As pared-back as their archetypal style might seem, the French are no strangers to surrealism. In fact, the artistic movement began in Paris back in 1917, and it has been woven into the fashion fabric of the city that couture calls home ever since. First came the provocative creations of Elsa Schiaparelli from the early 21st century. She embellished gowns with giant lobster illustrations and crafted hats that looked like upturned shoes. Her influence can be keenly felt today, most directly through the incredible work that Schiaparelli's new(ish) creative director, Daniel Roseberry, is doing, reinterpreting the brand's archive and moving forward with truly avant-garde ideas in what has become an otherwise fairly commercial world. Celebrities are hooked, and the fashion crowd has been too. So could it be the reason this Paris Fashion Week has seemed a little quirkier than usual? Have we all gotten the green light to start easing out of a very beige era and head into a more exuberant and experimental time?
Schiaparelli A/W 22
Surreal and topsy-turvy ideas were plentiful from brands you'd expect (Jonathan Anderson at Loewe) and those you really wouldn't (Isabel Marant). You have the subtle: for example, proportions being blown out, such as the supersized white collars at Jil Sander or the giant blazers at ACNE Studios. But you also have the downright collectable: Sculptural jewellery that would be just as happy sitting on a gallery plinth or artfully reworked biker jackets turned into mini leather skirts. There was an old-school mood for glamour and sass, like chubby floor-length coats and giant leopard prints, but a new-gen way to wear them. Think of Rihanna's pregnancy wardrobe, and you're on track. Keep scrolling for the nine Paris Fashion Week A/W 22 trends I'm already totally sold on.
1. STACKED BANGLES
Loewe A/W 22
Everything about this show pushed the boundaries. From how the garments were made (some were incredibly 3D printed) through to the accessories. The faux-balloon shapes used across shoes and clothing were also reflected in these globule bangles.
Saint Laurent A/W 22
The Saint Laurent model finished off almost every outfit with a giant stack of bangles on each arm. Not WFH-friendly, but very fabulous.
Stella McCartney A/W 22
Stella has been pushing purple for the past couple of seasons, and it seems everyone else is finally catching on. This is a riot.
AMI A/W 22
If head-to-toe purple seems like too much, try a knit.
3. GIANT JACKETS
ACNE Studios A/W 22
Blazers are now so big they're basically dresses.
Louis Vuitton A/W 22
Nicolas Ghesquière layered big blazers upon big blazers for a signature silhouette.
4. FLASHY LEOPARD
Giambattista Valli A/W 22
I love how warped and expensive-looking this leopard print is.
Dries Van Noten A/W 22
With a surreal necklace to boot? This look ticks lots of new trend boxes.
5. HOLLYWOOD STAR COATS
Balmain A/W 22
This long coat has international A-lister written all over it.
Saint Laurent A/W 22
Saint Laurent's were oversized and worn with ultra-fine tights and strappy sandals—Hailey Bieber took this coat straight from the runway and into the night for an evening in Paris.
Chloé A/W 22
Gabriela Hearst continues to celebrate craftsmanship over at Chloé, and patchworking is a beautiful technique.
Arthur Arbesser A/W 22
It can be surreal, too, as proven by this look.
7. SLIM TOP, BAGGY JEANS
Givenchy A/W 22
Givenchy's pearl-encrusted jeans are going to be popular. As will the combo of low-slung denim with a formfitting top.
Isabel Marant A/W 22
Marant took a similar turn with a crystal mesh top and black jeans.
8. BIKER VIBES
Coperni A/W 22
Coperni's biker looks combined leathers with shirting, and it just worked.
Dior A/W 22
Moto jackets were flipped on their heads at Dior, worn with full swishy skirts and lace tops.
9. STATEMENT COLLARS
Jil Sander A/W 22
Gigantic collars for the win!
Paco Rabanne A/W 22
They even work in daintier forms, like on this whimsical dress.
Up next, street style trends we loved from PFW.
Hannah Almassi is the editor in chief of Who What Wear UK. Hannah has been part of the the Who What Wear brand since 2015, when she was hired to launch a UK sister site and social channels, localise content strategy and build out the editorial team. She joined following a seven-year tenure at Grazia magazine, where she led front-of-book news, fashion features and shopping specials as fashion news and features editor. With experience in both print and digital across fashion and beauty, Hannah has over 15 years in the field as a journalist, editor, content strategist and brand consultant. Hannah has interviewed industry heavyweights such as designers including Marc Jacobs and Jonathan Anderson through to arbiters of taste including Katie Grand and Anna Dello Russo. A skilled moderator and lecturer specialising in the shift to digital media and e-commerce, Hannah’s opinion and work has been sought by the likes of CNBC, BBC, The Sunday Times Style, The Times and MatchesFashion.com, among many others.
Hannah currently resides in Eastbourne with her photographer husband, incredibly busy toddler and highly Instagrammable cat.
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