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SHOWtime: Haute Couture A/W 22

published on 13 July 2022

What happened when SHOWstudio invited a selection of panellists to an abrasively-honest debate-style panel?

In a discussion moderated by SHOWstudio's fashion critic M-C Hill, guests Calum Knight, Alexandra Hildreth, Ryan Yip and returning panellist Sarah Nicole François touch on a selection of wide-ranging arguments rooted in the most recent haute couture shows. Was Olivier Rousteing's Jean Paul Gaultier couture debut more than a sell-out-worthy fantasy? Or was it just a make-shift dream made awkwardly real by the safety-pinned garments, expertly spotted by critic Calum Knight in SHOWstudio's most recent review? Watch the debates below to find out who thinks what.

What happened when SHOWstudio invited a selection of panellists to an abrasively-honest debate-style panel?

'Who is couture really for?' - Calum Knight

After his explosive TikTok review, Knight made his debut appearance in the very series he conceived to set the record straight about what he really thought of this season's couture shows. Asking rhetorical questions in his opening monologue pertaining to why he — and other critics — were even invited to the couture shows, Knight boldly asked 'does anyone even care anymore?' Well, Knight may not but his opposing panellists do, and they don't hold back.

‘Viktor & Rolf has often taken a uniquely playful approach to couture that until recently has been ahead of its time’ - Alexandra Hildreth

Self-proclaimed Viktor & Rolf fan Alexandra Hildreth wasn't impressed with the Dutch duo's A/W 22 fashion parade, dismissing it as a 'disappointing extension of the anxiety that was felt and personified in their S/S 22 collection.' However, Knight — on the whole — refuses to take the designers seriously, explaining that there's little point in critiquing their couture when 'we all know that's not the purpose of the business', referencing the pair's iconic and much-loved Flowerbomb perfume. Who did the other panellists side with?

‘Couture shows are getting less bold and perhaps it’s to keep up with the fast-changing industry’ - Ryan Yip

With his argument beginning with moderator Hill asking Yip why he hates couture so much, the young TikTok star spends the majority of his two-minute introduction defending the industry. However, this seems to clash with his real thoughts that tend to side with the idea that the industry's couture shows of late just don't create as much of a spectacle as they once did (or, should do) — using the simplicity executed in Kim Jones's Fendi A/W 22 couture show as a prime example. So, what did Fendi couture fans Alexandra Hildreth and Calum Knight think? Regardless, at least Sarah Nicole François was on Yip's side.

Unlike Knight, François was a loud and proud devout lover of Olivier Rousteing's Jean Paul Gaultier couture. Admitting that she wasn't a FROWer at the show this season, she doesn't think she needed to be — siding with the idea that the show was the most interesting and intriguing offering courtesy of this season's A/W 22 couture designs. 'I'm willing to die on this hill' François admits to the other panellists. Does she manage to sway Knight's hard-lined opinion? Who knows, only the play button will reveal all; you know what to do.

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