Dresses are short! Or long Gothic black is back! And so is minimalist white. Today, appearances do not turn inward or outward, but evolve; one idea quickly builds to the next, giving you more and more to choose from. Here are the top runway talking points set to define AW22:
The look: Tweed 3.0
“Dedicating the entire collection to tweed is a tribute,” says Virginie Viard, who went so far as to cover the Chanel grounds with different shades of the fabric. That’s where the bowing stopped, though: Queen of the Highlands wasn’t (though fishing waders did make a surprise appearance on the track). This season’s trend is sweet but not saccharine, sophisticated but at the same time playful, with an optimistic and totally youthful spirit. Tweed shorts for the office, anyone?
The trend: school uniform
Pleated kilts, Peter-Pan collars, half-undone ties, white tights and gym kit tops – AW22 produced plenty of looks designed to stay behind the bike sheds. A Sixties insouciance informed Miu Miu’s show: these are styles for girls who are too cool for school.
The detail: Tied
The printed silk scarf shines this season. Clash of colors and contrast, because anything goes, as long as you master the Sloane Ranger knot. Alternatively, tighten it with a leather tie.
The silhouette: Gender neutral
The lines are blurred when it comes to gender dress. What works now is a flexible vision of men’s and women’s fashion, using timeless tailoring as a starting point to subvert style norms, as seen in Erdem: “I was thinking about the avant-garde expressionism of Weimar Berlin .Imagining characters like dancer Anita Berber, and how she would wear an outfit.I loved the idea of showing the same custom silhouettes on both men and women – they’re fluid and interchangeable.
The piece: On the sidelines
Matthieu Blazy’s debut with Bottega Veneta was full of sure hits. But this season’s super-soaraway street style will definitely be her fringed leather midi skirt. ‘Bottega Veneta is in its essence pragmatic, as it is a leather goods company. Because she specializes in bags, it’s all about moving and going somewhere. There’s fundamentally an idea of craftsmanship in motion,” she says, of her inspiration for the swinging fringe. “It’s style over fashion in its timelessness. This is part of his silent power.
The length: short and sweet
A youthful earthquake of mini dresses appeared on the AW22 catwalks, where Sixties rebellion collided with Nineties exuberance in a pastel-hued parade that wasn’t quite sick. Miu Miu hit fringe highs again, but sweet looks were everywhere from Loewe to Simone Rocha. ‘My most recent collection was originally influenced by the [Irish myth] Children of Lir Children transform when they are still small, and I wanted that youth and naivety to translate into the silhouette. So some of the bass became very adolescent, very micro,” says Rocha.
The accessory: thigh-high club
‘The higher, the better’ is the motto of this season’s footwear. These are boots to style with mini skirts and dresses; beware of metallic and jewel tones.
The shape: Maxi coats
We don’t usually like style dictates, but AW22 made one thing clear: when in doubt, throw on a long, slim coat.
The statement: Catsuits vs. bodysuits
How short, tight, cropped and sheer can you go? This is a trend for those who dare to bare.
Mood: I see through you
Risky necklines, skimpy slips sprinkled with delicate sequins and sumptuous lace pieces dominated the runways this season. Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons took to crystal-encrusted mesh numbers, while Erdem’s 1930s-inspired collection included numerous dresses in sheer lace.
The texture: stretch the wool
It’s time to turn down the heat and switch to the sweater dress. From coats to cardigans, two-pieces and twinsies, anything goes as long as it’s knitted.
The atmosphere: Pretty in punk
Rebellion is always a good idea. Punk energy flowed through AW22: lingerie was toughened up with crystal embellishments, vinyl boots gave babydoll silhouettes an edge and feminine subversion was everywhere. If you only pick one item, make it Miu Miu’s velvet and diamond choker.
The return: The corsetry
Last season’s sex obsession has gone from hot to high for AW22. Tying a corset over a tonal top is the new way to make a body.
The moment: Oh, goth
Go hell for your skin this season – make sure it’s black, smooth and super shiny. More protective than provocative, the styles of the AW22 resemble a kind of body armor. From military-inspired chokers at Dior and Balmain to wraparound coats and tinted visors at Dolce & Gabbana and sparkly combat boots at Alexander McQueen, embrace the dark side.
This article appears in the September 2022 issue of ELLE, available on newsstands from July 28.