Men’s – Be Who You Are. JW Anderson SS22

Partly digital, partly physical, men’s Paris Fashion Week starts today. The JW Anderson spring-summer 2022 (and women’s resort 2022) look-book was shot by Juergen Teller, who perfectly captured what’s on Jonathan Anderson‘ mind this season. “Caught in the moment, when sexuality awakens. There is palpable ambiguity, and provocative wrongness, to his dressing choices“, Anderson described the guy he pictures in this playful, bold offering. The collection hits a juvenile note with colourful and hedonistic clothing as a mean of self-expression that blur the lines between stay-at-home, sports and club dressing: “The kind of glorification of being who you are or what want to be: the idea of privacy of the individual“. The line-up’s instant must-have? All the strawberry knitwear, for both him and her. The designer looks forward to full re-emergence, and is clearly ready to celebrate the good days that are coming!

All collages by Edward Kanarecki. Look-book photos by Juergen Teller for JW Anderson.

Bold, Sassy, Hot. Blumarine Resort 2022

It’s no longer just Hot Girl Summer season. Now, it’s Hot Blumarine Girl Summer. Nicola Brognano is entering his third season at Blumarine, and his brand revamp (together with Lotta Volkova’s phenomenal styling help) keeps on getting hotter, sassier, bolder and certainly desireable. “When I came on board, they were all skeptical,” he told Vogue. “I’ve been grilled by critics. Now they love what I’m doing. The message was strong, different, fun; it was a clean cut with the past but I’ve kept a certain Blumarine spirit. Gen Z followers immediately reacted; girls on TikTok started to replicate Blumarine furry skirts and tops from day one. We have dedicated fan pages.” For resort, Brognano is riffing on the new repertoire he’s established for the brand: a girly, sassy, mischievous take on the early-2000s pop star glam of Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and Christina Aguilera that he worshipped as a teenager in Southern Italy. “Inspiration for me doesn’t mean a thing. We have to live in the now,” he said. “I’m inspired by social media, by the young girls dressing for real life on Instagram and TikTok. I’m not looking to the past. But I never forget what made me love Blumarine in the first place: its romantic sexiness, its malizia.” Brognano’s Blumarine girl is guilt-free sexy and a bit of a badass. She’s playing dress-up, but then “fucking it up with something revealing and wrong,” adding a fake fur stole over a skimpy crocheted minidress, or wearing slouchy cargos in luscious pink satin together with a slim-fitting hot pink leather blazer and a midriff-baring bandeau top. And she loves butterflies, tattooed as embroideries on pieces like this season’s bright green strapless minidress and signifying frivolity, lightness, and whimsy. “The butterfly is becoming a sort of new Blumarine logo,” Brognano concluded. “Versace has the Medusa. We have the butterfly.”

“Live” collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Jubilance. Louis Vuitton Resort 2022

This is Nicolas Ghesquière’s second resort collection for Louis Vuitton without a destination show. A year ago in the early months of the pandemic he staged a studio shoot, but this time around he filmed a short movie at Axe Majeur, a sculpture park outside of Paris conceived by the late Israeli environmental artist Dani Karavan. An in-the-know local says of the place, “You feel like you’re outside time. You could be in some indeterminate future or some past utopia vision of the future.” Anyone familiar with Ghesquière knows that that description jibes with his career-long interests in sci-fi and outer space and with the time-collapsing fashion he’s made his métier at Vuitton. The monumental setting definitely befits a collection that was partly inspired by the nascent possibility of space tourism. In fact, Ghesquière said the prospect of public space travel inspired the collection’s anachronistic prints, which set an escalator, a basketball court, and a roadside motel, among other things, amidst alien landscapes. There were also parachute pleats on minidresses, pants with the padded quilting of spacesuits, and nods to the iconic vinyl of André Courrèges, the French designer whose streamlined Space Age creations of the 1960s still read as futuristic half a century later. “It’s a very optimistic, joyful collection,” he said. “There’s a jubilance to it.” This was reflected in the heraldic tailoring, a top and skirt aflutter with feathers, and a cocktail dress that glittered like a disco ball. A group of silk blouses with cape-like backs that added softness to the structure of their accompanying pencil skirts and high-waisted trousers achieved a more everyday kind of chic lift-off. However, personally, the collection doesn’t click for me – just like most of Ghesquière’s recent offerings for the brand.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Stay Realistic. Proenza Schouler Resort 2022

While nearly every single designer is musing on re-emerging and dressing up again as more and more people get vaccinated, the Proenza Schouler boys rather stay realistic. Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough aren’t buying the roaring twenties, at least for the moment. “You want to hold onto some of that ease, some of that comfort, some of that intimacy that you had with the pandemic,” Hernandez told Vogue. “But then you want to introduce things that feel a little bit more nipped, more tucked, something a little bit more tailored.” They’re emphasizing knits in the form of ribbed tanks and pull-on pants that puddle at the ankles, and their high-buttoning jackets are made to be as easy-wearing as cardigans. Silhouettes are grounded by flat shoes, either fuzzy house slippers or thick-soled, heavy-tread boots of the sort that have recently been trending. The nipping and tucking Hernandez talked about was achieved in a couple different ways: a top and pants in oversized proportions were swaddled at the waist and fixed with a gold pin, while tunic-length bouclé tweed tops were slightly peplumed at the hips, creating a New Look-ish line that they kept modern by layering leather shorts and those big boots underneath. The clearest sign of the change to come, once we get past the pandemic, might be a chunky knit sweater and matching skirt combo that stands out not just for its eye-catching shade of marigold but also for the fresh mini-length of its skirt. I kind of wish there was more of that boldness in the designers’ latest offerings. Still, in its leggy, unencumbered attitude it looks like a compelling direction for the duo.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Force of Nature. Gabriela Hearst Resort 2022

Gabriela Hearst took on the creative director duties of Chloé in December and has been shuttling between New York and Paris ever since. Resort 2022 is the first full season at her name-sake label she completed after the appointment, and she confessed she was concerned about pulling it together. But as time shows, she needn’t have worried – this woman is a force of nature. The 38-look lineup, which includes some men’s pieces, appears anything but dashed off. Hearst is making some of New York’s most finely wrought clothes: a double-face cashmere coat finished with a hem of sacred geometry lace, a dress embellished at the neckline with colorful agates left over from her pandemic-interrupted spring collection, a long linen shift with macramé chakanas inset at the chakras, a leather coat in earthy tones assembled like marquetry, and cashmere intarsia sweaters with famous North and South American sites from Yellowstone to Machu Picchu. Those are just the more obvious details. Meanwhile, her efforts around sustainability are ongoing. A jean jacket and its matching flares were patchworked in a rainbow of four different shades of deadstock denim. The collection is 49% upcycled or deadstock material, close to her stated goal of 50% for 2021. The biggest advances might be in her footwear. Sandals with deep cork beds are a guaranteed hit – the cork is harvested without cutting down trees and it can biodegrade. There are also boots made with natural rubber soles and espadrille flatforms built on a base of algae-derived foam that cuts down on plastic. Hearst emphasizes the couture-level embellishments and the nitty-gritty of responsible design with the same enthusiasm. But she’s most passionate about her many collaborators, from her daughter Mia, who painted the rainbow eyes that appear on some silk separates, to the New York artisans whose workmanship on the collection’s macramé-inset shifts she says rivals anything in Paris.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.