If you thought the pandemic spotlight on essentials would result in basic and safe collections, think again. Dior, Louis Vuitton and Vetements are among the designer labels signaling the return of maximalism in Spring/Summer 2022 men’s wear.
Their collections follow recent data from product intelligence company Trendalytics that points to loud fashion as an increasingly popular form of optimistic expression from consumers that have been cooped up for more than a year in loungewear.
Signs of maximalism have been on trend analysts’ radars for a while now. Global fashion search platform Lyst called attention to the shift back in December when consumers began to embrace bright colors for the holidays as a dopamine fix after an exhausting and uncertain year. Over-the-top designs were also a major story in women’s Fall/Winter 21-22 collections, expressed in sequin-covered dresses, cutout bodysuits and feather embellishments—preparing the return of occasion dressing.
How maximalism is defined in men’s wear, however, varies.
Prints enlivened S/S ’22 collections, as both coordinating sets and single statement-making items. While pandemic print trends skewed toward uplifting and nostalgic motifs like fruits and smiley faces, designers are shifting to abstract ideas.
Bluemarble, Dunhill and Issey Miyake experimented with psychedelic prints, while Vetements delivered literal takes on digital patterns. Davi and Ernest W. Baker presented painterly florals.
Though designer relied on neutral colorways last year to appeal to the market demand for seasonless versatility and fashion that calms and comforts, the staid colors serve as a backdrop to bolder hues for S/S ’22.
Paul Smith updated easy silhouettes like slouchy shorts and zip-up knits with pops of red and pink. Digital lavender, WGSN’s key color for 2023, refreshed Dries Van Noten’s oversized workwear. Citrus hues enhanced the summery vibe of Etro’s relaxed suiting.
Along with monochromatic cobalt blue, pink and lime green looks, Louis Vuitton injected a punch of early ’90s nostalgia into ombre-dyed monogrammed outerwear. The Lisa Frank-like approach to color was applied to the brand’s iconic duffle bags and trunks.
Dior’s monochromatic acid green was a prime example of how designers are using colors to awaken closets. The collection, made in collaboration with rapper Travis Scott, also included high-shine fabrics in both suiting and athleisure gym shorts.
Shine, in general, added a touch of ’70s splendor to men’s wear collections. Satin fabrics added luster to Casablanca’s quilted jackets and transformed Namacheko’s casual sets into evening wear. Doublet’s metallic shorts brought a touch of glam rock to punk-ish collection. A silver sequin suit by Moschino continued the trend for impactful red carpet looks.
While sheer fabrics trended prior to the pandemic, designers like Dunhill and Arturo Obegero picked up where men’s wear left off in 2019 with transparent tops and jackets.
And skin as an accessory is back. GmbH paired midriff-baring denim wrap tops with distressed jeans. Y/Project nixed tops all together with deconstructed suit jackets that wrapped around the neck with silk scarves.