Today’s pop-culture phenoms and pandemic curiosities are the inspiration behind tomorrow’s fashion. In its Spring/Summer 2022 forecast, product intelligence company Trendalytics describes a fashion season moved by consumers’ desire to reconnect with nature, streamline their closets and escape the modern world for more romantic eras and indulgences.
Based on the Trendalytics’ proprietary prediction model and industry expertise, the forecast centers on five seasonal narratives backed by cultural context, key items, colors, materials and brands to watch in women’s wear. Though what phase of “normal” the world will be in a year from now remains somewhat of an enigma, the themes that Trendalytics predicts reflect a timeless appreciation for high-quality materials, calming colors and fashion that provides both emotional and physical comfort.
The allure of “Bridgerton,” the 19th-century-era Netflix series that combines upper-class London’s posh regality with the soapy drama of “Gossip Girl,” and its lavish fashion and accessories will continue to be a welcome respite from loungewear. With a second season of the series going into production this spring, and designer Simone Rochas teaming with H&M to bring historical silhouettes to the masses in a limited-edition collection in March, details like puffed sleeves, satin bows and regal fabrics will be front and center in stores, magazines and social media throughout the year.
The series serves as a blueprint for Trendalytics’ “Time Traveler” theme for S/S ’22, which it describes as an “escape into the world of Regency era glamour.” The trend story paints a picture femininity and classical romance, dense with soft pink, ornate gold and rich jewel tones that “reflect the opulence and elegance of the Elizabethan and Tudor courts.” Fabrics like satin and toile add a storybook element to fashion, while organza lends itself well to the era’s voluminous silhouettes.
Victorian collars, bishop sleeves and baroque necklaces are among the theme’s key items, but there’s room for sexier items like corset tops, Trendalytics reported. The number of corset tops in the market is up 252 percent compared to last year, making the figure-accentuating top a “safe bet” for the season.
Get ready to be “lost in the world of zodiacs and folklore with mystical motifs and a witch-inspired wardrobe.”
In “Eclipse,” Trendalytics brings to light another side-effect of the pandemic: the spiritual awakening of both consumers and designers. They’re turning to the spiritual realm for answers and often beginning their search on the web. Trendalytics reported that searches for the term “zodiac” are up 19 percent, while queries around “spirituality” climbed 8 percent compared to last year.
The moody theme played out in Dior’s Spring/Summer 2021 Haute Couture collection inspired by tarot cards, and it was echoed in recent collections from Anna Sui, Rokh and Acne Studios through their use of alien-like prints and star and moon motifs. French brand Lemaire took an authentic approach to folklore by working with Mexican folk artist Martin Ramirez to create drawings for its wrap skirts and boots.
Leather and dark colors inspired by the night sky ground the mystical designs. Cerulean and burgundy—specifically in chiffon or velvet fabric—enhance the supernatural quality of the theme.
Though the fabrics are rich, the key items that Trendalytics identifies for the trend skew towards youthful, casual basics. Zodiac shirts, drawstring dresses and platform boots embody the theme’s darkly subversive side.
In an effort to pass the time at home, consumers have unearthed hidden talents. And in the process, they are breathing new life into old-fashioned hobbies like knitting, quilting and candle-making. Trendalytics’ theme “Craftcore” embodies this unbridled sense of creativity through mixed patterns, custom-made clothing and thrifted finds.
Described as having an “anything goes attitude,” the story relies on hand-painted fabrics, knitted accessories and crafty quilting to bring a cozy yet eclectic look and feel. Collina Strada’s S/S ’21 collection, chock-full of upcycled fabrics and vibrant floral and check prints, is a preview of this zany look.
It’s an uplifting theme, which is evident in its primary colors: hot pink, buttery yellow and grass green. Color-blocked patchwork, light-wash denim and bright crochet knits enhance Craftcore’s fun aesthetic. Key items include mismatched beaded chokers, crocheted bucket hats and grandma-style cardigans.
With the outdoors being one of the few pandemic-approved excursions that go beyond the front door, it should not come as a surprise that consumers want to dress the part, too. “This renewed appreciation for the great outdoors is transforming the way we dress casually as puffer coats, utility trousers, and lug sole boots bridge the gap between fashion and function,” Trendalytics stated.
This aspirational outdoor lifestyle is captured in “R(eco)nnect,” a theme that centers on elevated utility and function—a look that the The North Face x Gucci collaboration helped coin and designers like Prada, Sandy Liang and Max Mara are building on by presenting protective outerwear, cargo pocketing and exposed fleece in their collections.
Naturally, colors inspired by the planet are essential to the story, including sand, spruce and darker shades of green that evoke the feeling of “expansive forests and diverse plant life,” Trendalytics described. The key materials for the theme stay close to nature as well, with fleece, wool and canvas being the must-haves.
Expect to see these fabrics appear in shackets, cropped puffer jackets and utility pants.
Whether through spirituality or nature, finding a sense of peace is at the core of most S/S ’22 fashion. Trendalytics’ final theme for the season, Halcyon, aims to deliver serenity through pared-down designs, elegant neutrals and a razor-sharp focus on essential wardrobe pieces.
And consumers are ready for it. Trendalytics reported that the term “less is more” has 23,000 average weekly searches, up 61 percent to last year, while market adoption of the phrase is up 9 percent in the past 30 days. Alberta Ferretti, Cividini and Adeam sum up the minimalist yet casual look in their S/S ’21 collections with drapey jackets, pleated wide-leg trousers, and knits.
The story is defined by soft textures, comfortable silhouettes and high-quality materials. “Warm neutrals contrast with muted cool tones for a well-balanced and versatile color palette. Brown and cream offer a more organic alternative to black and white. Slate blue calms the system and provides refuge from the stresses of daily life,” Trendalytics stated. Look to fabrics like cashmere, silk and quilting to elevate basic garments.
Key items include the shoulder-pad top, the “coatigan” and accessories with paperclip chains.