Designers spoke, we listened. Gathered here is the lowdown of the spring 2022 season, in the words of the people who made it happen. By reading through them, you’ll get a sense of some of the main preoccupations of the creative community. Joy and going out figure large, as does a reconsideration of sexy dressing. We are virtually guaranteed another summer of skin. At the same time, many designers took stock of what they stood for and approached their collection with a clear and uncompromising vision. Comfort, mobility, and a sense of real-world purpose are top of mind for many. Renewed interest in body-con dressing seemed to foster a sense of shared humanity. This season, the wearer stays in the picture.
1 / 39
Well, we needed something fun to happen.
—Demna Gvasalia, Balenciaga
2 / 39
I always considered myself somebody who would do anything in the pursuit of beauty, and to maintain a certain standard of beauty—and that was the meaning of life. So we have to flex here.
3 / 39
Mostly I think that this is a hopeful collection and at a moment when we all need hope.
4 / 39
It is beautiful to show reality and difference, and leave the standard that we have been brought up to understand is fashion.
—Olivier Rousteing, Balmain
5 / 39
We just wanted this super-genuine feeling of wanting the sun on your skin. Of being by the sea, and feeling the warmth and the happiness of it.
—Julien Dossena, Paco Rabanne
6 / 39
We’re going through different things, but we both [brand codesigners Zoe Latta and Mike Eckhaus] have a desire to just be fucking real.
—Zoe Latta, Eckhaus Latta
7 / 39
For me it’s really about clothes that enable you to move freely. I think it’s not about going to anything too casual—I think it’s about making an effort, but also the ability to move within your clothes.
—Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski, Hermès
8 / 39
For me it’s most important that we should make real clothes that are comfortable for real people. I don’t like costume clothes.
9 / 39
Being in a bar with random people coming in and out—it’s what we all want.
10 / 39
The reason I make this type of clothing is for fantasy and escapism and, you know, truly feeling euphoric.
—Michael Halpern, Halpern
11 / 39
I think the pandemic has pushed me to be freer and to approach my show differently; it’s given me the guts to do that and perhaps be a little more nonconformist.
—Roksanda Ilincic, Roksanda
12 / 39
I just wanted to create a collection that could show to the world what beauty can look like. I honestly feel like the world is better with women.
13 / 39
I don’t think women need to pretend they’re physically as strong as men; it’s okay to be gentle sometimes and to embrace that.
14 / 39
A lot of this obviously came from a very maternal place. I was looking a lot into the way children interpret and wear clothes, but then also birth, the ceremony of christening and Communion gowns. And…at the out-of-control body dislocation that going through the whole process causes.
15 / 39
I wanted to do something optimistic. All around me, there’s been a lot of ugliness in the air because of the social unrest in South Africa. So I just wanted to turn inward, at what keeps me very optimistic—and that was my family.
16 / 39
I was looking at the Met gala…and it was great to see women dress up again. I think we all need that now. Because what’s our job as designers if it isn’t to offer joy?
17 / 39
It is really the beauty of the everyday, like the way you tuck up a dress when you go on your bike. These small accidents that change the silhouettes are just so beautiful and can inform so many new ideas, which was really the starting point this season.
18 / 39
I am a child of technology. Everything I do, I instantly wear and take a picture. That’s where my lens is. I discovered my aesthetic through quarantine, so it changed how I design.
—Chet Lo, Fashion East
19 / 39
We believe in what we’re doing in terms of a cause. It’s not like we’re just making clothes; we are delivering a message. And it’s great, because in fashion the message can be delivered very subliminally.
—Gabi Asfour, Threeasfour
20 / 39
It’s true that there’s no physical object in the NFT world. But in this pandemic situation, it’s become also true that something digital can be something real.
—Kunihiko Morinaga, Anrealage
21 / 39
I really pushed myself. I’d say 97% of the collection was made in the studio, and I’ve worked again with an amazing knitter locally. There’s always a way if you’re creative.
22 / 39
Queer culture has been part of London life for centuries. Now is the time for queer people to talk about this. I think the world is not becoming a better place. So it’s really important for us as queer people to speak, to show what we can do, and show beauty from our perspective.
23 / 39
[The collection] is an ode to the society of the spectacle, situationism, and protesting in a creative and positive way that makes noise, that people pay attention to. What happened in Texas is absolutely unacceptable, and we have to stand up as women.
—Tara Subkoff, Imitation of Christ
24 / 39
Before the pandemic, I was showing a lot to gravitate attention, but what I’ve learned is that you have to have a very focused edit. You make your own pace, show what you want to show. My biggest fear is coming through the pandemic and not having changed.
—Jonathan Anderson, JW Anderson
25 / 39
In French we say, j’assume. After COVID, I’m stronger to say it now: Every season I was forced not to tell a story, but to talk about a theme, something I had to invent just to amuse certain people. I hate this. It’s not me; it was fake. I said no. I’m showing my clothes in a normal way, because they are what I call normal.
—Rabih Kayrouz, Maison Rabih Kayrouz
26 / 39
I like to make sure that what we do is good for more people than just us.
27 / 39
Fashion is about clothes—but it’s also about people wearing clothes. If I had to add words to talk about the storytelling, maybe my mission was not accomplished.
—Pierpaolo Piccioli, Valentino
28 / 39
I kept thinking about sports, not because the collection has references to sports in its details, but because of how teams work—that union. At the end of the day, who is our trainer? It’s our heartbeat; it synchronizes everyone.
—Francesco Risso, Marni
29 / 39
We hope that everything will be fine very soon, but we’re in a state of uncertainty for sure, things are…still in a wobbly space, and I was thinking maybe the best way forward is to focus on yourself and what is on your mind. Basically the collection is about self-healing, mindfulness, and a reflection on the body.
30 / 39
I keep getting asked: What’s next for fashion? But in real life, you see people making what they have last, sharing it with each other. That’s the approach I want to take with the garments, extending them into life.
31 / 39
We always dig down in our process so the team can explore and discover many things they have never created before.
—Satoshi Kondo, Issey Miyake
32 / 39
I like the figure of a vampire who travels through the ages, adapting to dress codes of the era.
—Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton
33 / 39
I used to love the sound of flashbulbs going off at the shows in the ’80s. I wanted to recapture that emotion.
—Virginie Viard, Chanel
34 / 39
We’ve been thinking about the people who came before us.
35 / 39
We wanted something a little less subtle. We went all in, full latex with no shame about it.
—Léa Dickely, Kwaidan Editions
36 / 39
It’s about a language of seduction that always leads back to the body. Using these ideas, these references to historical pieces, the collection is an investigation of what they mean today.
—Miuccia Prada, Prada
37 / 39
As a designer, one is always trying to find a new way to communicate sensuality; what you reveal, what you don’t. I know there’s quite a lot of noise about S-E-X at the moment. But it’s a bit what we always think of.
—John Galliano, Maison Margiela
38 / 39
Now it feels like women are being sexy again. Sex is an expression; a language that is very strong. And this collection is very confident.
—Riccardo Tisci, Burberry
39 / 39
Everyone wants to feel sexy and hot.
This article was originally published on Vogue.com.