As the Southern Hemisphere battles through the final winter months, the theme of protective fashion has taken on new meaning. First, we saw it on TikTok, where balaclavas, indie-sleaze, — and its offshoot, twee — ruled fashion accounts on the platform. We listened, with great skepticism that the 2010 trends had already returned to the mainstream, but it seems the designers were listening louder. So the catwalk trending cycle was revived from archived catwalk references to social media micro-trends, and back on the catwalk, as we saw Proenza Schouler, Dion Lee, Coach, Carolina Herrera and Maryam Nassir Zadeh taking notes for the fall. 2022.
The season has only just begun, but as NYFW begins to wind down, we’ve got a look at what could be coming for the rest of the month and the Fall 2022 trends we’re looking forward to.
At Proenza Schouler, balaclavas were offered attached to tightly woven black skivvies, partly nodding to a post-pandemic (if we ever have to be post-pandemic) level of protection through a workwear lens. At Proenza, like Dion Lee, they acted as second skin elements for the looks. Lee offered headwear in neutral cotton ribs and cobalt blue technical lace, with face coverings that resembled jock straps, and later in loose cable knits, fluid jersey and reflective plush. Maryam Nassir Zadeh opted for a more laid-back take, sending models down the runway with plaid scarves wrapped around their heads for a do-it-yourself approach, addressing New Yorkers everywhere who have been doing it to combat the cold since always, while Altuzzara presented simple options in cashmere.
Altuzzara Fall 2022; Maryam Nassir Zadeh Fall 2022
It’s not been that long since we’ve seen this volume of balaclavas on the catwalk, since Belgian designer Raf Simons donned a collection of 65 looks, all sporting the Ukrainian wartime headgear for the collection. Calvin Klein’s 205W39NYC Fall 18, and Gucci’s Alessandro Michele offered ski-mask like iterations for his Fall 2018 runway. Prior to that, Martin Margiela constantly explored the idea of head and face coverings for Maison Margiela.
This year, the brief seems a little less focused on warmth and a little more on protection. Second-skin hoods are worn as extensions of clothing, molded to the body, worn alongside leather harnesses and layered bodices that compress and envelop the wearer. For Fall 22, the theme feels like comfort has been replaced by business.
This idea is counterpointed in shows like Coach and Carolina Herrera, where the return of the twee punctuates the collections. At Coach, trapeze and slip dresses are made of lace, crochet and pleated silk with Peter Pan collars and large bows. Pair them with quirky accessories and Mary Jane T-bar pumps, like Tavi did in 2010. At Herrera, the trend is more subtle. Among pleated tulle and bubble skirts, tweed mini-dresses with collars and puffed shoulders have their place, worn with flat leather thigh-high boots and delicate pumps.
Carolina Herrera Fall 2022; Coach Fall 2022
As someone who’s decidedly very settled into a menswear-adjacent wardrobe, the idea that twee and all that comes with indie-sleaze is on the rise isn’t a pill that I’m all about quite ready to swallow, but seeing the moving looks in last week’s shows, a sense of joy is brought with them. And maybe, if we are really preparing to return to normal life, does a peter pan collar really have a place in society?
It is also the less serious cousin of the structured collar. The silhouette that, with a back-to-work attitude on everyone’s mind, delivers the all-encompassing factor this season. At Proenza, the tailoring was sharp but loose, a soft launch if you want office dressing. Elsewhere, labels like Khaite, Peter Do and Tory Burch didn’t hold back. While Khaite was all about spunk and city glamor, people go to work too, and Cate Holstein understands that if you give the people of New York an olive suit, you can hold them in the palm of your hand. Peter Do applies the same tactic in fall 22, with a multitude of coordinated workwear, with undone belts and tailored long skirts.
Peter Do Fall 2022; Khaite Fall 2022
The supply of tonal workwear is of course not a new phenomenon thanks to Phoebe Philo and in part The Row, nevertheless it looks like we’ll always be coming back for more. Such is the very expression of timelessness.
Peter Do Fall 2022; Tory Burch Fall 2022
At Tory Burch, the trends of color blocking and workwear have come together, giving way to the seriousness of tone and opening up to another audacity. Marigold, Perwinkle (or Very Peri, according to Pantone), cobalt blue, neon reds and lime were central to the collections, standing out among pops of other colors or punctuating the tonal collections.
Carolina Herrera Fall 2022; Proenza Schouler Fall 2022
At Carolina Herrera, marigold and flame red stood out, while at Proenza it was periwinkle (there was also a whisper of it at Khaite) and cobalt, which were also seen alongside red at Dion Lee, who is usually never one for bright tones. Coach lined leather coats with neon lime shearling, and Tory Burch incorporated a bit of everything in the most classic way, a true symbol of what we’ll see on the slopes for the rest of the season.