From quintessential French chic to gothic experimentalism.
In recent years, New York has stood out as the fashion capital that offers emerging designers a major platform, but after this season, it’s become clear that Paris has its own share of new talent to display. The Paris Fashion Week that just wrapped put an unusual focus on young designers, with many new names added to the official calendar. In between shows from the major brands, we were able to see everything from upcycled beadwork to presentations that verged on performance art. Here, seven of our favorite emerging designers from the fall 2022 collections.
Kevin Germanier may have launched his namesake label in only 2018, but it’s already been worn by stars like Lady Gaga, Kristen Stewart, and Björk. His work is recognizable, that’s for sure: Flashes of intricate, colorful beading line the surface of corsets and miniskirts. The designer sources his beads as leftovers from other design houses and upcycles them into his creations.
For fall 2022, the label hosted its first-ever runway show at the Cristal Room Baccarat, the Paris flagship of the two-centuries-old glassworks company—a perfect fit for the label’s aesthetic. Along with more over-the-top pieces, he also presented sequined dresses, tailored skirts, and feathered tops.
In a season where body diversity took a back seat, Ester Manas’s creations stood out. Models of all sizes walked the runway in colorful ruched dresses, skirts and sets with cutouts, and opera gloves.
The label is helmed by Ester Manas and her business partner, Balthazar Delepierre, both of whom studied at La Cambre in Brussels, Belgium, with Manas gaining experience working for Balenciaga, Paco Rabanne, and Acne Studios before launching the brand. Many of their pieces are designed to be one-size-fits-all, meaning they accommodate European sizes 34 to 50 (roughly American XS through 3XL).
It was definitively the most size-inclusive show in Paris, and the brand is currently working to expand sizes even more for future collections.
Victor Weinsanto made some of the most fun clothing seen at Paris Fashion Week. Think: colorful bodysuits, little black dresses with wild headpieces, and sculptural hats that merged the surreal with couture skill. It’s no wonder that Weinsanto is now under the Dover Street Market Paris umbrella, and also nominated for the LVMH Prize.
This season’s collection theme was Murder in Paris, and a cast of characters including dancers and friends of the designer walked in the show, with Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu (Sylvie from Emily in Paris) closing the show in a matching hat and dress.
Pressiat distills gothic glamour into a mix of over-the-top silhouettes that often reference Victorian style. Founded by Vincent Garnier Pressiat, who runs in the same circles as offbeat fashion icon Michèle Lamy, the label is now in its third season and just keeps getting better.
The fall 2022 show featured body-positive artist Michaela Stark. Other models wore dresses that trailed real hair down the runway, larger-than-life faux-fur hats, shield-like glasses, and trompe l’oeil body dresses. It all felt very early 2000s-meets-John Galliano for Dior, only looking forward to the future.
Founded by Joey Gollish, the Canadian brand Mr. Saturday showed digitally at Paris Fashion Week this season with a focus on vintage-inspired fabrics, oversized silhouettes, and tailoring with an edge. The androgynous collection was full of streetwear-forward staples for all genders. Gollish took inspiration from Kraftwerk, the German electronic band.
This brand is one to watch for outerwear—you need only look to the extreme padded leather moto jackets, checkerboard Sherpa coats, and cognac leather trench coats to see that. On the womenswear side, unusual shapes took form, such as structured evening hoods, crinkled sleeves, and plush leather bombers paired with floor-length maxi dresses.
Even if the name MaisonCléo doesn’t ring a bell, you’ve likely seen the label’s pieces on your favorite influencers. The slow-fashion brand does weekly drops of things like little tie tops with sweet collars, frilly summer dresses, and knitwear, all of which feel intrinsically French. Marie Dewet founded MaisonCléo with her mother, and they work together with a small team of seamstresses.
For fall 2022, the designer held her first-ever runway show in Paris, composed of sheer dresses, chunky knitwear, and beach-ready dresses all handmade and ready to purchase on the website immediately following the show.
Born in Lagos, Kenneth Ize is reinterpreting traditional West African fabrics through a high-fashion lens. The designer has gained momentum and a small cult following for his work—and it doesn’t hurt that Naomi Campbell has walked his show in previous seasons.
Watch Ize for his structured, colorful suits, which have become his signature. This season, the designer also started to experiment with other silhouettes and techniques, from knitwear to denim short-shorts and oversized, dark outerwear.