Review of Alexandre Vauthier Spring 2022 Couture Fashion Show
Heroines of the New Jazz Age
By Mark Wittmer
Appropriately timed for hopeful looks to post-pandemic life and a new roaring 20’s, Alexandre Vauthier‘s Spring 2022 collection welcomes a return to the glamor, chaos, and fun of café society nightlife.
In shaping the silhouettes and ornamentation of the collection, Vauthier looked to the années folles, an apt theme that saw the designer soften his dresses a bit without losing his signature edge. Many of Vauthier’s dresses channel the trendy cuts of 1920’s Paris, kept straight and close to the body through the torso before allowing themselves to gently billow out just after the hip, sometimes falling into graceful layers or a feathery mermaid tail.
He draws on the era’s art-deco and cabaret aesthetics as well, creating intricate geometric patterns through the construction and material of the pieces themselves – a testament to couture’s close relationship with master ateliers – while also managing to weave in a modern sense of blinged out extravagance.
Vauthier’s commitment to treat tailoring and the suit as part of his couture collections with the same care as gowns has always been impressive, and the suits are a highlight of this collection. Their strong, exaggerated shoulders stand in intriguing contrast to the fluid lines of the dresses, while the cinched waists and exaggerated hips round out an hourglass figure, balancing delicacy and dignified strength – a character to which their wide lapels and execution in fine velvet also contributes.
Other looks are less easy to place within the theme of reworked historical reference, but still contribute to its and the collection’s overall spirit of decadence, sly drama, and sexiness: the bodycon dresses, the catsuit with cape, the bouncy feathered constructions.
While rife with subtle and luxurious details and material and construction, the collection is not exactly subtle in its visual impact and conceptual personality – but that’s more than ok. Vaulthier has provided an elite wardrobe for the heroines of a new sort of jazz age, recasting one century later an era’s values of liberation and expression without shying away from its hints of danger.