It’s been a couple of weeks since Amsterdam Fashion Week kicked off its 2022 Edition. Freed from any COVID restrictions, we got a whiff of what fashion week used to look like; jam-packed, vibrant, and overwhelming. Big warehouse-like locations were exchanged for intimate settings that resembled a family dinner or a secluded party, and creativity was absorbed in an unconstraint way once again. As Paris Fashion Week just closed off the season, we took a look at how fashion week took shape in other fashion capitals.
A Milan runway show where every model faceplanted on the catwalk floor, Avavav’s models slipped and fell in front of the crowd, playing with the absurdity of the fashion climate and adding an element of surprise to an otherwise straightforward catwalk rundown. Similar elements of oddity were found in Milan at Gucci, where pairs of twins walked hand in hand holding what seemed to be an actual Gremlin handbag. Jeremy Scott is another example of a designer that likes to play with the fact that the fashion industry takes itself so seriously. Tackling the issue of rising inflation in the most literal manner, the designer showcased inflatable clothing with blow-up lifebuoys as belts and hats for the Moschino SS23 collection. New York’s Collina Strada hosted a garden party featuring a crystal-trimmed broccoli tote that has now seen every corner of the internet’s fashion troll communities, probably making it one of the most “memeable” designs of the Spring/Summer ‘23 season. Our own fashion week granted Ruben Jurriën as the rightful Lichting 2022 winner, perhaps also because of the irony and humour used to subvert stereotyping within men’s’ fashion.
It seems designers had enough time during the COVID lockdown to change their course and experiment with their role within the industry. Simone Rocha showed her first venture into menswear during New York Fashion Week. After three years of producing womenswear collections, the runway of Peter Do also featured menswear looks. The tomboyish silhouettes and languid tailoring are reminiscent of his time training under Phoebe Philo, menswear therefore seems a natural progression for the New York based designer. This need for change also reflected in designers’ preferred cities to showcase their work. Raf Simons has been the creative force behind different fashion houses, and has recently taken up the role as co-creative director of Prada, showing his first collection for the brand in partnership with Miuccia Prada during Milan Fashion Week in 2020. Now, the Belgian designer debuted his first solo show during Frieze London on the 13th of October. MARTAN changed course by introducing two new members as co-owners. Eugénie Haitsma Mulier and Douwe de Boer, alongside familiar face Diek Pothoven stepped away from MARTAN’s conceptual project-based nature, presenting its first sustainable ready-to-wear line in the Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam as the opening act of AFW Edition 2022.
In line with the lifted COVID restrictions, Amsterdam Fashion Week saw Wandler throw a massive party in celebration of its new collection instead of classic runway show. In New York, Marc Jacobs took the same approach with the SS23 collection of his sibling brand Heaven, and hosted a blowout party in a Brooklyn warehouse with a line-up of Charli XCX and Doja Cat amongst others. Duran Lantink convinced footwear brand Steve Madden to curate a multi-faceted performance in the notorious Sex Theater Moulin Rouge for their SS23 collection reveal. Lastly, JW Anderson’s creations walked through the Las Vegas Arcade in Milan between slot machines and arcade games, as opposed to the brand’s last menswear presentation, which was held in a Milanese warehouse.
To conclude this recap, this season introduced some promising new faces to the fashion week scene worth mentioning. Bulgarian designer duo Chopova Lowena first debuted via fashion films and lookbooks in 2020 and has since taken the fashion industry by storm with their mishmash designs. The London Fashion Week debut runway collection “Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose” was a tribute to the duo’s heritage, inspired by the Rose Festival, and envisioned through a mishmash (here’s that word again) of the metal scene and Bulgarian folklore. Another newcomer making its runway debut is Chet Lo. His bubblegum-coloured spikey creations revolutionised the knitwear market, making celebrities and fashion crowd alike crave anything the designer’s hands have touched. The London-based designer’s debut provided a wider understanding of his universe, grounded in his appreciation for London subcultures, inspired by his cultural background, and dipped into a peculiar flamboyant coating.