Haute Couture Spring 2022 Has Come And Gone
It’s Couture week again, the week where we all look on at incredible hand-made clothes that we will only ever be able to afford in our dreams. Those clothes are literally what dreams are made of.
If you don’t know, Haute Couture is clothing that is usually bespoke, tailor-made to fit the client, and made by hand from start to finish. Absolutely no machines are involved at all. Because of the usually incredibly intricate designs, a piece of haute couture clothing can take hundreds of hours to make, especially with beading, which needs to be painstakingly sewn on bead by bead. A fully beaded Zuhair Murad dress took over 1,500 hours to make – for one dress!
Another thing to know about Haute Couture week, is that only certain brands are qualified, and even allowed, to make haute couture. That’s decided by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, which states that a true couture house has to have had an atelier in Paris with at least 15 full-time employees, and present at least 35 looks each year. That is… a lot of hours of beading.
So what did we get this year?
Chanel went back to basics with their tweed. Was it nice to look at? Sure! Was it very exciting? Not really.
The only grey area was the makeup, said to be inspired by pre-war era’s avant-garde creatives, although instead it looked like the models were walking around with a black eye. Reminiscent of a domestic abuse survivor, it’s a miracle it was signed-off. Instead they could’ve had a solid black line circling the shadow, instead of fading it into the model’s skin like a bad bruise.
Big news was the horse cantering down the runway, ridden by long-time Chanel muse Charlotte Casiraghi – Hermès would’ve been running around like headless chickens wondering how they’re going to one-up their competitor, with their own motif too!
Fendi was a little lacklustre for me, with dresses that looked like they had come straight out of Miss America’s beauty pageant, and quite mediocre designs of Roman figures.
For a house that is doing great things in the RTW department, Fendi only started creating couture in 2015, and Kim Jones has a lot to learn from Lagerfeld through his couture collections. Couture shouldn’t be an extension of the RTW collections, it should be on its own level, using the highest levels of design and artisanal knowledge to create works of art, rather than clothing.
Giambatista Valli showed variations of their signature looks, which are always pleasing to the eye but surprising to nobody. Large bows and even larger mountains of tulle, Giambatista Valli was a sea of pink fluff, with some of the tulle-ier dresses taking up to 350 metres of fabric!
The most exciting show of the season was Jean Paul Gaultier’s, guest-designed by Glenn Martens, the talent behind Y/Project. With twisted reinterpretations of Gautier’s work, we were shown gathered tulle reminiscent of 18th century royalty mixed with ballet dancers, corset bindings in funny places, and pink ribbon bondage creating one of the most beautiful tops of all time (yes, I am talking about Look 18).
I’ve rounded up the best looks from this couture week, with Viktor & Rolf looking like me coming back from a fancy dinner and having to walk the dog in -7ºC weather, and Schiaparelli’s gold surrealist cone boobs – although Kanye West and Julia Fox’s Rick Owen’s-esque (incredibly bad) eyeshadow stole the show. What did I miss?