Paris Fashion Week F/W ‘22 has already debuted multiple forms of armor-inspired fashion with shows like Paco Rabanne, Dior, and Rochas all piling on tough, protective accents. But this season’s Parisian propensity for gritty accessories felt most intriguing when it came to the jewelry. No, not the Sacai x Cartier collaboration (although those looks were good enough to throw caution to the wind and drop your next paycheck on a bracelet or two) — it was the decidedly more punk rock addition of facial piercings at Balmain and Givenchy that piqued my interest.
As someone who has had her nose pierced for over a decade — first as a nostril hoop and now with a septum chain — I’m always pleased to see a high fashion iteration walk down the runways in New York, London, Milan, or Paris. And with the current ‘90s obsession gripping many of the beauty and fashion choices during the Fall/Winter 2022 season, I’m not surprised to see (faux) piercings like the chunky lip ring at Balmain. The Givenchy show felt slightly more alternative and tough, with double Monroe piercings (that’s the spot right above your upper lip, where Marilyn’s beauty mark was located) or forehead dermals (also called a single point piercing, which has a flat back just below the skin).
This wasn’t the first time facial piercings have show up on the runways at fashion month, however. Designer’s have often turned to more extreme accessories to pair with a new season’s collection, for both men and women. Rodarte famously sent hardware heavy eyebrows down the runway at its fall 2015 show, and to be honest, only Kate and Laura Mulleavy could manage to make 20 silver brow rings feel so utterly high fashion.
At the Alexander McQueen men’s Fall 2016 show, Creative Director Sarah Burton paired the Victorian and military steampunk-inspired collection with a rather extreme-looking safety pin cheek piercing connected to a chandelier earring. Although a bit shocking, the look felt especially British since the punk scene originated in London during the 1970s before trickling to the rest of Europe and the US.
For Area — a New York brand that rarely shies away from embellishments of any kind — the Spring 2020 show proved that the ever popular nose piercing looks particularly stylish when it’s decorated with an array of rhinestones or pearls (bonus points if you match it to your jacket).
And although the most recent Givenchy collection has made a strong case for booking an appointment with your favorite piercer, the Fall 2015 show with its gemstone cheek and chin piercings and ornate nose jewelry still stands as the brand’s most elaborate display of facial decoration.
So while I will be shocked if the Fall/Winter 2022 season convinces the average fashion fan to try out an eyebrow or septum ring piercing, I am expecting a grittier type of jewelry will be trending for the upcoming season, like stainless steel chains and chunky silver rings. But by all means, if you want to test the waters with a new piercing, I’d suggest starting slow with a minimalist nose ring and leave the forehead dermals for another day.