The Fashion Week Trends That Ruled the Runways

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And just like that… fashion month is over. Kicking off in New York and closing with a tribute to Alber Elbaz in Paris, the first “real” runway schedule since 2019 was packed with surprise collaborations, front rows of TikTokers, and theatrics upon theatrics. Dior constructed a life-size game board in the heart of Jardin des Tuileries, Balenciaga released a cryptic digital show of Simpsons models, and Versace shockingly opened their runway with Dua Lipa.

But what about the clothes? A myriad of innovative (or occasionally repetitive) trends appeared in the designs of established and rising houses alike. Aesthetic themes clung to hopefulness, futurism, archival resurrection, and sensuality, each frequent motif categorized by one of the latter. See for yourself, below.

Re-Worked Trench Coats

Classic trenches are so passé. Replacing the veteran closet staple is a new wave of spring sheathing: trench coats with a twist. Ballgown style, paint-splattered, or even worn in reverse, quite the variety of fresh takes on the transitional favorite were showcased by Act N. 1, Loewe, and Balenciaga.

Fringe

As predicted by CR this summer, a flapper look resurgence is upon us. Fringe on all forms—embellished mini dresses, two-pieces, and crop tops—adds twirl-ready flair to timeless going out pieces. Fine metallic vintage strands were just as common on the runway as a modern version of thick cord-like ornaments. Fendi went the ‘2os route for Gatsby-ready shifts, while Stella McCartney opted for her signature contemporary taste.

Colored Tights

No bare legs allowed this spring. Vibrancy and pops of color are a must below the waist, ideally featuring subtle logomania or shades of pink. Even rainwear could not escape the tights craze, placed underneath a wilderness-ready outfit by Marine Serre. Koché paired iridescent stockings with evening dresses, while Versace utilized hoisery as the foundation of a vertically color blocked look.

Exposed Undergarments

Sometimes lingerie is too pretty to remain concealed. Nearly every designer had trouble keeping undergarments under garments for Spring/Summer 2022, ineffectively shielding briefs and bralettes with sheer or mesh overlays. No doubt the sneak-peek look will be à la mode later this year as the return to sexy dressing translates from fashion month runways to storefronts.

Capes

Not all heroes wear capes… but maybe they should now that it’s trendy. Cropped, ankle-distance, and even full-length trains topped off a wide spectrum of formality. Mônot and Loewe selected wing-like capes split down the back, a contrast to Andreas Kronthaler‘s outspread vinyl design for Vivienne Westwood.

School Uniform

Miuccia Prada‘s mega-cropped take on the schoolgirl motif made headlines for Miu Miu. A combination feared by many—low-rise and ultra-mini—simultaneously shocked and intrigued social media, namely notorious Instagram watchdog Diet Prada. But Prada’s sister label was not the only house projecting a uniform technique, Givenchy and the preppy Lacoste putting their own spin on school dress codes.

Empty Sleeves

Ever wonder what to do with long sleeves during warmer months? Simply don’t use them. Empty sleeves are the designated unpractical trend of this year’s fashion month, managing to make quite the statement in outerwear and knit categories. MM6 Maison Margiela incorporated their signature extra pair of sleeves to accentuate the waist, while Givenchy had sweaters’ arms dangling every which way.

Cropped Blazers

Another way to stay cool while extending Fall/Winter favorites… the controversial cropped blazer. Loved by some and hated by many, abbreviated blazers did not miss a beat on French runways. Most commonly matched with high-waisted bottoms, the mini jacket was a unisex favorite for the likes of Schiaparelli and Victoria/Tomas.

Knee-Length Shorts

To balance out micro mini skirts, womenswear collections took a page out of the masculine playbook for an extended short. Nearly reaching the calves, knee-length trousers were one of the few high coverage trends to recur along fashion month in a myriad of opposing styles. Isabel Marant‘s interpretation spotlighted beachy sportswear with a board short silhouette, while Lacoste and Lanvin tapped into office chic.

Black & White

Pairing black with white is hardly nuanced, but a chronic presence of colorless looks this season is worth mentioning. Ann Demuelemeester‘s collection was entirely without color, a contrast to Dior‘s wide array of childlike hues broken up by achromatic designs on occasion. Both ends of the spectrum called on classic black and white aesthetics, even those falling in the middle like MM6.

Thigh-High Boots

Sky-high boots have come a long way since Pretty Woman. Most commonly paired with mini dresses, the mega shoe design served as token statement for runway after runway. Fendi concocted an unexpected pastel palette against soft leather, a breath of spring in comparison to Givenchy‘s use of archetypal noir. Courrèges clung to their ’60s roots by channeling metallic Space Age in UFO-ready thigh highs.

Knee Cutouts

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