2022 is officially well underway, and, as is the tradition at this time of year, all the Fall and Winter lines are beginning to debut. With much of the world finally able to engage in in-person activities again, shows are largely back to being held in person. Fashion Weeks are taking place more or less the way that they always have, and fashionistas are over the moon at being able to indulge in their favorite pastime once more. Women’s shirts, dresses, pants, and coats are back on the runways, and the new collections are taking our breath away. A new year and new season bring a new flurry of trends that will influence collections shown in retail stores all over the world. The mood, in terms of fashion, has lifted a lot in comparison to last year. Many houses and designers are in an “anything goes” space in response to the strict regulations that we have finally begun to move away from. While some designers are showing maximalist, exciting pieces, others are stepping away from the chaos and opting for chic and understated looks. So, what are the biggest trends in women’s fashion this year? Let’s take a look.
Unsurprisingly, after a terse and stressful few years, many houses and designers are now showing extremely colorful collections, even heading into the colder months when toned-down hues usually dominate. Bold and bright is the order of the day. Unlikely color combinations abound in eclectic pairings. Fashion is taking a breath of fresh air and jumping for joy at having a little bit of normality back. Some designers think that it’s time to celebrate with these exciting looks that make consumers feel good from the inside out. Anything that feels fun, positive, and adventurous is being backed in a big way by investors. Buyers are already into the trend; for example, NET-A-PORTER has already seen record sales for all its collections featuring colorful garments. A good way to incorporate this trend into your wardrobe if you’re a little gun-shy when it comes to color is to opt for a bag or a pair of shoes: these are the items currently driving sales.
Of course, where there is yin, there is also always yang. Some designers are staying true to themselves by sticking to a much more neutral palette. There’s something to be said for knowing what you can expect from a house or designer; consistency is a valuable quality in fashion design. Neutrals feed into the capsule closet trend quite well, as they are easily mixed and matchable. If your closet is already largely neutral and you purchase mostly neutrals in the new season, most things that you own will go with the rest. Some designers and consumers see neutral collections as safe and boring, but this is definitely not the case for collections like Monica Cordera. Lots of layers and textures more than make up for the lack of color influences. The new silhouettes bring a touch of whimsy to neutral pieces. Since September last year, the demand for minimal designs has risen by a huge amount: the demand for monochrome coordinating pieces is up 33%, classic white shirts are up 41% and wide-leg pants are up 55%. The minimal, neutral trend isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
A taste of the 70s, then the 90s is back with us again this season. The all-knowing, all-seeing Google has reported that, between December 2020 and December 2021, the number of searches, including the phrase “platform shoes,” has doubled. Party shoes, both heels, and flatforms are back in a major way. It’s clear that this fun, throwback trend is another response to the tough few years we’ve recently had to face. Not only that but as any person who has ever spent any real time in heels will confirm, platforms are far more comfortable than stilettos. While we’re ready to party again, we’re not quite ready to give up the comforts of home clothes entirely either.
While 90’s style midi dresses and skirts have been top tier for more or less the last decade, we’re finally seeing the return of the maxi everything. Louis Vuitton and Givenchy are already on the bandwagon, and we’re sure to see more brands follow suit soon. As with a lot of garments, we see a certain Y2K trend in terms of shape and fabric: lots of tubey, close-cut pieces often featuring outside seams and hemlines. The tiered dresses that we’ve been seeing for the last few seasons are finally on their way out. Longer dresses are easy to transition from day to night and also through various seasons: layered up with a fine turtleneck or chunky jersey.
There’s a definite departure in this year’s trends, in a lot of ways. We are excited to watch as the new seasons unfold and more new collections premier.