From BALMAIN’s Thought-Provoking Body Armour and YVES ST LAURENT’s Nostalgic Sweeping 1930s Silhouettes to LOUIS VUITTON’s Poignant Tribute to Youth, Designers had One Common Message this Fall: Contemplation and Peace.


All Image Credit Paris Fashion Week and Participating Designers


Built-in padding in this camouflage dress – at Balmain

Paris Fashion Week is one of the shiniest jewels in the crown of the world fashion calendar and this season the fashion offerings, as ever, were second to none. The most romantic city in the world and all its extraordinary facets shone brightly as a glorious backdrop to the shows: the river Seine, the Pompidou Centre, the city of Paris and its iconic Eiffel Tower were never too far out of sight, with its chic fashion-adoring public playing host to yet another fabulous week of beautiful clothes and exciting new offerings from the stables of the stalwarts of European fashion.

Paris Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2022 took place in a city all too conscious of world events enfolding on their doorstep and although collections had been designed and prepared months before the event, designers were acutely aware of the role fashion can play in times of crisis and adapted their offerings and presentations (music, for example), often as a last-minute addition, to show solidarity and promote a message of peace.

We’ve picked a few of the collections we loved and invite you to join us for a closer look.

Post-apocalyptic acid dye and segmented leather trousers – at Balmain



Grace Jones’ “This is my voice, my weapon of choice” has seldom felt more appropriate as a backdrop to a runway show to mirror what’s happening on the world’s stage. As Olivier Rousteing’s models in their body armour and protective clothing – padded to the point of what seemed like bullet proof vests – strutted their stuff, Rousteing posted a message of solidarity with the plight of the Ukranian people on his social media shortly before the show, stating clearly that the collection wasn’t designed “as a direct response to the recent horrific invasion of our neighbours” – however, this collection couldn’t have been more prophetic.

From the segmented, padded armour, ‘bullet belts’ and tactical gear to the almost post-apocalyptic tie-dyed ensembles with their heavyweight boots– genius in their design, in the context of current world events, this offering couldn’t possibly have been more eerily appropriate and thought-provoking.

Watch Balmain’s show here:

A ghostly bodysuit – at Balmain

Body-armour with a touch of pastel pink – at Balmain

Plated gold armour in this minidress – at Balmain

Sportswear gets the acid-bleach treatment – at Balmain

Segmented ‘warrior’ wear – at Balmain

A leather coat and camouflage trousers – at Balmain

A corset / body armour in this off-white suit – at Balmain

A corset is somewhat softened by pink lace and tweed – at Balmain

Padded to protect – denim gets a facelift – at Balmain

A segmented silhouette in this floor-sweeping gown – at Balmain

Off-white and gold in this padded, corseted miniskirt ensemble – at Balmain

A ballgown gets the post-apocalyptic treatment – at Balmain


Yves St Laurent

Creative director Anthony Vaccarello’s dresses for Autumn Winter 2022 were subtle and sleek, neutral in colour, simplistically beautiful, some slashed in places to reveal skin. They were strikingly reminiscent of that wonderful period in the 1930’s when Madeleine Vionnet created her bias cut, elongated, floor-sweeping gowns (and at least one of the pieces looked like it could’ve come straight off Madelein Vionnet’s cutting table with its bias cut, central plaque, gathers and its long flaired skirt!) While watching this, the most poignantly elegant of shows, one couldn’t help but cast your thoughts back to a time in history, sandwiched between turbulent world events, when extraordinary elegance of this calibre prevailed.

Some dresses were asymmetrically cut in sleek jersey, all characterized by flattering and cleverly-positioned gathers, others were constructed from lace. Sumptuous fur-trimmed jackets and coats added to the elegant and sophisticated silhouette. Vaccarello’s subtle nod to the St Laurent aesthetic and legacy wowed, and most befittingly St Laurent’s beloved Eiffel Tower was never out of the picture as models were elegantly striding up and down.

Watch Yves St Laurent’s show here:

Sleek, languid and reminiscent of Madeleine Vionnet of the 1930s – at Yves St Laurent

Asymmetric elegance – at Yves St Laurent

Gathered symmetry in this emerald green gown – at Yves St Laurent

1930s Style sophistication – at Yves St Laurent

Black lace sophistication – at Yves St Laurent

A halter neck and gathers in this striking black gown – at Yves St Laurent

A nude dress with slashed midriff and flower medallion – at Yves St Laurent

Sleek elegance in this dress with its built-in shrug – at Yves St Laurent

A nude gown gets the leather trench with flower corsage – treatment – at Yves St Laurent


Louis Vuitton

Nicolas Ghesquière presented his Fall Winter 2022 Women’s Collection in the architectural vaulted space of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris – the first time a show has ever taken place here – with models navigating their way up and down the stairs, past the sculptures in that iconic space with its enormous see-through clock that overlooks the city and the Seine.

The show celebrated adolescence, “an excursion into a perceptible, fleeting, and decisive moment when everything comes to the fore, in all its innocence and insight. The impermanence and beautiful volatility of adolescence”, according to creative director Ghesquière. And as such it was gritty, it was grungy and almost anti-fashion, it was eclectic (a similar vibe to the way Gucci wowed us in Milan a week ago), it was random, above all, it was so of our time!

The oversized blazers over sportswear, heavy fringed scarves that formed part of jackets, chunky stripy rugby jerseys, heavy ribbed sweaters nonchalantly tied around flimsy full-skirted chiffon dresses, oversized 1979s-style jackets, screen-printed T-shirts, tweed pinafores and neckties … all were painting a nostalgic picture reminiscent of an era that’s hard to pin down to a decade, but nevertheless one that we can all relate to and recall with a sense of carefree melancholia, one that we’d love to be part of again.

Watch Louis Vuitton’s show here:

A stripy rugby jersey worn over a chiffon dress – at Louis Vuitton

A tweed pinafore – at Louis Vuitton

An oversized nude jacket over a printed T-shirt – at Louis Vuitton

A patterned jersey dress worn over knee-high brown boots – at Louis Vuitton

A 1970s-style patent leather jacket over a pair of pinstripe trousers – at Louis Vuitton

A striking little red jacket worn over track bottoms – at Louis Vuitton

A dolman-sleeve jacket worn over ochre tweed trousers – at Louis Vuitton

Cossack trousers and a furry-edged jacket – at Louis Vuitton

Nonchalance in this ribbed jersey tied around the waist of a chiffon dress, worn with trainers – at Louis Vuitton

A printed T-top over floral trousers – at Louis Vuitton

A plaid pinafore worn over a matching track top – at Louis Vuitton

A scarf is built into the design of this button-up dress – at Louis Vuitton

A cerise pinafore is worn over a printed top – at Louis Vuitton

A floral jumper is worn over a full chiffon skirt – at Louis Vuitton

Sportswear gets mixed with formalwear – at Louis Vuitton

An oversize coat, a key silhouette of Louis Vuitton’s collection

A sportswear top is worn over grungy trousers – at Louis Vuitton


Cecile Paul

Author at Pynck

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