Spring/Summer 2022 Trends: The Only 17 Looks You Need to Know About
I am so excited about 2022’s spring trends. The overarching mood was one of real optimism, but where the Previous seasonperhaps went into overdrive with the desire (desperation?) to get dressed up for even the most low-key of weekly grocery shops, the outlook for spring and summer is that there is a time and place to be extra fabulous but still a strong demand and a necessity for easy, simple, luxurious, gorgeous clothes and Outfits you can fling on in a hurry. There are places to go, people to see and the many ensembles to suit. So while on the one hand there’s a very clear shift towards revealing, ultra-sassy, cut to here and slashed to there kind of dressing, there’s also a very chic, understated antithesis at play. It speaks to a modern shopper’s whims and natural inclination to change one’s mind. Some days you might channel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in a classic, all-beige get-up and others be more Dua Lipa minidress in a rad and stacked platforms. We are complex characters, and our wardrobes, and favourite brands, must keep up.
As fashion expert Lianne Wiggins, head of womenswear at MATCHESFASHION, explains, we are living through “the anything-goes mood of now,” which means that the old tropes of things being “in” or “out” is in itself redundant. It means you can be as wild and adventurous as you like with your spring trends or, indeed, as basic as can be. Sit in the middle? Me too. Every personal style can be catered for in the spring 2022 fashion trends line-up.
Dries Van Noten S/S 22
It was invigorating and inspiring to see runway shows return (almost) to normal, and “fashion moments” were plentiful, playful, and highly shareable, and as such, a few went viral. Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia merged a runway and a fake movie premiere celebrity red carpet to celebrate the arrival of a new collection. In addition, the brand created a fashion take on a Simpsons episode. Gucci took over Hollywood with runway chocked with high-profile friends of the brand in extravagant costume-inspired pieces that wouldn’t look out of place in a 1940s blockbuster. Chanel’s ’90s supermodel–inspired collection saw endless Instagram posts capturing sashaying models in monochromatic bikinis. Fashion fun was clearly back on the menu, and it was served up for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Tom Ford alluded to a theory behind the more outré collections when he told Vogue Runway how Instagram has changed the game and made many people focus on how clothes translate into imagery, saying, “Photogenic clothes today by their very nature mean that they are not at all timid,” and he was one of many designers to dive head first into loud colours, revealing cuts and high-shine finishes, all of which live very comfortably on screens and in a digital world of dress-up. In fact, one could draft the following as the blueprint for S/S 22’s more showy half: Loud! Bright! Daring! Revealing! If it’s not turning heads or garnering likes, it’s clearly not extra enough.
Elleme S/S 22
As influential as runways are, trends are not solely born on them. There was a clear direction coming from Gen Z and their social media platform of choice—Tiktok—to be seen across the shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris. Youth is still currency in fashion circles but not necessarily in the same way as before: You don’t have to be young to be hip, but you sure as hell can steal the outfit ideas and reference points of a younger generation. Nineties, noughties and even the 2010s have been plundered for inspiration, with many looks echoing the fashion choices shared on the likes of both TikTok and the coolest Depop resellers’ accounts. No brand did it more authentically than Blumarine: The brand was known for its kitsch-cool back in the day, and now the look is ironically reflective of the archive. Looking for that denim butterfly top you owned in ’99? Or how about those low-slung Miss Sixty–esque jeans? This brand is the ringleader for every person aspiring to that aesthetic and with unashamed dedication, too.
But there’s more! So much more, which is why we couldn’t narrow it down to a main trend or two but instead have found 17 key looks, pieces, details and ideas that create the most important spring 2022 fashion trends, with expert insight to back them up.
Keep scrolling to see the spring 2022 fashion trends hot for the season ahead.
L–R: Valentino, Proenza Schouler, Saint Laurent, Valentino
“Bold, brave brights are here to stay as we continue to embrace fantasy fashion and experiment with eclectic colours and unique prints more than ever before,” says style expert Libby Page, who holds the position of senior market editor at NET-A-PORTER, noting that it’s these vibrant clothes that make consumers feel good from the inside out. “We’re of course backing anything with a positive and adventurous approach.” And it’s no wonder the buyers are keen to get involved, as the retail results back up the investment. This year, NET-A-PORTER has seen phenomenal increases YoY on sales of brightly coloured goods, with green being really driven up by bags and, specifically, the influence of Bottega Veneta’s Kermit-green styles, like the crazy-popular Jodie bag.
Bottega Veneta Salon 02
Kayla Marci, market analyst and expert at retail intelligence platform EDITED, explains that the desire is already very much there on a wider scale too: “Across U.S. and UK mass-market brands, bright tones have shifted from pink to green as the top invested colour. Green apparel online has grown 28%, while orange is up 15% and pink and yellow both up 5% YoY.”
MATCHESFASHION has also experienced an increase in consumers buying into bright pieces, with colour-pop styles up YoY by 45%. “Essentially, using bold colour without any specific trends or rules,” is the way Wiggins interpreted the shows. “At Valentino, there was such a strong mix of colour and looks—we saw relaxed denim with amazing flats and interesting tops alongside uplifting party dresses, which sums up the anything-goes mood of now.”
L–R: Jil Sander, Albus Lumen, Altuzarra, Peter Do
On the other end of the colour spectrum and sitting in a far quieter zone is a rise in interesting, ultra-luxe but ultimately very wearable wardrobe staples. This doesn’t translate as boring, and I’m not talking about basic tees that cost a fortune, more low-key staples with interesting twists: a trench coat with a unique label, a co-ord set with quirky buttons, a pair of tailored trousers in a more unusual silky-satin finish.
The leading shopping app, LYST, is expecting this trend to really resonate with consumers in spring 2022: “As the fashion world awaits for Phoebe Philo’s return, we expect to see an increasing demand for minimalistic pieces. Since September, we’ve seen a rise in searches for monochromatic co-ords (+33%), neutral tones (+22%), white shirts (+41%), leather loafers (+57%) and wide-leg suit trousers (+55%), all reflecting a move towards a more low-key luxury approach.”
“Versatility and ease are more important than ever, and this can be achieved with basics with a twist, modern classics and muted tones, all of which are the vital pieces every wardrobe needs to help elevate the simplest of looks,” says Page. “We’re seeing our customers invest more in quality basics and timeless pieces that can be worn for seasons and even years to come, so when those pieces have an additional quirky element—they’re sold! Our favourites for S/S 22 include Peter Do’s maxi shirt, Jil Sander’s yellow boxy blazer and Victoria Beckham’s oversized shirt in mellow blue.”
L–R: Lanvin, DSquared2, Givenchy, Stella McCartney
According to Google Trends, from December 2020 to December 2021, the searches for “platform shoes” have doubled. Over the past few months in particular, since “Freedom Day” finally came around (and subsequently went), the desire for revenge heels has resulted in resonance with content and social posts we have produced around party shoes and incredible heels. However, now that many of us have experienced the comfort and ease of wearing chunky, stompy flats throughout every season, there’s no going back. This has culminated in designers looking at platform shoes for every level of elevation and every possible task: There is still a strong lean towards sensible sandals you can walk all day in but now varying degrees of high-heel platforms you could consider for work, for partying or for simply being chauffeur-driven in.
These stacked shoes, sandals and boots were everywhere, from casual collections like the breezy bohemian look at Chloé through to amped-up ranges like Versace’s fun-fun-fun going-out looks. From foam-bottomed Velcro sandals and thick-soled flip-flops through to strappy, metallic, high-high heels, there’s a little lift to be had, no matter what your personal preference might be.
On the fancy, OTT end of the spectrum, there is one new brand in particular that fashion editors, stylists and buyers are all keen to tell you about. D’Accori’s sculptural, extra-high platform sandals—particularly the Belle style—have already been chosen by the likes of Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande, Doja Cat and Lady Gaga, so we expect this name will be everywhere in spring 2022.
L–R: Alaïa, Nina Ricci, Louis Vuitton, Tory Burch
Midi skirts have reigned supreme for some time now—at least the past decade—but during the summer of 2021, we started to notice an uptick in people on our Instagram and TikTok feeds moving back into maxis. The trend looks set to continue strongly in 2022, with key brands such as Louis Vuitton and Givenchy backing the cut. There is a Y2K lilt to these hemlines descending, with simple tube styles that fit closer to the ankles being more present than, say, a hippy, tiered cut.
“I like this trend because it stands out even if it is a simple colour or cut,” personal shopper and fashion expert Angelina Pietrafesa told me earlier in the year. “Extremes rather than ‘in the middle’ are proving popular, and I personally prefer to go really short or really long. Extreme lengths are easily paired and contrasted, always creating a more dramatic look, day and night.”
Who What Wear UK editor Emma Spedding is sold on the addition of maxi into her spring 2022 wardrobe: “The Givenchy black slip skirt is perhaps the coolest—it’s simple but looks like something Gwyneth Paltrow would have worn in the ’90s so has lots of cool points. Pair with a white T-shirt and chunky sandals and you have an effortless, elegant summer look.”
LYST confirms the concept and can already see the rise in interest: “Short hemlines might be defining the current season, but maxi long lines are coming in hot for the next one. ‘Oversized’ and ‘maxi’ are already amongst the most popular keywords when looking at dresses, and we predict that the trend will continue in the coming months.” And as such, the trend is already filtering into stores particularly when rendered in pull-on ribbed jersey and knit options, which act as an easy base for creative layering and cool tops or jackets.
L–R: 16Arlington, Loewe, Versace, Supriya Lele
As previously discussed (feared?), there’s no escaping Y2K in 2022. The noughties have been plundered for all their worth, and the outcomes show a sliding scale of dedication to the past. Some looks are just a subtle hit of reminiscence; others are a full-blown homage. So you can channel Britney, Mariah, Xtina, et al., in an excess of denim or butterfly tops with low-slung trousers, or you can opt in for more minimalist, muted pieces that are simply echoing the silhouettes of the time like bootcuts, skimpy shirts and crop tops.
According to EDITED‘s deep-dive on the season’s offering, Y2K came up time and time again—too often to ignore. “Nostalgia prevailed, with designers taking cues from eras past to influence future trends. Circa 2000 exposed midriffs, low-slung denim, butterfly patterns and micro-miniskirts were noted at Blumarine, Chanel and Fendi’s Versace presentation. Mini styles are currently 46% of skirts stocked online at fast-fashion retailers. While hip-hugging jeans are divisive within consumers, brands are banking on this silhouette and modernizing it for 2022. The style has experienced a 21% increase YoY, with retailers attaching low waistbands to slouchy, relaxed fits to make the trend more palatable.”