There is power in creating your own personal style.
So the July 2022 WWD Weekend cover shoot drew on designers with a strong sense of nostalgia who updated iconic styles to make them feel brand new. The results include inventive pattern mixing, evening gowns for daytime and statement headpieces that help erase old dress codes and allow for a new, fearless personal style.
The vibe: glamorous, vintage and bohemian.
Demna at Balenciaga, who is perennially inspired by the ’90s, provides a clear example for how to make old concepts new again. For fall 2022, he collaborated with director Harmony Korine on a film dubbed “The Lost Tape,” that conjured up what a Balenciaga show might look like back in the day, if done by Balenciaga himself.
“The actual message here is that it could have been exactly the same collection in the ’90s — so how much does fashion really change aesthetically from decade to decade? It’s only a question,” he told to Miles Socha, WWD’s international editor, backstage at the show.
To infuse the shoot with edgy drama, the choice was a black pleated floor-length dress with asymmetric hems, paired with leather extra-large thigh-high boots — the ideal example of that era’s minimalism, with a touch of extra cool dark energy that the French house is known for today.
Another big inspiration for this WWD Weekend Edition was Anthony Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent pre-fall collection. His obsession with the house’s original designer’s muse Paloma Picasso during the ’80s was a catalyst for the spring collection, and continued for pre-fall. The era of excess translated into beefy, fake fur coats over seductive extra-long silky slip dresses — plus countless power shoulders. This ’80s-charged Parisian woman was equality elegant, bold and sexy, and the look gave a sophisticated bohemian twist to shoot.
A silver metallic bustier dress by Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton helped reinforce the tension between the ultra-glamour and vintage mood of the shoot. The fall Alexander McQueen collection, shown in New York (a city only chosen once before by the house’s founder in April 1996) had ’90s touches, including a graffiti-patterned tromp l’oeil dress revealing the shadow of a female form that was inspired by McQueen’s 1999 Shalom Harlow action art graffiti dress, Burton said backstage.
The vintage nostalgia exploration continued with the delightful Simone Rocha collection. “Dark and light, grounded and ethereal, Simone Rocha’s collection was full of contrasts and utterly beautiful,” said WWD’s London bureau chief Samantha Conti in her fall review.
A sheer slip dress with diamante embroideries and long satin streamers flying off the shoulders added a touch of 19th- century poetry and romanticism to the story.
A painterly floral sheer cape from Oscar de la Renta, a Carolina Herrera ’80s-inspired silk black minidress with floating trail, and a chunky, cropped cable-knit cream sweater by Ulla Johnson were some of the key pieces that introduced an American fashion twist, while enhancing the personal-style element.
“Our woman is not a wallflower, she’s not shy; she loves getting dressed and expressing herself. There is always that component of chic, but she plays with her clothes. It’s not timid,” Carolina Herrera creative director Wes Gordon told WWD executive editor Booth Moore backstage at his show.
That sentiment — of self-expression, play and brazenness — encapsulates the powerful woman of the season.