As of Tuesday, fashion month is officially over. From the distant memory of Thom Browne’s androgynous silhouettes in New York, to the energised emerging talent in London, the iconic luxury house crossover in Milan and the spectacles of historical archives in Paris, the month has been a fast-paced examination of post-pandemic dressing.
Some such as Acne Studios opted for minimalistic collections, referencing the down-time lockdown provided and working that calm into their design process. Others, including Fashion East’s design roster and Kawakubo at Comme des Garçons renounced the very notion of lockdown dressing, giving maximalism, overstated silhouettes and pastiche glamour.
However, in the midst of all the garment madness, accessories also had a serious moment. And whilst we know that accessories can make or break a look, they have taken somewhat of a backseat in collective consciousness this past year. So, when we began noticing an influx of bold, vibrant and seemingly larger-than-life accessories on the runways at fashion month, we took note. The overwhelming display at fashion month has worked to remind people how much they value revelling in the art of accessorising, and in excess. We’ve run down 14 of the greatest accessory moments from the last month, fresh off the catwalk.
The platform croc is back, and more gothic than ever. Balenciaga’s first round of crocs got people talking, and appeared in conjunction with the resurgence of crocs in the mainstream. If you liked those, you’re in luck. The collaboration returned in Paris for Balenciaga’s red-carpet SS22 presentation, and this time they’re much taller, thicker, and tougher.
Aptly, the new silhouette are called ‘hard crocs’, and they are a scene-kid’s dream: all black with a silver metal logo-plate and studding. They’ve seen their smaller, pastel-coloured counterparts on ASOS, and they’re here to push them back out.
RICK OWENS GLOVES
Rick Owens returned to Paris this month after a three-year hiatus, showing an energised collection that had his usual tropes of darkness, but offset with some lighter (in both material and colour) pieces. Involved in the varied and celebratory collection were pairs of oversized, dark gloves.
Whilst their luxury-context and thick material suggested they were leather, their larger-than-life size and volume had many online drawing comparisons to washing-up gloves, but make it fashion.
HELIOT EMIL BAGS
Copenhagen-based brand Heliot Emil delivered a strong collection of monochromatic, constructed tailoring pieces for their SS22 collection this month. However, the accessories were the star of the collection, featuring metal hardware carabiners alongside leather and metal box bags, coming in crossbody and clutch styles.
SAINT LAURENT CLUTCH BAGS
Inspired by a historical muse and one of Yves Saint Laurent‘s confidants Paloma Picasso, this collection delivered classic Saint Laurent French glamour. Jewellery was oversized and in excess, paired with rouge lips and quilted clutch bags tucked into the models’ waistbands, à la Paloma Picasso herself.
FENDACE LOGO NECKLACE
Arguably the most-hyped and surprising collaboration of fashion month, Donatella designed for Fendi and Kim Jones for Versace: enter Fendace. The collection garnered as much hate as it did love, with critics citing its ‘logo-mania’ as a thinly veiled commercial operation. However, it also produced some strong accessories, one of which being this Fendi-logo gold choker.
CHET LO BAGS
Known for its role in proffering the very best emerging talent, London Fashion Week saw talent incubator Fashion East show this year’s brightest talent to a star-studded audience. Part of the roster, Chet-Lo delivered alien-esque, popcorn bags. From tiny to XXL, these neon constructions breathed new life into the accessories scene.
CHET LO SWIMMING ACCESSORIES
Lo’s accessories made such a statement that we had to include some of the others, too. Lo’s collection also drew inspiration from holidays and swimming: sending swimsuits, floats, swimming caps and rubber rings down the runway, all given the signature Lo high-fashion treatment.
PRADA ARM CUFFS
Prada delivered rigid tailoring and classic silhouettes for their showing at Milan Fashion Week, along with an array of caped jackets that floated down the runway. Contrasting with the dark colour of the garments, Prada showcased some satin pastel arm cuffs, as well as some buckled arm cuffs, both styles worn on the bicep.
RAF SIMONS SKELETON CUFFS
Carried through from his previous season, Raf Simons SS22 also featured arm cuffs. These were in the form of silver skeletal hands, clutching on to the models’ upper arms. Whilst being on-brand for the upcoming Halloween season, these also worked to cinch in the billowing, a-line silhouettes that dominated Simons’ collection. Function and style.
ACNE STUDIOS PLATFORMS
Interested in how to target Gen-Z customers and their devotion to fashion, Acne’s creative director Jonny Johansson presented leather platform shoes on the runway in Paris for SS22.
Leaning into, and going beyond the ‘chunky shoe’ trend, these shoes prioritise style but aren’t as paralysing as the stiletto heels normally found on high-fashion catwalks.
Givenchy accessories this year were plentiful, but also controversial. However, aside from the ‘noose necklaces’, they gave us a new boot silhouette at Paris Fashion Week. Going well above the knee, these boots are skin-tight and platformed, with a rounded toe and middle split-seam.
With each look came a different style: coming in vibrant green suede, lilac ‘leather’ and classic matte black to name a few. Other boot-based highlights included a white ankle boot with silver zip detailing, and all are unisex.
Making a statement on the catwalk at Paris Fashion Week was the pumpkin / basketball bag, clutched by a silver chain and emitting debatabley threatening energy. Designed by both Matthew M. Williams and New York based artist Josh Smith as part of their collaborative collection, the bag signalled the start of the halloween season, and reportedly took over 20 artisans to complete.
We did say Givenchy delivered with their accessories this season. In a separate collaboration with Brooklyn-based artist Shin Murayama, the French fashion house has also released a series of bespoke masks for SS22. These tip the threatening energy scale slightly further, coming in two colourways.
Murayama formed actual basketballs into wearable headgear and masks, hand stitching them with leather ‘thread’ to reinforce the halloweenish mouths. These were sealed with glistening Givenchy zippers, elevating the masks into high-fashion.
LOUIS VUITTON SUNGLASSES
Closing both Paris Fashion Week and the entirety of fashion month, Louis Vuitton constructed a ball in The Louvre for their SS22 collection. Despite being crashed by Extinction Rebellion protestors, the runway was filled with a slew of jewelled, glistening accessories, including these sunglasses.