Physical fashion shows were back with a bang across New York, London, Milan and Paris. Here, we present the best runway sets and venues that stole the show for S/S 2022, from Saint Laurent’s womenswear spectacular under the sparkling lights of the Eiffel Tower, to Prada’s cross-continent and time-zone spanning set up. 

Best runway sets, S/S 2022 womenswear

Dior

Best runway sets S/S 2022 womenswear shows Dior
Photography: Adrien Dirand

Adding to the roster of female artists she collaborates with, womenswear artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri teamed up with octogenarian Italian artist Anna Paparatti on a board game-inspired show set. At the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, a runway was formed from a circle of colourful flooring panels set at various levels, and a backdrop boasted artworks resembling dartboards and roulette wheels, recalling Paparatti’s 1960s artworks, which alluded to the absurdities of life.

Givenchy

Best runway sets S/S 2022 womenswear shows Givenchy

For his first physical runway show for Givenchy, Matthew M Williams took guests to the Paris La Défense Arena, the largest indoor performance venue in Europe, on the outskirts of the French capital, with a stark, art gallery-inspired show set. Here, Williams bathed his guests in the glow of a cinematic sun, by suspending a monumental oculus from the ceiling of the vast space.

Valentino

Best runway sets S/S 2022 womenswear shows Valentino

Celebrating the café culture of Paris, so enjoyed by many guests for the first time in 18 months, Valentino installed rows of wicker dining seating at its Carreau du Temple venue, alongside a vibrant flower stall. The Roman house’s show also spilled inclusively onto the streets outside the expansive indoor location, where models strutted and posed in front of diners and drinkers, seated at the city’s inviting bistros.

Prada
Best runway sets S/S 2022 womenswear shows Prada

Talk about a time zone-spanning, continent-crossing runway show. As guests in Milan installed themselves into Prada’s regular Deposito venue at the Fondazione Prada, a location lined with geometric blocks of seating, so another audience was getting comfy at Shanghai’s Bund One. The two shows began simultaneously, and were live-streamed onto screens at both locations, with guests taking in models, in physical or digital form, sporting satin dresses and slouchy leather outerwear that riffed on notions of sexy.

Saint Laurent

Best runway sets S/S 2022 womenswear shows Saint Laurent
After show films set on sprawling sand dunes and icy glaciers, Saint Laurent returned to its signature Trocadéro location in Paris, illuminated by the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower. Here, models walked across a vast runway in lean and seductive silhouettes inspired by Paloma Picasso, lit up by an industrial wall of spotlights. At the show’s finale, a waterfall flooded the catwalk, a stunning feat of nature slap bang in the middle of the city.

Moncler MONDOGENIUS

Best runway sets S/S 2022 womenswear shows Moncler MondogeniusThe label staged its latest Moncler Genius collections as part of an immersive phygital live-streamed event spanning five cities: Milan, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul and New York. In Milan, guests watched from a film studio location, as host Alicia Keys appeared IRL, interacting with Shanghai host Victoria Song via a huge screen, and presenting 11 collection films, which were showcased one by one. 

Loewe

Best runway sets S/S 2022 womenswear shows Loewe

Stripping back Loewe’s new show space at Paris’ La Garde Républicaine of ‘bits and bobs’, creative director Jonathan Anderson wanted his S/S 2022 Loewe venue to resemble a ‘blank piece of paper’. This concept allowed the silhouettes in the collection to take centre stage. Here, they entered the stark, pine-swathed show venue from a trapdoor in the ground, a twist on how the viewer usually takes in forms from the feet up.

Hermès

Best runway sets S/S 2022 womenswear shows Hermes

Image courtesy: villa eugénie 

No one cemented the sense of escape served up on the S/S 2022 catwalks more than Hermès, which had a private plane land on the tarmac of its Le Bourget airport show location, an hour from Paris. Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski also worked with French artist Flora Moscovici, who created a series of 6m-high abstract panoramas, drenched in sunset tones, which moved as models navigated a circular show space, sporting easy but infinitely luxurious summer silhouettes.

Rejina Pyo

Best runway sets S/S 2022 womenswear shows Rejina Pyo

The London-based designer made a medal-worthy splash for her S/S 2022 womenswear show, transporting guests to the Zaha Hadid-designed London Aquatics Centre in Stratford. Here, the audience lined the Olympic venue’s swimming pool and at the show’s social media-flooded finale, members of the Team GB divers made dramatic twists and turns into the water below.

Miu Miu

Best runway sets S/S 2022 womenswear shows Miu Miu

For guests keen to get back to the boardroom, Miu Miu served up an office-inspired show set where swivelling Eames office chairs lined a snaking runway at regular show location Palais d’Iéna in Paris. The catwalk was neighboured by oculus-shaped screens, which featured two comedic films by Moroccan artist Meriem Bennani that were also debuted as part of the brand’s accompanying live stream on social media. 

Jil Sander

+J Uniqlo collection black anorak

Photography: Thomas Mailaender

In Milan, Jil Sander bathed guests in a monochromatic lilac haze, in an all-purple show set swathing circular stools, the walls and ceiling. The set design offered a tranquil, almost sophorific setting, for creative director’s Lucie and Luke Meier to present a womenswear offering reveling in tactile fabrications, archictectural volumes and bold patterns, from tiger print coats to fluid deck chair stripe dresses, crochet polo shirts to androgynous tailoring. 

Coperni

+J Uniqlo collection black anorak

Photography: Aveuglance

Coperni founders Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant emphasised escapism for S/S 2022, which a collection that revelled in beach-ready silhouettes, suited for sun drenched shores in Ibiza or Greece. To amp up that out-of-office spirit, the brand swathed its runway with sand, lining the entrance to its catwalk space in Paris with 70,000 tall hemp trees, casting a heady scent around guests sat amongst the verdant shrubbery. §