One word best describes the overall tone of the autumn/winter 2022 fashion trends: nostalgia. Depending on your age, experiences, and interests, nostalgia can take many various shapes. Because the creative communities in New York, London, Milan, and Paris have all been experiencing that longing for a better life, whatever you may identify with happier, simpler times has probably been translated to the runways for the forthcoming season. Dopamine dressing, a trend that continues to gain attention on almost all social media platforms, is one example of how designers used optimism to power through the past two pandemic years. However, with the easing of restrictions and a glimmer of hope for the future, more diverse style directions are emerging.
A return to the essentials of the 1990s and 2000s will be a welcome palate cleanser for minimalists who may have been underserved in recent seasons, even though the loudest takes on nostalgia are defining the A/W 22 viewpoint (more on that in a moment). The white vest from Prada will be the season’s most popular garment, if there is such a thing. Yes, that’s right: As winter approaches, the majority of fashion enthusiasts will have their hearts set on a shockingly modest, surprisingly summery item.As seen by the brisk sales of Loewe’s anagram-adorned version, plain(ish) white vests are already in style in high-fashion circles. There are several other subtle variations on minimalism available: For those who desire them, there are plenty of neutral colors, maxi skirts, bomber jackets, and oversized tailoring available.
However, what was the biggest fashion fad in the fall/winter 2022 collections? the reemergence of exquisitely crafted clothing that you can wear anywhere, at any time. Watch the humble tank top rise to prominence. Although it rarely steals the show, it occupied center stage at Prada, Bottega Veneta, and Loewe. Similar applies to flight jackets that have been blinged out with sequins, leather, and feathers and worn with girly skirts and thigh-high heels. When worn with everything, from tiny metallic skirts and latex boots at Versace to loose cords and sneakers at Louis Vuitton, the big blazer, too, delivered an impact. These are clothing for going somewhere, whether you feel like flaunting them or not.
1. Plain White Tank
The resurgence of tank tops is the purest example of designers’ obsession with wardrobe essentials. Basic? not anymore. They were made of paper-thin leather at Bottega Veneta by newcomer Matthieu Blazy, they had the triangle emblem of Prada, and they were translucent and rubbery at Loewe. You will be instantaneously propelled into the new season if you pair one with your jazziest skirt or your sexiest leather pants, but in a lo-fi, “oh this old thing?” kind of way.
2. Take Flight
The understated wardrobe essential that is always in fashion? Flight jacket, reporting for duty. In fact, this outerwear hero serves three functions: you can wear it to your morning workout class, your weekend lunch, and your evening soirée. For embellished examples, look to Prada, Elie Saab, and LaQuan Smith, while Loewe offers squishy leather delights. Vintage-style, oversized iterations are also prevalent, as seen at Isabel Marant, Raf Simons, and Sacai.
The corset obsession among Gen-Z is having a significant impact on the catwalk (#CorsetTok has 5.6 billion views on TikTok as of writing). While many designers included corseted waists into their fall shapes, Dior and Balmain took it a step further by giving corset panels a futuristic edge by molding them in metal and enhancing their protective qualities.
4. Knit Picking
Maybe designers were thinking about increased energy prices for the fall. They seemed to be advising me to wear knit clothing and turn the thermostat down a few degrees. In layers of Aran knit and gigantic mushroom-shaped caps that spooled wayward threads across their faces, Yohji Yamamoto models were practically swimming in wool. Consider Chanel, where the twin-set had a youthful twist thanks to ’90s accessories, Louis Vuitton, where Fair Isle-style sweaters were tied at the waist, or Molly Goddard, where bulky sweaters were matched with her distinctive tulle evening dresses. No matter what style you favor, touch-me textures are present in cardigans, sweater dresses, blankets, two-pieces, and statement sweaters everywhere.
5. Maxi Drama
The lengths plummeted to the floor for the autumn season after miniskirts dominated the spring catwalks. However, it was the floor-sweeping maxi skirts and dresses that caught our attention, giving silhouettes at The Row, Saint Laurent, and Altuzarra serious drama. Body-swamping maxi coats, many in dressing-gown cuts and faux-fur fabrics, were mainstays in numerous collections.
6. Prep Y2k fusion
Whether you like it or not, Y2K is a reality. The mini, which was the biggest trend last season, is also still around thanks to the fashion industry’s predilection for thigh-skimming skirts. Miniskirts debuted on the catwalks with fresh bursts of youth: sporty and tennis-inspired at Miu Miu; checked and punky at Charles Jeffrey and Marine Serre; and with preppy verve infused by Generation Z (imagine Olivia Rodrigo going to the White House) at Chanel, Halpern, and Oscar de la Renta.
7. Hard Shoulder
Numerous ways exist in which Demna has influenced the fashion world, but the muscular shoulders that continue to appear on catwalks across the globe are the most obvious example of his impact. Shoulders as broad as doorways, which are now a characteristic of Balenciaga, characterized the collections of Versace, Lemaire, Dolce & Gabbana, and Louis Vuitton. The crucial component? The boy-meets-girl designed oversize blazer is frequently worn with short skirts or sensual outfits.
Michael Kors Collection
8. Explore Your Skin
If you didn’t get the memo from Hot Vax Summer, body-con is back and bigger than ever, appearing in a variety of transparent fabrics, skin-tight shapes, and brave cut-outs. What has changed now? Not just for twiglets, body-con exists. Example: Ester Manas’ joyful Paris presentation featured her curve-celebrating ruched designs on a coterie of Rubenesque beauties, delivering the season’s biggest dose of body positivity.
9. Living in Leather
“The aim was to bring back energy, a silhouette that truly communicated motion, because Bottega is a bag company, therefore you go somewhere, you don’t stay at home,” said the designer. When making his Bottega Veneta debut, Matthieu Blazy said as such. No idea encapsulated that “best foot forward” philosophy better than the leather skirts and dresses he sent confidently down his runway and topped with vivacious pom-poms of leather fringe. Leather was used in other collections by Loewe to create minidresses that were frozen in motion, and by Alexander McQueen, Alaa, and Hermès to create midi and mini dresses with broad strides. It’s safe to say that these outfits will make you walk with a swagger.
10. Fashion Gone Wild
Corporate tailoring is leaving the office for the fall, according to designers. A fuchsia suit is the only thing that might guarantee a glamorous vacation. Pierpaolo Piccioli staked a lot on the hue for his Valentino show, spilling it over cocktail dresses and floor-length gowns, but it had the largest effect in the enormous suits. 1970s velvet was in style at Tom Ford, Alberta Ferretti, and Etro, while eye-popping color was the focus at Michael Kors, Gabriela Hearst, and Alexander McQueen.