Maria Grazia Chiuri’s ‘beauty & protection’ collection for Dior fall 2022 (Photo credit: The Economic Times)
As war rages in Ukraine (since February 24th) and the fashion industry unites by donating to relief orgs and closing retail stores in Russia, sometimes fantasy is what we all need to escape the harsh realities of the world around us. The month-long fall 2022 runway extravaganza is in its final stretch. Paris Fashion Week, which began on Monday, February 28th ends on Tuesday March 8th. At the risk of seeming insensitive to the tragedies that continue to unfold in real-time in Ukraine, we are looking forward to the end of the conflict with hope and in solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
At the start of Paris Fashion Week, Ukrainian fashion journalists, now refugees, and Ukrainian designers, used their social platforms to support and strengthen the Ukrainian people. French designer Olivier Rousteing wrote to his 7.6 million Instagram followers, “It’s hard to feel right about focusing on runways and clothes, as we listen with a heavy heart to the latest news.” He added, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ukrainians. We are inspired by their dignity, resilience and devotion to freedom.” Rousteing’s collection consisted of looks that strongly resembled futuristic body armour, as did Maria Grazia Chiuri’s collection for Dior, which consisted of strong shoulder pads and airbag corsets. These designers conceived their collections long before the war in Ukraine began, so are they fashion’s soothsayers? Is protective clothing for a wartime atmosphere going to be fashion’s latest trend?
As volunteer Ukrainian hackers help their country by going after targets such as Russian state-owned bank Sberbank, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has become an international icon and yes, an unlikely sex symbol, for his fierce resistance to Putin’s unprovoked war on his country.
Although fashion has always provided us with fantasy and an escape from reality, it also offers a socio-political reflection of the world around us. Giorgio Armani was one of the first designers to react to the war when on February 27th he chose to present his collection at Milan Fashion Week in total silence as a tribute to the suffering in Ukraine. In Paris, Ralph Toledano, president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode released a statement advising people to “experience the shows of the coming days with solemnity, and in reflection of these dark hours.
Designers around the world are showing their support for Ukraine as they post images of the Ukrainian Flag on their social media pages and the CFDA has just created a list of charities and relief organizations to donate to https://cfda.com/news/how-cfda-members-help-ukraine.
At UoF we have chosen to help the children of Ukraine by donating to Unicef USA https://www.unicefusa.org and are consistently spreading the word on our social media channels.
UoF’s Children of Ukraine initiative on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn
As the old saying goes “the show must go on”, and yet Paris Fashion Week opened on a somber note with a tribute show to Off-White founder Virgil Abloh, who passed away of cancer on November 2021. Celebs walked the runway in his honor, Cindy Crawford, Kaia Gerber, Serena Williams and Bella Hadid and touchingly, a male model held a white flag reading ‘Question Everything’.
So, while Paris Fashion Week is still going strong at the writing of this post, here are a few of the breakout trends thus far:
Designers set their sights on the future, delivering on some pretty and provocative cosmically (and sometimes comically) chic looks, with nods to Sixties icons Paco Rabanne and Andre Courrèges.
Glamour took a turn toward the dark side in intricate lace dresses and delicate tulle frocks.
LADY IN RED
Make a grand entrance at your next soiree in eye-catching red gowns that will surely bring on the drama.
Designers turned a savage eye on fur (both real and faux) offering a playful and modern take on the lavish material.
Le Smoking is back as designers in Paris paid tribute to the tuxedo look that Yves Saint Laurent popularized for women in 1966. Here are some fresh takes on the classic tuxedo.
Designers wiped the slate clean this fall season with an all-white palette that offered plenty of alluring details.
LET’S GET PHYSICAL
Thanks to Kim Kardashian’s love of the unitard, the sexy, one-piece, body-con look was all over the runways in the fashion capital of the world.
The 2000’s trend is going strong, and for fall, designers brought back the confusing dress or skirt over pant look. Although today’s version is a study on layering to perfection.