Trust Maria Grazia Chiuri to write doctoral notes on new-age techno femininity. During Dior’s Winter 22 showcase during Paris Fashion Week, in a stroke of genius, she located a meeting point between archived new look silhouettes and tech-fueled utility. Enter the post-pandemic Bar jacket recontextualized with a combative twist, a bridge between the past and the future.
Maria Grazia Chiuri’s latest creations for Dior.
Balmain also offered protectionism by presenting a line of ornate body armor inspired by bandages and recovery gear. Call it techno femininity or sporty sensuality, we have before us a fall winter wardrobe full of clothes that reflect a strong woman.
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Stylist Ami Patel observes that the presence of protective gear shows how brands exemplify power and adaptability. “It also means that the world is constantly on the move, so it means that fashion can help you adapt to any environment. Besides, leather and faux leather are major recurring elements. Their combination brings out the attributes of courage and vulnerability together. That said, vulnerability is also a strength. So that toughness and the ability to show your soft side is just as important,” says Patel.
From the recent Balmain show in Paris.
Considering how the world fought covid and the current situation between Ukraine and Russia, it was hard to ignore the socio-political commentary some designers made with the power of their craft. There was also a push towards fetish attire, with strappy buckled leather harnesses, form-fitting shapes, over-the-knee boots, and liberal use of vinyl across the board. A multi-strap buckled tailoring was seen at Rokh, and Koche layered a sporty suit over a mesh and leather harness top.
Stylist Isha Bhansali notes that it’s more of a fetish undercurrent this season with a military twist. “It’s always a strong statement with the addition of the harness, especially the way it seductively cuts the torso. The harnesses have even made their presence felt even in casual everyday attire,” says Bhansali.
The Hermès show was marked by a game of transparency and opacity with tight knit jumpsuits and flared skirts made with interwoven lace and leather yokes.
Courrèges also took a body-hugging and assertive approach by sending out space-age vinyl minis, jackets and sunglasses.
“PVC has become an essential item after the pandemic. I would dress an actor in a PVC party look,” Ami insists.
PVC is a staple like sequin. “With the best versions of the Spiderman and Batman franchises hitting theaters, they kind of inspire us to don a PVC bodysuit. Faux leather joggers, shirt dresses are everywhere. After the pandemic, there’s no restraint and being restrained, but going all out and making a statement,” Bhansali quips.
The micro mini Miu Miu that broke the internet has made a comeback in a tiny tennis variation with a decidedly low-rise, Y2K twist, generously flashing panties and belly. Guess it’s fashion’s reaction to the demand for eye-catching clothes favored by a legion of tick tockers and insta stars.
Designer Neeta Lulla observes that fashion has always reflected the times in which we live. “It was elaborate and edgy when people needed to dream, it was street style when we wanted a touch of our everyday life. Fashion now reflects what we are and should be. Resilient, courageous, functional and fearless,” she says.
From the Louis Vuitton Fall-Winter 2022-2023 collection show.
The Dior x D-Air Lab collaboration (a leader in technology and innovation) was easily the highlight of the season where the iconic bar jacket was reinvented into a new-age climate-sensitive piece, which remains cool when the wearer is hot, and vice versa. poured. Thus, utility, comfort and protection resonate together to create the post-covid fashion vibe.
Designer Pankaj Ahuja of the Pankaj & Nidhi label sees a resurgence of more collaborations and a cross culture of cultural symbolism – perhaps fueled in the wake of a post-pandemic existence. “Maybe this iconoclasm is good for our planet, one where we recognize the need to coexist, co-create and break down barriers,” he says.
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