It could have been the uncertainty of the future and the relative reassurance of a hallowed heritage. Or perhaps it was introspection brought on by two years of lockdowns. Whatever the reason, the Fall/Winter 2022 fashion season has many creative heads referencing their houses’ renowned founders and archives for inspiration.
We see a revival and reinterpretation of classic silhouettes and tropes for our tempestuous times. The result is: creations that feel bold, fresh, possibly a little crazy, but hearteningly familiar.
Denim is back
What goes down must come up — at least that is usually the case in fashion, with its often cyclical trends. We’ll be the first to admit that during the height of the pandemic, denim for us became a distant memory: Why torture yourself with skinny jeans when you can slouch about in relaxed joggers?
This would explain why the workwear-inspired classic is back with a vengeance this season, as the world returns to a semblance of normalcy.
Thankfully, designers have a lot more to offer than just your regular blues. Paying tribute to the late Hubert de Givenchy’s “sense of practical ornamentation” (as described by the press notes for the collection), Givenchy creative director Matthew M. Williams played with elements from its haute-couture heritage, leading to pieces such as super-soft, worn denim studded with pearls.
At Loewe, creative director Jonathan Anderson played with notions of reality. Menswear codes were twisted to create off-kilter takes on denim, including skirt-like wraps worn over coats and ripped jeans with flowy side panels.
Bad news for those who spent most of the pandemic snacking: The waist is the season’s It zone. As if they had had enough of our collective lockdown loungewear, Prada co- designers Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons are championing elegance and tailoring. As the press notes declare, “the body is given emphasis, shoulders and waist delineated through traditional tailoring.”
Balenciaga’s creative director Demna Gvasalia — who apparently now desires to be referred to only by his first name — was in a somewhat similar frame of mind. Taking cues from the iconic couture designs of Cristobal Balenciaga, Gvasalia conceptualised tailoring that looked almost armour-like with its cast forms, complete with a nipped-in waist and exaggerated hips.
At Dior Men, one of the archival influences that artistic director Kim Jones integrated into his latest collection was the Bar jacket.
Created in 1947, the Bar jacket was part of Christian Dior’s post-war New Look for women, and featured a cinched waist and flared hips for a powerful and ultra-feminine silhouette. Jones adapted it for the Dior man with the use of exposed, raw seams and, of course, subtler curves.