“Everyone was talking about Ukraine,” Dazed’s roving fashion month photographer, Yu Fujiwara, said of his time documenting the AW22 season in Paris. “Two years ago, fashion was asked how it should respond to COVID and it was asked the same question again with the war in Ukraine.” As protests began to swell outside show venues, clothing became a site to telegraph solidarity with the Ukrainian people, with attendees ribboning blue and yellow flags into their ponytails, while others dressed in the closest equivalent shades, hashtagging #ukraine to their Instagram posts.
Some of this felt performative – obviously – but is that not endemic to street style? People dress and behave differently when they know they’re being observed and that gets turbocharged with the prospect of one's image being blasted across glossy social media accounts. Sometimes, getting dressed to attend a fashion show is as much a production as the runway itself and so street style photography plays a central role in the mythologising fashion week – and the industry as a whole.
According to Fujiwara, there was a mood shift this season, powered by dense crowds of young people who had DIY’d their looks. “It reminded me of Japanese FRUiTS,” he said. “I didn’t see this happening much before COVID, when people seemed to be more into materialistic brand pieces. So many fashion-loving kids were outside every venue and each day was different. You really start to see the difference between influencers in borrowed clothes and these kids customising whatever they could find.”
Click through the gallery above to see the rest of Fujiawara’s snaps from the AW22 edition of Paris Fashion Week.