There’s really nothing like Paris Fashion Week, is there? Days of show after show from the biggest fashion houses and labels, stylish folk out in spades and perhaps even a temporary moratorium on the French hating Americans (the jury’s still out on that one). Drawing crowds of both the biggest celebrities and influencers (Kanye West and his new muse Julia Fox, Pharrell Williams, Sofia Coppola, Tyler, the Creator, TikTok star Noah Beck and so many more) as well as massive swells of well-dressed civilians, it is undoubtedly one of the biggest cultural touchstones of the year.
Of course, at the oft forgotten center of it all are the clothes. Virtually every major brand showed their FW2022 collections during PFW. Louis Vuitton debuted their final Virgil Abloh collection, Rick Owens confirmed his stature as a member of the undead with a vampire-esque cape (see below) and Dior brought the house down with a Naomi Campbell-led charge of Parisian classics (berets, suiting, a Birkenstock collab).
More than just a spectacle, PFW also suggests much about the current state of men’s fashion outside of its mother-of-pearl-buttoned gates. Whether the designers on show are responding to viral trends or pedaling their own version of what’s cool, make no mistake: what we see at Paris Fashion Week dictates sartorial landscape for months, if not years, to come.
Below, you’ll find a host of trends that stood out on the runway. We saw designer after designer leaning into vivid knits and artfully mismatched get-ups, and PFW banished any concern that prep-wear might be on its way out. Trends rolled over from Milan, and new ones emerged as well. As always, some of the more affected looks might not make it into your weekly rotation, but don’t be surprised if you own a balaclava before you know what’s hit you.
Prepare for More Prep
Above all, PFW (as with the previous shows in Milan and Florence) has cemented the return — nay, the permanent installation — of prep into the modern canon of menswear. The hottest designers and labels are stealing looks from every corner of Ivy. The Varsity Jacket is back for what feels like the hundredth time in the past few seasons, and ties and casual suiting are making a strong showing. Especially notable was French house Casablanca’s prep-inspired collection; looks meshing iconic Parisian silhouettes and staples like ringer tees and OCBD signal a new direction for the stalwart style of dress.
If you’re familiar with the breakout accessory of late 2021 — that is, the knit balaclava — then perhaps it’s no surprise to learn that Paris heads were covered in every which manner this week. Berets, the aforementioned ski masks and even cloaks (we’ll get to that later) adorned the brows of sultry model after sultry model. And hoods weren’t merely an afterthought, either; at shows from Walter Van Beirendonk and Wooyoungmi, vivid knits and tight masks were the undeniably focal piece.
So Wrong That It’s Right
A little to the left … back to the right … okay, perfect. PFW served looks that proved that your favorite labels did, in fact, pass 10th grade-geometry. At least, they must have, because across the city, asymmetry reigned supreme in shock value and wow factor. Some, like Neil Barrett, used the technique in a more modest manner, with offset zippers or side-buttoned suit jackets. However, there were certainly some more avant-garde looks as well.
The Cape Crusaders
It would be a misconception to suggest that the likes of the MCU or Batman are removed from the real-life fashion industry; in fact, one Peter Parker, er, Tom Holland, is the face of the newest Prada campaign, and Robert Paterson has long been in bed (and probably the bat cave) with Dior. Still, we’d be remiss not to mention what we can only assume is the final frontier of fashion in 2022: capes. The advent of cloak-esque jackets and drapes may be more insular to high-fashion than the democratization of prep, but it’s cool to know you can dress like a superhero nowadays.
Monochromatics may be a staple of menswear, but they had little place in a bright and patterned PFW. In fact, on many occasions it seemed as though designers were intentionally trying to clash hues, textures and styles, with wild combinations of various technicolored looks. Kid Super, champion of hype-adjacent, streetwear-inspired luxury, interspersed patterned pants with spotted fleece, as did Isabel Marant. Some might call it unsightly. We call it brave.
Full-bodied patterns ran rampant at PFW, and appeared in a slurry of different ways. Anime-inspired prints, checks and stripes both sauntered down runways, and Loewe’s full-bodied transparent ‘fit — or lack thereof, we should say — way certainly a sight to behold. Hey, if you’ve got it, flaunt it!
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