At last, we have reached the end of the fall 2022 runway, more or less. (Sorry Thom Browne!) After a season that extended from early February to late March, from New York to London, Milan, Paris, Los Angeles and back around to New York again, WWD has traveled thousands of miles, clicked through hundreds of photos and studied the looks to come up with the top 10 shows.
Top 10 women’s fall 2022 RTW shows:
Demna Gvasalia addressed the Russian invasion of Ukraine head-on in his powerful and sometimes jarring show, which had models walking in a giant snow globe evoking refugees fleeing war. His seasonal, garment-driven approach included logo packing tape-bound furs; puffers, bombers and jean jackets that pulled over the head; pre-wrinkled trenchcoats and double-breasted suits, and a send-up of luxury leather goods — The Trash bag.
Making his debut as creative director of Bottega Veneta, Matthieu Blazy focused on handsome tailoring and quiet chic with a minimalist vein, including printed nubuck “jeans,” full skirts sprouting leather fringe, peacoats with boomerang sleeves and rounded back and cropped pants with hems sloped forward to exalt towering platform pumps and convey the idea of craft in motion.
Lucie and Luke Meier stood out by exploring the softer side of tailoring with couture-like hourglass silhouettes over short skirts or fluid frocks with deep necklines, as well as lovely bow-trimmed dresses and rounded capes. It was beautiful.
Proving the spirit of experimentation is still alive on the runway, Jonathan Anderson steered the Spanish label into surrealist territory with his playful, thought-provoking lineup of leather dresses molded as if rippled by the wind, shearling pants that opened up like a funnel, cave-woman shearling skirts paired with latex T-shirts, covetable draped jersey gowns and balloon-squashing stiletto heels.
Starting from the very first look, Kaia Gerber in a triangle-logo white ribbed tank and paneled slip skirt, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons recontextualized Prada’s ladylike DNA for the next-gen, bringing the house design vocabulary of classic crewneck and geo-pattern knits, finely tuned tailoring, feminine full skirts, sheer innerwear and assertive outerwear, and joyful jeweled embellishment into the now.
Ralph Lauren used his off-calendar event to reassert his role in charting the American fashion landscape, working in a palette of black-and-white with flashes of red and focusing on the streamlined styles and sartorial splendor that have made him an icon for 50-plus years, only modernized for today.
Rick Owens turned to the ’30s and turned out a ravishing collection, using Hollywood-worthy fog effects to highlight sculptural, silvery glamour gowns, dramatic cloaks dragging over fluted denim dresses, and big, voluptuous parkas with tiers of shaggy hair spilling from the hood and slashed sleeves. It was unforgettable.
In a season of strong shoulders, the house of Saint Laurent had dibs, with Anthony Vaccarello’s romantic collection hinging on a fresh-looking silhouette of handsomely tailored woolen coats that narrowed past the hips or beyond the knee, with silky, fluted skirts fluttering underneath.
Both grounded and ethereal, Simone Rocha’s collection was full of contrasts and utterly gorgeous with tailoring, biker looks fused with romantic flou, and pieces as light as smoke, including sheer slipdresses with kissing swans at the back and satin streamers flying off the shoulders.
Using the newly minted Pantone color, an intense magenta named “Pink PP,” Pierpaolo Piccioli captured all the moods of pink, while highlighting the rigor of his dramatic, couture-like techniques.
Top five women’s fall RTW presentations:
Brunello Cucinelli infused his collection with Nordic textures and motifs, but kept the mood urban, not high altitude, demonstrating his skill at blurring the line between luxe casual and events dressing.
Dries Van Noten
The house of Dries Van Noten came to life, literally, in a circa 1780, delightfully decrepit maison on the Left Bank, which was the perfect foil for the designer’s irresistible take on diva dressing with darkly romantic tailoring, statement coats and accessories after curios.
Fear of God
Jerry Lorenzo cemented his reputation as a master of effortless yet elegant modern dressing for men and women with his latest pared back, tonal-hued collection of Made in Italy tailoring seen through an American sportswear lens.
Harris Reed proved he is one of fashion’s next gen showmen, making a powerful statement with dreamy sets, decadent designs and an emotional performance by Sam Smith at St. John’s Chapel in London — all in the name of bringing back fashion’s glory days and playing by one’s own rules with gender fluidity and sustainable materials at the core.
Setting a convincingly commercial course, Daniel Roseberry showed his most complete ready-to-wear collection yet, spanning everything from daywear to evening clothes in a palette of black, white and gold, with plenty of strong tailoring, beefed up denim and the trompe-l’oeil knitwear the brand’s namesake started with in 1927.