Paris Fashion Week’s spring ’22 season has wrapped, and with it most of the spring ’22 previews, all of which offered a definitive look at the year ahead during a current period of uncertainty.
While that ambiguity may remain in real life, the fashion world put forth a clearer view of what next spring and summer could look like — and what to look forward to. Overall, fashion seems to be veering away from restraint and more towards freedom, frivolity, hedonism and verve.
Here, a closer look at the eight trends that defined Paris Fashion Week and the spring ’22 season to come.
1. The miniskirt
After a lengthy period of midi, maxi and nap dresses, hemlines are finally going up — way up. While both New York and Milan Fashion Weeks hinted at the mini, it was in Paris that the silhouette solidified. At Miu Miu, minis were both short and low-rise, calling to mind the denim skirts of teenage life in the early aughts. At Chanel, tweed skirt suits got shorter, Valentino paired simple white minis with gladiator sandals and full organza shirts. And on the runways at both Lanvin and Givenchy, the a more full-skirted mini appeared, proving that there will be something for everyone in a shorter hemline.
2. Surrealist heels
Creativity abounded in both accessories and ready-to-wear this season, and no more so than in footwear. From Loewe’s cracked eggs and nail polish bottles as heels and Schiaparelli’s striped platforms with gilded toes to creative director Gherardo Felloni’s entire short film ouevre for Roger Vivier, shoes were a reminder that it’s a strange world we’re living in now, and fashion is here to reflect it.
3. Fluted heels
Amina Muaddi may not have invented the fluted heel (predecessors include everyone from Louis XIV to John Fleuvog). But there is no denying the impact of the designer’s martini-shaped heel on contemporary footwear. Even Chanel took inspiration, tacking on mid-height fluted heels to two-strap sandals. Roger Vivier also debuted a groovy new mule in mixed media with fuzzy wool soles. Elsewhere, other architectural shapes took hold.
4. The low rise
In tandem with the mini skirt, the early-aughts-favored low-res also made a roaring and perhaps official comeback at Paris Fashion Week. Miu Miu’s minis were low rise in the way that Abercrombie & Fitch’s denim minis used to be, while Givenchy, Balmain and Chanel all played with the peek-a-boo underwear worn underneath (call it a next-gen “whale tail”).
5. Fringe + cutouts
Echoing details from some of New York Fashion Week’s top shows, Paris collections had plenty of fringe to go around for the season. Instead of the vintage, Bohemian version, spring ’22’s fringe was either futuristic, as it was at Stella McCartney paired with cutouts, or artisanal, as Gabriela Hearst showed at Chloé. At Givenchy, it was both.
6. The gladiator
What began as a micro-trend at Milan Fashion Week last season is destined to become an even bigger trend for next year. From Valentino’s oversized Rockstud lace-ups to Roger Vivier’s gilded and bejeweled sandals, the gladiator is definitively back.
Super-short hemlines also made an appearance in dresses — a change from the many midi, maxi and nap dresses that have dominated dress trends in the past few years. From babydoll silhouettes to off-the-shoulder, cutout and bra-detail styles, the new crop of minis is about pure fun.
8. Saturated color
Bright, bold color will permeate spring and summer collections next year, from lime greens to sparkling azures azures and pops of citrus orange and yellow. It’s both a nod to the current fascination with Y2K fashion and a shock of post-pandemic optimism.