Everyone always talks about the importance of accessories. There’s the ‘more is more’ philosophy that impels us to layer on as many outrageous handbags, jewels and headpieces as we can muster, whilst by contrast we have the age old Coco Chanel quote that sternly tells us: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” 2022 was the year that very much ignored the latter.
Experimental headgear, vegetable-adorned purses and Gucci-fied gremlins were spotted everywhere on the runway last year. Join us as we count down some of the most outlandish accessories from the past fashion year.
BALENCIAGA GOT TRASHED
One Demna’s trash was another model’s treasure at Balenciaga’s infamous Fall/Winter 2022-2023 show, which featured blizzard-battling models on an apocalyptic runway. In the creative director’s own words, he expressed to WWD that he couldn’t possibly miss the opportunity to design “the most expensive trash bag in the world, because who doesn’t love a fashion scandal?” Who indeed.
JW ANDERSON’S BIRDS OF RUNWAY
JW Anderson entered the viral-sphere with the introduction of a pigeon-shaped accessory at their Mens F/W 2022 show. The bag hit retail shelves with an $890 price tag and was even modelled IRL (kind of) by the likes of Carrie Bradshaw in the ‘And Just Like That…’ Sex and the City reboot. Jonathan Anderson had intended for the bag to bring us all a little cheer in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, telling BAZAAR that ”pigeons are so inherently unglamorous, it’s funny to turn it into a functional object like a clutch bag.”
PUNKS & PING PONG PADDLES AT THOM BROWNE
New York Fashion Week was treated to punk and ping-pong at Thom Browne’s Spring 2023 collection, as tweed-bedecked models sauntered down the runway holding number-stamped paddles. Alongside product-defying spiked hairstyles, their faces were covered by dangling, anchor shaped headpieces to match each look.
LUMIÈRE-CHIC AT MOSCHINO
Moschino’s Fall 2022 Ready-to-Wear collection was a sight to behold. When models weren’t casually popping down the runway in surrealist ensembles in the shape of clocks, harps and headboards, candle-shaped headpieces balanced precariously on top of their heads in gloriously garish fashion.
PUMA STACKED ‘EM UP
Following the launch of their first-ever Metaverse experience alongside their IRL show, Puma’s novel take on activewear shone through during their SS23 collection. Featuring giant-puma shaped plushy headgear and perilously stacked multicolour caps on top of one model’s head, the sportswear giant took accessorising to dizzying new heights.
DOLLHOUSE DREAMS AT LOUIS VUITTON
Amongst a sea of giant monogrammed pochettes, one bag at Louis Vuitton’s SS23 runway show stood out. Painstakingly built in the exact image of a doll’s house (albeit, with a handle) their home-shaped handbag came complete with a tiny chimney and minuscule portes-fenêtres (window doors, basically). Adorable, though definitely not for children.
COPERNI CAUGHT YOU PEEPING
It was so blasé you could have missed it – but when a model at Coperni strolled down the catwalk with a small, narrow black bag, we couldn’t help but notice the glint of an iPhone camera back. Essentially acting as a phone case with a handle, Coperni’s tech-friendly accessory was an understated yet well appreciated addition to their SS23 runway.
COLLINA STRADA WENT VEGGIE
Vegetables are good for you (or so Collina Strada is telling us). Allotment-green, floor length two-pieces were accompanied by broccoli-adorned clutches at her SS23 show. The vegetable-accompanied accessories were hooked solidly onto feathery handles, reminiscent of the designer’s previous broccoli-inspired collections.
GUCCI GREMLIN MODE > GOBLIN MODE
‘Going Goblin mode’ was the weirdest (yet most amusing) neologism of 2022, but we personally prefer Gucci’s version – Gremlin mode. Their SS23 Milan Fashion Week show revealed an unexpected collab with the tiny, fuzzy mogwai creatures, featuring Gizmos peeping out of bags and in various states of disarray as they were clutched by models stomping down the runway.
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See also: GOODBYE, 2022: WE’RE LEAVING THESE TRENDS WITH YOU