“Is not the most erotic portion of the body where the garment gapes?” posited French theorist Roland Barthes. It is hard to imagine Roland’s reaction to the abysmal display of flesh this September as a result of the fashion trend for spring/summer 2022. It’s clear that fashion feels like “macaroni in the pot” when it comes time to the new season. Sexy looks that are short, thin and skinny are back.
It’s been awhile. Sure, we’ve had underwear-as-outerwear renditions in recent seasons, with the odd pair of stripper heels making an unsolicited appearance. Designers found new ways of interpreting sex after a summer that saw young people embrace their body positivity and throw away all their insecurities.
The results were often transparent. This hedonistic approach has been a hallmark of Nensi Dojaka (young guns) and SupriyaLele (young ladies). Their sheer, body-wrapping designs were a big hit in London. Sometimes, Paris gets X-rated. The young designer Ludovic de Saint sernin showed a collection of small strips of leather that were woven together. Pornhub sponsored it. A collaboration with Pornhub is expected in the early 2022.
It was also the big boys who were feeling sexy. Donatella Versace can always be counted on to add some flair to fashion’s walks. For spring, she chose to embrace thigh-slits and midriffs, latex, chainmail, and latex. Ditto Gucci, whose transparent lace mini dresses, latex bustiers, fishnets-and-suspender-belts and sex-toy accessories explored the “nuances of sensuality” in a blockbuster show in LA. Prada’s collection was called “Seduction Stripped Down”. It poked fun at the traditional interpretations of allure by exploring corsetry in itchy schoolmarmish yarn and offsetting micro-hemlines with debonair kitten-heels. In the show notes, Prada stated that she had thought of elegant words but that this felt so outdated. It is very seductive.
Fashion is now realizing that sexiness comes in many shapes and sizes. It’s only a matter of time. Yumi Nu, Alva Claire and Paloma Elsesser were some of the most sought-after models for spring. They brought much-needed body diversity onto the runways. Quannah Chasinghorse, an Indigenous model, made a big splash with her debut season. She walked for Gucci to Prabal Gurung to Chanel.
The collections were filled with a sense of looseness, even though sex was not on the minds. Chanel models smiled and twirled for the cameras, looking like they were in the ’90s, showing off micro-hemlines. Colour is everywhere, except when it’s completely wiped off and replaced with head-to-toe, white. Capes and trains are ready to make an entrance or exit. The Y2K revival is continuing apace. The biker jacket, once a staple model-off-duty staple, is now back in fashion.
You may have heard that Covid ended fashion trends. You would partially be right. Spring/summer 2022 was chaotic and creative, with many idiosyncratic interpretations of what the post-pandemic world needs right now. This frenetic energy was more apparent at Louis Vuitton where Nicolas Ghesquiere envisioned “the figure of an immortal who travels through time, adapting to the dress codes of each era.” Think 18th century pannier dresses with their hems cut to reveal red satin superhero boots. Indigo jeans paired with cape-tuxedo combinations. Gold-braid embellished waistcoats paired with short cargo skirts, indigo jeans and floor-sweeping Morticia Addams capses.
There is however a general consensus about some big ideas. Trends are dead. Long live trends. These are the top 10 fashion trends for spring/summer 2022 that you should know.
Just when you thought the hemlines could not go higher, Miuccia Prada brought a Miu Miu Show that will make you want to add a pair dressmaking shears for every skirt in your wardrobe. The Miu Miu minis are low at the hips, and have a strip that almost covers the chuddies (for international readers), the outfit is very racy. You can find more information at Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Bottega Veneta Chanel, Emporio Armani, and Chanel. If anyone wants to question the length, Miuccia’s post-show comment is gnomic: “Strange doesn’t seem strange anymore.”
Have you ever seen a biker jacket in the wild for so many years? She’s back, guys. Supriya Lele, Miu Miu and Miu Miu were the Acne Studios bikers. She wore a motorcycle-style, slim-fit, no-lapel, motorcycle-style with one strap at the neck and distressed finishing. It was more fitted at Balenciaga than Prada and had multiple zips. Alexander McQueen and Simone Rocha had it mixed with leather, while Richard Quinn added studs to the entire thing. This throwback Kate Moss-off-duty staple will be a favorite in any iteration.
Color Me Free
There is no excuse to wear neutrals in 2022. The colour combinations displayed on catwalks are so vibrant, it’s hard to believe that neutrals can be this easy. Valentino is a great example of this, with chocolate brown, raspberry, and cerulean, mingling to wonderful effect. Halpern is where tangerine danced (or pirouetted, depending on how you look – this collection was designed by Royal Ballet members) with fuchsia. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but Rothko can play with your clothes. You can wear it from head to toe.
Drama at the Back
Without sounding cliché, switch the emphasis from “making an entry” to “making an exit” in the new year. We are not advocating a social hiatus. It’s far from it. We suggest you master the ultimate G2G maneuver, a quick 180deg “laters”, spin that Darth Vader would be proud of. Gaga-style, imagine the excitement as Gucci’s red-capped mini dress flies behind you. Imagine the reaction when your Maximilian spikes send champagne flutes soaring. Imagine the hours of entertainment you’ll have from your pink Prada satin-tail creating drama in your wake. Be aware of revolving doors.
Between the Lines
Fringed stripes are a trend for those who are proficient in fringing and confident in stripes. Sometimes trends can be as mathematical as they seem. Our favorites: JW Anderson’s mini-dresses, Louis Vuitton’s going-out tops (paired alongside deep-blue jeans) and Gucci’s feathered coat. You can order the classic mariniere strokes at Balmain if you feel that the fringe is too fussy. 1970s diagonals, sweeping down Fendi’s catwalk. Marni’s libertine lines are taken in every direction.
So Fresh and Clean
For the minimalists, a shock of Colgate White, worn head-toe in spring/summer 2022, is a great choice. The Row and Peter Do are a delight for the more experienced sartorial conservatives (small A), who made their New York catwalk debuts with collections he compared to making good Pho. Alaia was no different. Pieter Mulier paired sinuous looks with crisp white cottons. The white trouser suit was updated at Valentino and Hermes. Chloe’s head-to-toe in white felt bohemian. This is a warm and cosy alternative to the more clinical take on the trend.
The New Sexy
Super sheer, super tight and super short. The key shape of spring’s dress is the halter-style gown. This outre take on “the new sexy” is being carried by a group of young designers, including Nensi Dojaka (LVMH Prize-winning designer), Supriya Lele (London), and Ludovic De Saint Sernin and Coperni (Paris). How do you unleash your nipples? Buy comfortable cotton pants and take deep breaths.
Dress-code: Fabulous. Although it seems a cop-out, it is a way to combine so many different impulses for after dark glamour. But how else can you sum up the industry’s deep desire to get out on the town? As a sweet escape from the rigours of lockdowns, there was no shortage of sequins, sparkle mesh, crystals, and heavily embellished styles on the catwalks. It is now impossible to be overdressed.
Crop tops with butterflies, Grecian draping, low-rise pants and body chains, as well as crop tops and scarves that are completely useless, and body chains, will all be in fashion this spring. Blumarine, the epitome Y2K fashion, was all out at the Milan show. It promoted “military fairies…sexy butterflies girls…low-waisted mermaids” as the new season icons. Even Etro wore a low-rise, stomach-bared look, and cargo pants were seen at Zimmermann and Tom Ford, among other places. Dua Lipa, and the TikTok Generation, will be falling for every look at KNWLS and Roberto Cavalli.
You want the confident-inducing cut that is guaranteed by great tailoring as well as the feminine ease and elegance of a pleated sleeve? You are in luck. This spring’s fashion solution to the pandemic-induced conundrum involves a combination of a structured blazer with a fluid dress. It looked very simple at Altuzarra in tonal shades berry. Louis Vuitton was a bit more dramatic, but the concept was still comfort-driven. You could also forego the dress as Saint Laurent suggested. Anthony Vaccarello paired precise tailoring with sheer tights and/or body stockings. You don’t want to miss the chance to have fun. You can have both the best and worst of both worlds by dressing up as Naomi Campbell at Alexander McQueen in a lot of tulle and wearing a cropped smoking jacket.