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Y2K, Lingerie, Bright Colors Light Up Spring/Summer 2022 Collections

In case there was any confusion, designers have confirmed that next year will be defined by bright colors, skin-baring designs and Y2K-inspired apparel—and denim will be at the root of it all. The Spring/Summer 2022 runway was overflowing with looks that underscored each trend, as well as the steady shift from minimalism to ultra-maximalism.

Fashion search engine Tagwalk and fashion trend forecasting firm Heuritech documented some of the main themes they found on display during Paris and Milan fashion weeks and projected what lies ahead for women’s apparel.

A tried and true fabric year after year, denim remains a top trend for women, with Tagwalk calling attention to the effortless denim pants presented by Balenciaga, Valentino and others. Coming in a range of light and medium washes, the jeans to look out for in 2022 are loose and low, and pair with everything from barely-there bra tops to long sweater dresses.

Bright skies ahead

Yellow may have been one of Pantone’s colors of the year for 2021, signaling brighter days ahead, but the moment is far from over. The sunny shade lit up the S/S ’22 catwalk with equally bold designs from Dior, who showcased the color with a metallic mini dress and matching overcoat. Max Mara presented a softer yellow with an all-over pastel short-sleeved blazer and Bermuda shorts with coordinating accessories.

The Spring/Summer 2022 runway was rampant with looks that underscored fashion’s steady shift from minimalism to ultra-maximalism.
Dior WWD

Head-to-toe pinks were also on display in a range of pastel and vibrant shades. Colorblocking, along with all-over patterns such as tie dye, florals and checked prints also made a bold statement, as showcased by  “Project Runway” judge Brandon Maxwell and Jason Wu, who appears as a guest on season 19’s Oct. 17 premiere.

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Digital lavender, deemed a top color to watch by fashion forecasting firm WGSN, also made its rounds on the runway, most notably in a futuristic look from Fashion East. The cutout leotard, paired with a bonnet and voluminous micro skirt, teased far-off trends to come.

Past meets present

Fashion often honors history with reinterpreted trends from decades past, and designers are looking back at their archives to inspire new trends for 2022. According to Heuritech, heritage has become a top focus among fashion houses, with labels such as Christian Dior and Nicolas Di Felice honoring their respective founding designers. At Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri put a contemporary spin on its signature Bar jacket with short sleeves, and Nicolas Di Felice revived the Courrèges brand while respecting its roots.

“In reinterpreting the house archives, designers succeed in bringing added value to the brand heritage while also creating a relevant discourse between the past and present,” Heuritech said in the report.

And while the ’90s have been on full display for years, the decade continues to shape today’s collections. Since debuting in 1995, cult-classic movie “Clueless” remains a source of fashion inspiration for designers including Valentino and Chanel who each presented looks nodding to the film’s signature wardrobe. Neon and bubblegum pink minidresses and two-piece co-ords nodded to the movie’s defining looks.

The Spring/Summer 2022 runway was rampant with looks that underscored fashion’s steady shift from minimalism to ultra-maximalism.
Chanel WWD

There’s also been an increasing focus on the early ’00s both on and off the runway, beginning with the reintroduction of low-rise jeans spearheaded by Gen Z. Versace and Fendi traveled back 20 years with their headline-making switch-up, showcasing metallic colorways and belly-button-baring pants mimicking the Y2K period. Dolce & Gabbana made an even more obvious statement with a look featuring a white T-shirt that read “2000 fashion.”

Body-baring silhouettes

Next year’s fashion celebrates lower rises and more skin, with catsuits, lingerie and miniskirts leading the charge. Ever since model Irina Shayk was photographed in Mugler’s white-and-black trompe l’oeil thong jeans, catsuits have infiltrated runways and red carpets, leaving little to the imagination. Similarly, corsets and lingerie dominated the runway, with bras paired with everything from baggy low-rise jeans to tailored suiting.

Heuritech pointed to the emergence of sexy collections, even from designers that are often more conservative in their styling. Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, known for preppy apparel, introduced lingerie looks alongside its signature aesthetic.

The Spring/Summer 2022 runway was rampant with looks that underscored fashion’s steady shift from minimalism to ultra-maximalism.
Prada WWD

Meanwhile, designers celebrated the reemergence of miniskirts, a staple skin-baring look from the Y2K era that’s already facing resistance from millennial users on social media. Labels such as Prada and Loewe featured the item in their collections, signaling that once again, millennials will either have to welcome the item back into their wardrobes or face being left behind by the trend.