Haute couture may be the most over-the-top fashion week of them all, with labels like Chanel, Dior and Fendi going all out on custom creations that are entirely handmade. But that doesn’t mean the trends don’t trickle down to the mainstream. Consider haute couture week—which takes place just before spring fashion month kicks off in New York—as a primer for the trends we’ll see over the course of the next four weeks.
All eyes were on Paris for the spring 2022 haute couture shows this past week, due to more than a few majorly buzzy moments. Glenn Martens debuted a blockbuster collection for Jean Paul Gaultier to incredible praise, while Schiaparelli returned to the runway with a Space Age take on couture for the first time since the pandemic. Elsewhere, Valentino saluted diversity by introducing its first plus-size models to walk in a couture show, and Fendi paid tribute to its roots. This was only the second edition of live haute couture shows in Paris since the onset of the pandemic, and a certain element of joy and humor could be found in some designers’ work too: like in Viktor & Rolf’s Dracula inspired, sky-high shoulders, and certainly in the form of Schiaparelli’s head and baguette-shaped clutches. Here’s to another season of OTT couture and the trends to try now.
Gowns That Take Up Space
Every year, couture week tends to be an easy place to find gowns—but this season, designers seemed to take things to even greater heights (and lengths) with dresses that glided on top of guests’ laps as models walked by. The message is to take up space, and do so luxuriously.
Over-the-Top Legwear and Stockings
Legwear was everywhere in Paris this past week—but this time, with a twist. Stockings covered in gems, or even just plain and sheer, were paired with gowns; that’s something we haven’t seen so much in the past on the haute couture runways.
Oversized ‘80s Suiting
The suit trend received a particularly ‘80s twist at couture week. Tailoring was big, bulky, slouchy and nipped at the waist—especially at Azzaro and Alexandre Vauthier.
Hellenistic, toga-like draping was seen on the runways at Fendi, Dior, Valentino, and more. Come spring, consider wrapping yourself up in some flowy fabric.
Designers put an emphasis on this optimistic hue and all its ranges. There were rose gowns, neon pink dresses, and every other shade of the pigment imaginable on the runways.
As much fanfare met the color pink, this season, the majority of haute couture was strikingly devoid of color. Schiaparelli and Dior focused on nudes, grays, black, and beiges for sleeker, subdued looks.
The bow had a dramatic impact this season; it was seen tied high at the shoulders at Viktor & Rolf and lining dresses—from the neckline to the feet—at Alexis Mabille.
Corsets and Bustiers
You may have thought the corset was over, but it’s back again—as evidenced by couture. The main difference, this time, is these corsets come in soft shades of ivory and blush, have boning, and are often sheer.