Winter 2022 trends on the runway!

Winter 2022 Trend Report

By Emma Francois

Writer's Note

This winter, designers took inspiration from the textures of the season: from the soft creams of latte foam, to the bright, sticky rouge of poinsettias—all embodying the lovely balancing acts, so familiar to us dancers, of grit and grace.

Crème Chantilly

Frothy, sumptuous, and delicate, this season’s couture white is anything but minimal. Ballooning, sparkle-encrusted netting added a rocker’s edge to an otherwise timelessly elegant off-white gown. And striking a frillier, more textured look, frosty feathered accents along the neckline added a dynamic twist to a champagne shift. These looks, from designer Rami Al Ali, set the scene for the design house’s winter collection; cleansing the palette in between the collection’s various neon lavender-and-marigold confections.

Off the runway and into the wild, Emma Watson took this trend for a whirl in a romantic snowy- white Alexander McQueen gown; delicate cutouts gave the intricate vines and flowers a sense of architecture. And equally glam, Maude Apatow stunned in an asymmetrical Vivienne Westwood confection that managed to perfectly encapsulate the effervescent shade of mother-of-pearl.

On the dance floor, look for waltz dresses in shades of white from salt to lily. From there, keep it neutral with a nude shoe and makeup, or rock a pop of color via a jewel toned headpiece or eye shadow.

On the Runway

Princess Punk

Tales as old as time seem to only get sweeter with age as artists—from performers to novelists— revisit and reinvent the whimsical—and sometimes dangerous!—escapes and love affairs of fairy tales. For its winter couture collection, storied Italian design house Valentino excavated its own mythic beginnings and debuted a zany collection, as colorful as it was regal—but all with an unexpected, punkish twist. One splendid example: the draping, noir, empire-waist slip with three-dimensional black feathers (or flowers, depending on how you read the shadows and your pension for abstraction) framing the face like a Dutch collar nouveau.

Delivering a master class in princess punk, actress and model Anna Diop wowed in a raven- colored Carolina Herrera gown, animated by a bubble gum pink satin peeking out from the hem. Meanwhile, Beyoncé sported a similar color way in a skin-hugging Gucci number with a strapless princess neckline and—the kicker—raspberry pink gloves.

This trend translated fabulously in the vast and wonderful world of ballroom dresses. Look for dance dresses with black lace accents and hot pink ribbons, and don’t shy away from a smoky eye or ruby-red lip.

On the Runway

Wild Gardenia

In a word, designer Rahul Mishra’s winter couture collection was divine. It was also gilded and sensual, teetering with the essence of life. In one favorite look, fabric seems to collect and bloom from the shoulders, as if the bodice were the center of a lower, holding all the other pleats and petals of this beautiful object together. Strewn along the billowing fabric, flowers in magical shades of rose and tangerine catch the light, seemingly bringing the dress to life. In another unforgettable ensemble, gold leaf flakes entwine the body like layered lichen. The dress is best described as jewelry.

For another lovely example of this subtly glamorous winter floral, Ana de Armas attended a premier in a mice-hued Louis Vuitton halter gown, so realistic and textured it bore all the naturalistic beauty of artful fish scales, or shell rims, or wild daisy chains. And on the subject of old Hollywood glamor, Jodie Turner-Smith oozed earthy elegance in a long-sleeved emerald dress, complete with diamond floral accents and lapis feather accoutrements.

Oh, how we love a flowery ballroom dress! There is something eternally and undeniable romantic and beautiful about a dress covered in embroidered—or—sequined!—vines and florals, perhaps even with a feathery twist or two. Start with these natural and nature-filled dance dresses for inspiration and see where the wind twirls you.

On the Runway