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Fall 2022’s best clothes are pieces to live in that reflect their wearer’s sense, intellect, and beauty. Designers rebelled against last year’s minis with hemlines that dropped to the floor, creating statuesque shapes at Saint Laurent and Rick Owens. Suits were defined by genderless, oversized blazers that hung from widened shoulders at Prada and Louis Vuitton. Lingerie dressing was toughened up with crystals and embellishments at Miu Miu and Paco Rabanne, and corsets took on protective forms at Christian Dior and Balmain. In many ways, fashion went back to basics—the suit, the skirt, the slip dress, and an overwhelming number of white shirts or tank tops styled with medium-wash jeans.
That’s the thing about fall 2022’s most wantable clothes—they come to life with you. Run down the street in Bottega Veneta’s kicky midi-skirt. Dance so your Altuzarra paillettes clang and jostle. Let your Balenciaga train whip with the wind. Clothing is just an accessory to your story—where are you going next?
Hemlines Hit the Floor
Sleeves Are Sloping
A cocoon-like, ’30s sleeve appeared at Dries Van Noten, Courrèges, and Tory Burch, among others, proving that a structured, molded silhouette is the new, elegant shape of 2022.
Corsetry Gets Tough
The technologically savvy bodices at Christian Dior and metal bustiers at Balmain are pushing corsetry into the future—less mode of seduction, more mode of protection. Donatella Versace naturally sexed hers up at Versace, while Alessandro Michele gave his a sporty twist at Gucci with an Adidas collaboration, but the message remains: The corset is here to stay.
Shoulders Make the Suit
Oversize, bold-shoulder tailoring may have emerged on the catwalk several years ago, but brands from Balenciaga to Vetements are proving the look is still alive. At Louis Vuitton and Valentino, blazers were pumped up to gigantic proportions while Off-White’s touching tribute to Virgil Abloh included Karen Elson in a Virg-ified Le Smoking…but of course Saint Laurent had its own big time version by Anthony Vaccarello. Think of these bulky blazers as a new way to take up space.
Brushed Knitwear Begs to Be Touched
White Shirts and Blue Jeans Keep It Classic
Is there a fashion combination more timeless and quintessentially American than the white shirt and jeans? Matthieu Blazy remade it in leather for his Bottega Veneta debut, while Americans abroad Matthew Williams at Givenchy, Eli Russell Linnetz at ERL, and Conner Ives did the look their own way. Ditto for the Americans at home; Telfar’s winning combo of a long white dress layered under a denim mini will surely be inspiring street style in New York and beyond.
Lingerie Shimmers and Shines
A simple slip dress isn’t going to cut it this fall. Simone Rocha, Erdem, and Nensi Dojaka have remade theirs to drip sequins and crystals while Miu Miu, Fendi, and Eckhaus Latta add shimmer to transparent layers. All the better to see you.
These Clothes Are Meant to Move
Loewe’s car dresses are surely destined for the sidelines of a Formula 1 race, but fringes, paillettes, and trains from Collina Strada, Halpern, and Sunnei are ideas meant to move with you. Matthieu Blazy referenced Umberto Boccioni’s Futurist sculptures at his Bottega Veneta debut—even when static, these clothes have motion embedded within them. Giorgio Armani’s short beaded fringe took on a new electric motion too when he presented his show without music, only the jingle of glass beads to soundtrack his finalé.