that many of the looks were barely wearable is part of what makes Schiaparelli’s couture such a success. “I think they might want to be photographed in it, but it’s more of an object to have as a sculpture,” Roseberry told W of his couture clients after the show.

The A + Street Style

Schiaparelli wasn’t the only show where the theater of the runway carried over to the sidewalks. Wintry weather, be damned: Street style is alive and well once again.

The All-Star Cast at Valentino

Levie Hsieh, Apollo Yom, and Jill Kortleve walk the spring 2022 Valentino couture show in Paris on January 26, 2022.

Photos by Pascal Le segretain via Getty Images

Jean Paul Gaultier 2.0

Glenn Martens’s talent seems to know no bounds. Already playing double duty between getting inventive at Y / Project and relatively mainstream at Diesel, the 38-year-old gave the drama of Jean Paul Gaultier a go — and by all accounts, nailed it. First, there was the collection: Martens showcased a deep understanding of the house codes while still making the collection distinctly his own by him. Then, there was the reaction: Vogue Runway had fashion Twitter in an uproar until it finally posted the collection in the late afternoon. By then, those in attendance had eagerly shared plenty of looks, and the enthusiasm and quips made for another wave of delight.

Chanel’s Horseplay

To be perfectly honest, this one has nothing to do with the clothes. Even now that we’ve largely moved on from digital presentations, the runway’s usual theater and antics have yet to make a comeback. Kudos to Virginie Viard for resurrecting them at Chanel, interrupting a video of Charlotte Casiraghi atop a horse with the appearance of a real-life Charlotte Casiraghi atop a real-life horse. The great-granddaughter of Grace Kelly, who is eleventh in line to the throne of Monaco, happens to be an accomplished equestrian; on her final turn around the runway, she even broke into a fast-paced trot.

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