We can officially put 2021 and its craziness behind us. A year that might have changed everything in fashion, we had: Ye living in the headlines, another barrage of non-stop collaborations, WTF celebrity 'fits, and a whole lot more.
Now it’s time to look forwards, and as always the introduction of January brings with it a hybrid of optimism and curiosity for the year ahead. Something that the style-obsessed of us translate into predicting how the ever-turbulent world of fashion will act and the trends which will come to prominence.
Although it is admittedly impossible to predict what will happen in fashion (I’m not sure how I would have reacted if someone would have told me that Adam Sandler would become a style god at the start of last year), we’ve picked a selection of overarching trends that have the ingredients to become big talking points in the new year.
From bringing back Y2K styles to brands introducing themselves to the metaverse, the trends that dominated 2021 are not going to magically disappear anytime soon. And, similarly, the ones that we feel will dominate the next twelve months are only set to build on the traction they have already gained. So if you are already subscribed to 2022’s big style moments, enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you were there from the start.
Discover the six styles we are exploring to stay ahead of the curve in 2022 below.
The only logical next step from the Y2K obsession that took over fashion last year is to jump forward a decade. The 2010s are making a comeback — well, more accurately the late aughts and early 2010s are.
While the late 90s and early 2000s provided a plethora of outlandish trends which were brought back, from bejeweled Ed Hardy tops to the baggiest jeans on the planet, the early 2010s has just as many confusing style moments that can be ironically re-appropriated.
We're yet to see which trends will be picked up from the era but personal favorites of mine to make a comeback are Kanye West’s shutter shades, longline HBA t-shirts, and braces. But for now, it is most clearly manifesting itself through the “indie sleaze” aesthetic (big shout out to @oldloserinbrooklyn for correctly predicting this one on TikTok).
Best described as everything you loved on Myspace and during the early Tumblr days, it’s time to dig back into the archives for all your American Apparel clad fit pics. Skinny jeans, hi-top sneakers, flannel shirts, leather biker jackets… it’s all set to return.
Footwear gets more futuristic
2021 saw a number of futuristic-looking sneakers, from the Yeezy Knit RNNR to Givenchy Monumental, but the most outlandish ones are yet to come. It only takes a quick scroll through the @conceptkicks Instagram account to see the number of space-age sneakers that are either set to hit the market or are concepts that are going viral online.
Comprised of sculptural shapes and a reluctance to use traditional shoemaking methods, the battle to create the most innovative sneaker is likely to reach its pinnacle with other-worldly creations in 2022. Already teased for release is a range of oversized models from Balmain’s head of sneaker design Safa Sahin, a sharp-edged collaboration from SCRY and Sankuanz, and huge boots from 1017 ALYX 9SM's upcoming Milan fashion show.
Overall, 2021 has felt like a slightly future-obsessed year. With Mark Zuckerberg forcing the advent of the meta-verse on us and NFTs taking over the art industry, it has felt like we have been made aware of future technology unlike in previous years. And the sneaker market has mirrored this, going from an obsession with retro-futurism to full-on 21st-century futurism. These aren’t futuristic designs rooted in the predictions of the 70s or the 80s.
Black on black
2021 was one of Ye’s most headline-grabbing years, and it does not look like he plans on slowing in 2022. So far, we have seen him continue to rock a uniform of almost-exclusively black garments and release a black hoodie along with a monochrome fitted music video. But the biggest difference is that this year he is one half of the internet's favorite couple and he has got his other half, Julia Fox, to match his uniform.
It isn’t just Kanye who is bringing all-black into the new year though, our first major album release of 2022 also saw The Weeknd ditch the red blazer and go for a, you guessed it, a noir color palette.
But most importantly, Balenciaga has turned decisively dark in the past two seasons and history has taught us that anything Demna does is set to send ripples across the industry. Wearing all-black has always been a statement, but in 2022 it could become the statement to make.
Take your current puffer jacket, double it in size, and then you have the perfect 2022 style.
Wide and boxy fitting clothing has been a silhouette that has remained popular in contemporary fashion and our puffer jackets are joining in the fun. Sculptural, cropped, and extremely puffy designs from labels such as Bottega Veneta, Rick Owens, and Entire Studios have brought a touch of fun to dressing for the freezing weather that has started 2022.
And, while we got blessed with some collaborations last year, we’ve got our fingers crossed for 2022 to be the year we can finally cop one of Dingyun Zhang’s mainline puffer jacket designs. Once that happens, the jacket of the year will likely be the biggest down-filled creation you have ever seen. And it will likely be from the CSM graduate.
Leather all year round
Leather was everywhere in 2021: spring/summer shows from ALYX and Burberry saw the material worn by models wading through sand (something Julia Fox reenacted last week); rappers such as Offset and Tyga wore full leather looks at fashion week; and it was essential to some of Steve Harveys best fits.
However, the runway and celebrity style doesn’t necessarily translate into the street, and with a material as divisive as leather, it takes a lot of convincing for it to become a staple in everyone's outfits. The groundwork put in across 2021 seems to be working as Lyst has reported a 32% increase in demand for leather trench coats since December — possibly also helped by the return of The Matrix.
In 2022 leather with not just be for the runway or for celebrities. Or reserved only for the winter months.
Knitwear only gets more important
Knitwear has always been important. It’s a winter staple that is bound to keep you warm under a host of layers. But in 2022 it is a year-round must-have that is only getting more important.
For the summer there's never been a wider selection of sweater vests, cardigans, and even bibs, that are feeding our appetite for knitwear even when the weather doesn't require it. And then in the winter, there's an ever-increasing number of super fluffy designs, fair isle sweaters, and cable-knit sweaters which are all making a triumphant comeback.
Nobody is saying that good knitwear wasn't always a wardrobe essential, but in 2022 it will only become more important. Especially if Tyler, The Creator keeps churning out looks that put sweaters front and center.
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