Paris Haute Couture Winter 2022 Highlights 3

The roots are on fire

Taking over a heritage house is a tricky thing. Either the archives overburden a designer and the collections are played too safe and faithful or there is a transformation of the roots toward the future. Demna Gvasalia is undisputedly the most important and influential designer at a big house in the second and now third decade of the new millennium. His response to the post-Covid world: Haute Couture, or simply put – buy less but buy better. Clothes especially made for a person to heighten and express individuality. After all, Cristóbal Balenciaga was one of the most revered couturiers who invented shapes and techniques still relevant today. For the uninitiated, Gvasalia has been looking closely at the archives from the beginning and his first men’s wear collection for Summer 2017 which was a creative and commercial blockbuster was based on a sleeve from a personal coat from Mr. Balenciaga. Seeing Gvasalia dressed in impeccable black tailoring for his recent press photos, it was clear that he who changed the seasonal schedule a few times before, has the same intention with his couture. Only one show a year and haute silhouettes based on his everyday universe of hooded sweatshirts, bomber jackets and denim. He even restored the original Haute Couture salon on Avenue George V and took out the existing Balenciaga boutique there. Shown to a small audience including Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton, Kering boss François-Henri Pinault and his wife Salma Hayek Pinault, this show was the most important dose of new energy in the oft declared dead Parisian clothes tradition. An all age and color casting showed off his core idea: instant desire to wear for what’s shown on the catwalk which was taken by the models in complete silence and not the usual bombastic soundtrack.

Opening look

Closing look

Black is back?

Balenciaga has been anchored in black and neon colors the past few years. To show off his exquisite and austere tailoring, Gvasalia who prefers black clothes himself, showed all his key double-breasted, big shoulder tailoring in black but also taffeta gowns and big stoles.

Signature Demna look

Big stoles

The shoulder?

Gvasalia and Balenciaga have always had a thing about the shoulder. Gvasalia loves to base his entire silhouette on how he pulls fabrics around the shoulder. His set-back collars as in Look 17 anchored his salon work.

Look 17

Off the shoulder silhouette

The denim?

This was the moment we were waiting for. What does Balenciaga Haute Couture denim look like? His overlength baggy pants were handmade on American looms which were exported by Japanese manufacturing enthusiasts and then produced there. Voilà, Haute Couture jeans are here.

Haute Couture Denim

The Berlin Boros moment?

One of our favorite fashion people in Berlin is Karen Boros who was cast in the show again with slicked back hair in look 43 – an ultra elegant pant suit with lampshade neckline.

Karen Boros