With the spread of vaccines opening up the possibility of a return to something resembling normal, it is not particularly surprising Fashion Snoops identified “Hope” as one of four overarching sentiments for the Fall/Winter 22-23 season.
Speaking at the forecasting agency’s digital Trend Immersions event last week, co-founder Lilly Berelovich framed hope not as a passive thing, but as a reason to act.
“In a time when so much has to change, we can easily retract and say, ‘We give up,’ or, ‘How can I make a difference,’” Berelovich said. “This is when hope is used as fuel. It becomes a radical utopian idea that pushes us forward to take even small steps toward the reality we want to see. This is where we rebel against the word impossible and with our stubborn attitude chart a new blueprint for moving forward.”
Michael Fisher, Fashion Snoops’ vice president of men’s wear, acknowledged the bleak reality of the pandemic, but also highlighted the brighter moments, such as brands creating PPE for their local communities and cities cheering for their essential workers. “Despite our physical distance, we felt closer to our communities and also our friends and family than I think ever before,” Fisher added.
Within Hope, there is a need to turn inward, Fisher said. “That’s going to be reflected in products that are going to embrace exposed internal structures and unexpected cut outs.” Also expect designs informed by the traditional Japanese concept of wabi-sabi—a worldview that speaks to the beauty of being slightly undone or unfinished—in the form of distressed materials and embellished tears.
The Hope color palette is “as gritty and brutalist as it is serene and upbeat,” Fisher added. Hues include muted, neutral colors on one end that transition into richer, “grungier” tones, as well as “pops of bright colors” that remind us of the “promising world that we are striving to create.”
A focus on repairing and mending also lays the groundwork for using deadstock or damaged fabrics in new products, Nia Silva, Fashion Snoops’ materials director said. Renewable yarn innovations are also a growing consideration for performance materials. “In Hope, materials are really all about exploring craft with a resourceful yet expressive sensibility and how that can feel really authentic to who we are and why we create,” Silva said.
“Refuge,” another of Fashion Snoops’ sentiments for the Fall/Winter 22-23 season, also acts as a sort of direct response to the pandemic. “Our nervous system is caught up in this fight-or-flight response and we’re going to need to work really hard to get back to our wellbeing and that really depends on our slow healing and returning to refuge or whatever that means to each of us,” Berelovich said.
Utility will be very important within Refuge, Fisher said. “It’s providing a necessary level of order to our lives and while there are fundamental parts of stability, there also is a lot of beauty to be found in things like precise lines and historical artistry, the balance of light, fabrics that are used in a very decisive way.” Colors include fiery shades of red and orange and jolting bright colors, as well as grounding neutrals and frosty tones.
In terms of materials, supersaturated base fibers and animal hide—genuine or bio-fabricated from plant waste—both fit within Refuge, Jenna Guarascio, vice president of content strategy at Fashion Snoops, said. Also look out for enlarged floral prints.
Shifts in women’s wear
Melissa Moylan, a vice president and creative director at Fashion Snoops, offered insight into the specific shifts within womenswear.
As consumers look to finally travel again after the pandemic, Moylan said they “will still have this inherent need to really just protect and prepare.” This will translate to demand for integrated functionality, as well as exaggerated utility elements, such as knitwear that incorporates a mask into a turtleneck top. Other applications include zippered closures and pockets on skirts and dresses.
Moylan also highlighted what she called “dopamine dressing.” A mix of optimism and escapism, this encompasses exaggerated details, youthful, naïve and kitschy prints, and mood-boosting colors. It’s “about this return to glamour, as well as dressing up again,” Moylan said.