WHaT wENT DoWN AT fASHiON mONTH

Five key moments and trends.

WORDS BY FLORA MACDONALD JOHNSTON

What do Extinction Rebellion, Olympic divers and The Simpsons all have in common? Fashion month of course. Over the past five weeks, designers have emerged from their off schedule slumber to showcase their new Spring/Summer 2022 collections. The mood was one of optimism, with the shows themselves bigger and more jubilant than before lockdown began. 

Chanel took us back to the early 90s with mini-shorts, sassy walks, and shimmering sheer-column skirts that left absolutely nothing to the imagination, and in Paris, there was a special runway show dedicated to the late (and much beloved) designer Alber Elbaz who passed away from Covid-19 earlier this year. Creative directors and designers across the globe from Riccardo Tisci at Burberry to Anthony Vacaerello for Saint Laurent, created their own look in homage - it was utterly beautiful and I wish there were more tribute shows exactly like this. 

But for those of you who have missed the events of the past few weeks, here are my five key takeaways, trends, and moments to get you up to speed. 

BALENCIAGA X THE SIMPSONS

Just when you thought fashion collaborations had reached peak levels - Balenciaga throws a curveball. Rather than a standard runway, it showed a 10-minute long Simpsons episode where the entirety of Springfield wore the newest looks (and the film featured Anna Wintour and creative director Demna Gvasalia as themselves). Marge strutted in a foil gold gown with an accentuated hoop skirt and gigantic bow, Mr Smithers chose a gender bending outfit of head-to-toe red, matching slim-fit trousers with an asymmetric structured blazer while Homer walked in the classic supersized puffa. 

The spectacle raised questions of where fashion needs to go in a digital age in order to connect to consumers. This past year alone Balenciaga have collaborated for the third time with game Fortnite, revealed heeled Crocs and showcased a collection with Gucci. What will be next?

MOLTEN METAL

A serious trend for SS22. Metallic. There were sculptural breastplates of molten gold and silver at Loewe, silver hued box jackets at Louis Vuitton decorated with crystal piping (where an Extinction Rebellion member stormed the runway) and beaded gold netted-dresses at Balmain. It was refreshing to see designers use metals as daywear in more casual or unusual cuts and silhouettes. The main takeaway - gold and silver are not just for the evening. 

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JUMP IN THE POOL

Korean-born London-based Rejina Pyo staged her show at the enormous London Aquatics Centre. Pyo is renowned for her easy tailoring, translating her skills onto oversized blazers and comfortable wide-leg trousers, she also has a serious eye for colour. But, aside from the clothing, (raffia trousers, lace knits and pencil skirts printed with photographs of Seoul and New york), what really stole the SS22 show was the use of Olympic GB Team divers Emily Martin, Josie Zilling, and Robyn Birch. Diving in unison, and solo, from multiple diving boards, it was a truly breathtaking performance.

KEEP IT HIP

Low-slung and high-cut. A plethora of designers embraced the early noughties by showcasing teeny-tiny hip-hugging mini-skirts, shorts and low trousers on the runway. Miu Miu slashed khaki skirts so short that pockets could be seen poking below the hemline, and at Chanel, tweed and sequin-embroidered shorts were essentially glorified underwear. In all honesty, it was pretty unwearable, but it was delightfully entertaining to see. Luckily for us - and you - at KOIBIRD, we love a mini-skirt, but don’t worry, we promise no underwear will be shown.

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TEXTURE TETRIS

Knitwear got a serious facelift. A particular highlight was London-based Halpern, known for his sequinned partywear, he took a new and exciting path this season by collaborating with the Royal ballet designing tasseled knitwear bodysuits that swayed dramatically as dancers moved. JW Anderson explored ‘sound’ through clothing, the result was XL peplum hems on jumpers which resembled tutus, meanwhile Richard Malone scrunched, frilled and knotted knitwear to add 3dimensional aspects to tops, sweaters and skirts. 

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