Few years in fashion have been quite so defined by collective societal experience as 2020 and 2021 and the pandemic continues to be the defining influence on our style. However, as we look to 2022, with hope on the horizon, we’re entering a new phase.
Fashion experts are predicting that our dressing habits next year will be dictated by the bittersweet emotion that is lingering in the air. Fashion stylist Rebekah Roy tells Euronews we’ll be both looking back and looking forward: “For 2022 we are feeling nostalgia for better times ahead,” she says.
Trend forecaster and designer Tiffany Hill agrees: “It’s been a challenging year and in terms of attitudes, we will want to seek comfort, healing and restoration. We want to feel good again.”
What exactly will that look like? These are the 2022 trends to know.
The need to cocoon ourselves through difficult times will present itself in textures inspired by nature. From soft fabrics that bring us closer to the raw fibres to patterned surfaces that reflect those found in the natural world, we’ll be seeking solace in the feel of our clothes.
Hill says: “We’ll see texture in the form of waffles and towelling; things to envelope and comfort us.”
The trend experts at Première Vision, one of the fashion industry’s biggest textile sourcing events, highlighted this as one of their biggest trends for autumn/winter 22 across sportswear, quilted jackets and puffer coats.
Colour me happy
On the other end of the spectrum, we’ll be celebrating newfound freedom with bold colours across the spectrum.
Roy says: “22/23 is a colourful season. We are still wearing yellow as we are seeking happiness and comfort from brands and winter florals in orangey shades. It’s easy and fun to play with bold clashing colours; think of limes and mauves, and wearing monochromatic statement looks.”
Head-to-toe sunshine yellow was spotted on the spring/summer 22 catwalks of Prada and Proenza Schouler. Fiery red dresses made a statement at the British Fashion Awards, one of the last red carpet events of 2021, making it likely to trickle down into the mainstream. Maya Jama, model Kristen McMenamy and designer Molly Goddard were all spotted in the bold shade to warm up the winter event.
Hill adds: “People want to dress up and be more individual and so we’ll see more colour and vibrancy and more confident dressing.”
An eye for detail
Many of us are still not quite ready to let go of our loungewear and minimalist chic but we will look to invest in higher quality versions of those pieces.
Hill says it’s all about the finishing touches: “We’ll see more details such as hardware, contrasting trims, sophisticated branding. It will be core pieces but in more luxe, elevated fabrics. The shapes won’t change much but it will be those little details that add value to a product,” she explains.
“Sustainability is key in a lot of minds so we’ll be looking for longevity and quality over quantity. Design will be more considered,” Hill adds.
Look to premium brands who do simple style made well like Cos, or hip sustainability-focused labels like Pangaia, Nudie Jeans and Asket who make wardrobe staples designed to last.
At one with nature
Fashion brands and shoppers looking to make more environmentally-conscious decisions continues to grow and it will affect the materials we buy. Roy says: “We are exploring a new future and fashion-forward thinking with sustainable fabrics and smart textiles leading the way. Image a mushroom leather or Piñatex (a leather-like material made from pineapple leaf fibres) handbag and vegan trainers as a normal part of your everyday wardrobe.”
Adidas, Stella McCartney, Lululemon and Kering (the conglomerate that owns Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta and more), invested in Mylo, a new leather-like material grown from mycelium found in mushrooms in 2020 so expect to see these brands bringing it to market more widely.
Those of us for whom the bold, colour splash trend doesn’t appeal, the opposite end of the spectrum will also be just as fashionable thanks to the use of natural dyes.
“We’ll be using more natural, sustainable dyeing processes as traditional dyes can be harmful in terms of water use and chemicals. So colours will be softer,” says Hill.
Natural dyes tend to produce less intense colours and earthy greens, browns and yellows are more common. These colours also have a calming effect on us, perfect as we seek comfort in our lives.
“Women still want to be feminine,” explains Hill. So as we ditch our oversized tracksuits, we’ll be swinging back into brands that have elegance and femininity at their core.
Roy believes we’ll also be embracing sex appeal: “Spring take inspirations from the British Regency era - think Bridgerton, and then think super sexy: from corsets to transparent fabrics and micro-minis.”
The second season of Bridgerton is set to be released on Netflix in 2022, so expected this trend to really gather pace once a release date is announced. Look to British brands like Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood who have repeatedly referenced the aristocracy.
Chanel raised hemlines on its classic tweed suits for its spring/summer 22 catwalk and Rick Owens combined feminine, Grecian folds with sheer fabric and an exposed mid-drift for a look that ticked all the boxes for his upcoming collection.