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FW22: five big ideas from the runway season

By Jayne Mountford

30 Mar 2022


Courtesy: Calcaterra; Gucci; Courrèges FW22

The FW22 ready-to-wear season consisted of 449 shows in four cities. It started in New York at the beginning of February and ended in the same city in mid-March when Sarah Burton showed the FW22 Alexander McQueen collection. As the fashion flock moved from place to place, it became clear that there were five big ideas that ran throughout the season.

Business Trip

Image: Courtesy Louis Vuitton FW22

By the end of New York fashion week it became clear that tailoring was going to play an important role in the FW22 collections, hopefully heralding a return to a new normalcy in society and the need for more serious clothing. In New York, Michael Kors, Peter Do and Proenza Schouler all showed pant suits with a full legged trouser and broad shouldered jacket. The theme continued in both Milan at Calcaterra and Paris at Louis Vuitton amongst others.

Image: Proenza Schouler FW22/Catwalk Pictures

Knitting Patterns

Image: Courtesy Stella MacCartney FW22

Even post-lockdown, there is a desire for cosy, hyygge style dressing, and consequently sweater knits made a strong statement in all four cities. They were shown in a plethora of styles, many in a head-to-toe look. This included Altuzzara's cable knit cardigan over a space-dyed dress and ribbed hood and gloves. At Chloé, Gabriela Hearst showed more space-dyed dresses in colorful combinations. Christian Wijnants, Coperni, Gucci and Alexander McQueen all showed versions.

Image: Altuzarra FW22/Catwalk Pictures
Image: Courtesy Coperni FW22

Neo Punk Attitude

Image: Courtesy Kenzo FW22

Looks rendered in plaid and tartan fabrics to create an anti-establishment vibe can be traced back to Vivienne Westwood's designs in the late 1970s. It's a theme that has been taken up this past year, starting with some of the pre-fall 22 collections including Dior. It gained traction throughout the season and culminated with a sort of punk/schoolgirl mash up, seen at Preen, Marine Serre, Rokh, Miu Miu, Kenzo, Burberry and Coach.

Image: Courtesy Marine Serre FW22
Image: Courtesy Preen by Thornton Bregazzi FW22

The Balenciaga Effect

Image: Courtesy Dries van Noten FW22

Cristóbal Balenciaga is known as 'The Master' of haute couture. Along with Christian Dior he is credited with re-inventing the silhouette of women's fashion in the mid-twentieth century. The FW22 season was filled with Balenciaga references with cocoon-like, full shapes and sloping shoulders. Dries Van Noten, Courrèges, Tory Burch and Dolce & Gabbana all showed versions.

Image: Courtesy Bottega Veneta FW22

Color Theory

Image: Courtesy Dion Lee FW22

Dressing in bright colors is known to elevate one's mood. Along with garments rendered in rainbow combinations, designers also showed looks in head-to-toe color. At Valentino, Pierpaolo Piccioli showed 40 looks in fuchsia pink. He said that it was to "remove distractions and concentrate the viewers’ eyes on distinguishing the differences between silhouette and detail." Head-to-toe color was also shown at Dion Lee, Eudon Choi, Alexander McQueen, Courrèges and Versace.

Image: Courtesy Valentino FW22
Image: Courtesy Versace FW22