Fashion Season Moments That Made Us Go ‘Ahhh’

The Simpsons, egg-shaped heels, and a hair flip to the gods.

Photo: Balenciaga
Photo: Balenciaga

After a month of spring 2022 fashion shows in New York City, London, Milan and Paris, many that were IRL for the first time since the pandemic, things can start to feel like a blur. However, there were some moments that stood out and made us excited for the spring. Right this way …

Balenciaga + The Simpsons

Hands down, my favorite experience this season, in many seasons. I loved that guests, including moi, did not know until they entered the theater that they were actually part of the red-carpet parade, which was being livestreamed on a giant screen inside. Indeed, it was tough to tell who was a guest and who was a celebrity. But I guess that was Demna Gvasalia’s plan. The production was done so effortlessly, with a rare comic lightness, and then we watched Marge and Homer Simpson, and the rest of Springfield, strut the Balenciaga runway in a film that demonstrated again how starstruck fashion makes people. —Cathy Horyn

Matthew Schneier agreed: The Divine to Isabelle Huppert to Lisa Simpson pipeline! (Also, Smithers finally gets his ball-gown moment.)

“Oddly Satisfying” Heels

Loewe heels. Photo: Peter White/Getty Images

There were plenty of sexy-looking clothes on the runway this season: low-rise micro-miniskirts at Miu Miu, sleek bodysuits at Saint Laurent, Madonna-style cone bras at Schiaparelli … But if you looked closely, there was a lot of footwear to fetishize as well. Dries Van Noten and J.W. Anderson both showed slippery, squishy heels. Balenciaga’s knee-high leather boots made me want to run to a store and try them on, just so I could experience the ASMR of zipping them up. The shoes that got everyone’s attention, though, were the surrealist pumps at Loewe. At first glance, I could hardly believe my eyes. Could you actually walk on birthday candles and cracked eggs? Wouldn’t you slip on a bar of soap?? The whole collection was a bit of a gag, or “oddly satisfying,” to steal a phrase from Instagram’s Explore page. Whether or not you found it to be a gimmick or a stroke of genius, it’s hard not to want to collect these shoes purely as objects to admire. —Emilia Petrarca

A Veteran Designer Shines

A Victor Glemaud look. Photo: Shannon Finney/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows

Fashion has a nasty habit of anointing a flavor of the month, who often ends up becoming a flash in the pan when the collective attention shifts to the next hot young thing. So it was particularly cheerful to see Victor Glemaud, a veteran designer with many lives in fashion, stage his first full runway show during New York Fashion Week. And cheerful really is the word. When many designers go moody or self-serious to telegraph sophistication, Glemaud insists on joy. His knitwear is fun, sexy, bright, and buoyant. The disco soundtrack didn’t hurt, either. —Matthew Schneier

Raves for Raf

A Raf Simons look. Photo: Peter White/Getty Images

It was a big season for Raf, with raves in Milan for his and Miuccia Prada’s collection for Prada and then a subtle but powerful show in Paris for his own Antwerp-based label. He was one of the few designers who attempted to reinterpret the tailored suit (in his case, with a skirt). He did other things in this mostly unisex collection, but the suits were the news, with a somewhat relaxed fit for the jackets and pleated skirts that grazed the knees. Straight-on runway images don’t do the look justice, though. You have to see it in profile to catch that the silhouette is fresh and cool. —Cathy Horyn

A Hair Flip With a Story to Tell

Vivienne Rohner at Chanel. Photo: Laurent VU/SIPA/Shutterstock

I watched the Chanel show waiting for Swiss model Vivienne Rohner to emerge so I could look at her hair. It’s all about the flip for me — she has a little section of hair on the left side of her face that flips out (different than the rest of hair, which flips in), and it bounced along as she walked the runway. It felt like the flip had a story to tell. What is it? Why is it there? Where did it come from? And I want it in my own hair. —Kathleen Hou

Socratic Irony

Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood. Photo: Kristy Sparow/WireImage

Emerging from the other side of the pandemic, both in life and in fashion, there’s no doubt that we’re feeling different, reflective, in more ways than one. A year spent at home meant looking deeply into our past. Just how deeply? For Andreas Kronthaler, it was revisiting some of his childhood treasures, including this toy Socrates doll and his own baby blanket that swaddles it. Sitting atop the head of supermodel Lindsey Wixson, we are tickled by this very true-to-self display of childhood nostalgia. —Vivian Chuang

A Tribute Done Right

Christopher John Rogers for AZ Factory. Photo: Kristy Sparow/Getty Images

Shows after a designer passes away always feel like a celebration of life while also being a bit sad, but Alber Elbaz’s AZ Factory, tapping 45 houses and designers to participate in its show, was an exciting way to recognize how Alber inspired the industry. I particularly loved Christopher John Rogers’s rainbow silk gown adorned with a chartreuse train. The bold colors on a silk canvas felt like pure happiness. It was a tribute done right. —Asia Milia Ware

A Styling Tip

Photo: Peter White/Getty Images

Is wearing a coat backward … chic? Celine Dion posed the question in 1999, on the Oscars red carpet, when she wore a white Galliano tuxedo jacket backward — a particularly polarizing moment back then (but perhaps would be virally celebrated now). More recently, the Cut argued that the best way to wear a cardigan is backward, which widely sparked debate. The styling choice can actually look good, and I’d argue that it visibly shows that you’re adventurous and don’t take yourself too seriously. Plus, it practically doubles your wardrobe, since there’s a new way to wear it all. Jonathan Anderson revived the debate and settled the score. Wearing a coat backward is, indeed, very chic. At least when you’re wearing Loewe. —Andrew Nguyen

A Tuxedo We Want

A look from Bianca Saunders. Photo: Courtesy of Bianca Saunders

Bianca Saunders’s spring collection is the menswear collection that I would want to wear then pass on to my boyfriend, if I had one. The collection was described as “unselfconscious style of summers before digital photography” in the collection notes. The notes also includes a quote from Saunders about looking through old photos of her family and becoming inspired by the mix of casual and tailored styles. Whenever I go through my dad’s Polaroids from the ’80s, the fashion just seems so easy. From the tailoring, colors, and matching sets, each look is like uniform or dress code that’s easy to follow. The dark denim jacket and flared jeans set is my favorite look. Denim on denim is spicy and it definitely has inspired me to bring that combo back into my fall wardrobe. —Devine Blacksher

Fashion Season Moments That Made Us Go ‘Ahhh’