With Paris Fashion Week A/W 2022, fashion month finally came to an end. What began as a post-pandemic celebration in New York, soon turned into a bitter-sweet experience as the geopolitical issues between Ukraine and Russia became a recurring motif, understandably so. By the time it reached its third leg in Milan—designers and labels started sharing their subtle stance on the subject through their presentation. But during Paris Fashion Week, the fraternity read the room and made their voices heard loud and clear. From fund donations towards Ukraine’s relief to cancellations of regular fashion week soirees—fashion wasn’t in the centre-front during this fashion week. Balmain turned white seeking peace, Elie Saab ditched the pastels and opted for black as a sign of mourning—Balenciaga unleashed a literal winter storm on the runway, commenting on the climate and political situation of the world through the collection. Here are the top fashion moments (not trends) from PFW A/W 2022.
1. Hoyeon Jung Opens For Louis Vuitton
Before becoming a household name with Squid Games, Hoyeon Jung regularly walked the runway for designers like Brandon Maxwell and Jeremy Scott. The model-turned-actor returned to the catwalk this season, as she not only walked for Nicholas Gesquiere’s A/W line, she opened the show in pinstriped trousers, a white shirt, floral tie and an oversized leather jacket.
2. Think Pink For Valentino
In an attempt to remove all distractions, Pierpaolo Piccioli took the extreme monotone route with 40 fuchsia pink ensembles parading down the runway. The idea was to get the audiences to focus on the details sans the colour play and it certainly worked. Still largely associated with women and femininity, the colour pink, in this case, became a gender-neutral play of fashion shutting down the sexist trope attached to it.
3. Fashion But Make It Political
Instead of showing his support in an abstract form like other designers, Demna decided to be directly vocal about his support towards Ukraine. The current war-torn situation hits very close to home for him. At the age of 10, Demna had to flee Abkhazia, Georgia because of the war in 1993. The first city he found refuge in was in Odessa, Ukraine—making this even more personal for him. Before the show, guests were treated with blue and yellow Ukrainian-flag T-shirts and statement-making note by the man himself. As the show began, models walked into a man-made snow blizzard, depicting his vision on not just political resistance but also holding a mirror about the current climatic condition.
4. Balmain’s Act Of Resistance
Through Balmain’s A/W 2022 presentation, Olivier Rousteing sent out the message of peace and resilience. The Balmain army known for its futuristic metallic silhouettes went for an all-white sequence, in the beginning, portraying the designer’s message of peace. The body armour and the tactile gear was initially designed to showcase Olivier’s personal journey of shielding, from the keyboard warriors on the internet, after suffering burns in his house fire. Coincidentally, the thematic of the show also represented the current situation in Ukraine, depicting their fight for freedom through fashion.
5. Gigi Hadid Donates Fashion Week Earnings
Following the path of fellow model Mica Argañaraz, supermodel Gigi Hadid has decided to donate all the money she has earned from walking the catwalk across the fashion month in New York, London, Milan and Paris towards Ukraine’s relief. Addressing the issue on Instagram, she spoke about the nature of her job and how it feels to be working in fashion during these unprecedented times. Using her voice and space for the good, the model lays emphasis on the ongoing sufferings in the world and urged other members of the large fashion community to do the same.
For more trends and highlights from the fashion weeks, read here.