Vive la liberation! The world’s most coveted buyers are increasing their demand for fashion, resulting in the “out-out” dressing juggernaut. 2021 was all about getting back in to the game. 2022 will see us really putting ourselves out there, according to the women who set the shopping agenda at Matches Fashion and Net-a-Porter. Matches’ head of womenswear Liane Wiggins says that “the joy of dressing up quickly became the new sexy fashion.” “Brands are focusing on looks that enhance and empower women, make them feel positive and be true to themselves,” says Liane Wiggins, head of womenswear at Matches.
You also get all the fashion vibes? Vintage. This year, we became au fais with an increasing number of consignment websites. In 2022, we will be hunting down archive pieces with new, laser-sharp focuses. According to Depop sellers, the focus is now on ultra-specific JPG iconography rather than Jean Paul Gaultier pieces, as made famous by the Kardashian Jenners.
Our growing focus on socially and environmentally responsible practices is also a key factor in the predicted increase in craftsmanship. Think of 2022 as the year to do good and not care what others think. Here are the items on the agenda.
Let’s talk sex, baby!
Wiggins says that there is a sense of optimism and positivity in the air. She likens the vibe to the spirit and energy of the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s, when hemlines were high, and miniskirts in vibrant colours were common. Valentino was the leader of the mood-boosting fashion brigade. Versace, Saint Laurent, and Givenchy also sent the message that “skin” is in. Wiggins says, “It’s about reclaiming power and sexuality in ways that work for you.” This is why super-sculpting fabrics are here to stay.
Maximilian, Nensi Dojaka and Supriya lele, three young upstarts, have taken the spliced and diced headlines. But now, more brands are joining the fray and increasing the competition. Wiggins says that fabrics should flatter all shapes in an easy and approachable manner. Wiggins also names Ganni as a brand that has adopted the conceal-and reveal look for those who don’t do a lot of crunching. “The season’s coords emphasize your best features with new erogenous areas such as shoulder cutouts which feel body-friendly.” Ludovic de Saint sernin’s boldly sheer crystal sheaths is the way to go for 2022.
The cult product that will spark smiles: Valentino’s hot-pink crepe dresses and minidresses, which combine the dopamine-coloured craze with the high-heeled hemline craze.
Party shoes are back! Click clack
Wiggins notes that shoes and bags have become more minimalist over the years. But this season, it felt as if designers were designing for themselves once again. She praises Loewe’s walk-on-eggshell heels, which she calls “emotive” and “fun”. Libby Page is senior market editor at Net-a-Porter and agrees that Jonathan Anderson has the Midas touch in footwear. However, she says Saint Laurent’s eye-watering platforms “are the definition of high-octane glamour.”
The Depop crowd expects cowboy boots to continue to sell out fast as our Western obsession continues to bubble away, while Asal Tehrani of @Susamusa Bella Hadid’s favorite Depop destination, Asal Tehrani of @Susamusa believes bags will get smaller in the future to match our love for the flavours from the ’90s. It’s even better to let the bold footwear speak for themselves.
The iconic and most sought-after heels to grab early: Loewe’s cracked egg stilettos.
Very special vintage
The Noughties are here to stay, and nostalgia is a key ingredient. “With Nicola Brognano leading the Blumarine parade, the ’00s resurgence that we were due for was the perfect playful antidote from the dark times we’re coming out of,” Celenie Seidel (senior women’s editor at Farfetch) says. “The flashy, shiny Y2K is in perfect sync with the current spirit, which encourages breaking style rules, challenging your aesthetic and feeling a little wild. All things remedial: tiny cardigans with fluff trim, strange denim washes and tiny rhinestones.”
Sellers at Depop can’t find corsets fast enough to meet demand. Thidarat Kaha, of @archivesix, says that the corset trend has already reached its peak. However, I believe it will continue into 2022, with unusual materials like pleater or denim taking the center stage. @archivesix is still riding the Y2K train. Kaha also expects big business in Jean Paul Gaultier 1995-97, as “the comfort of JPG mesh top juxtaposed [with the loud and iconic printed] equals high-end vintage fashion on the move”.
Pascale Eliza Davies is a fellow seller, and she’s from @pascaleeliza is also stocking up in Gaultier. The brand’s own reimagining of its archive will boost the value original pieces and ’90s VivienneWestwood Boucher pieces. These pieces are extremely rare and highly lucrative and hard to find. Her top tip for the new year? Motocross jackets will be back in style. Get out there and rev your engines early to get that biker look.
Bella’s retro gems will be first papped in: Old-school Karen Millen, Betsey Johnson and Betsey have a great track record on Depop. But Morgan De Toi is the one to watch – “a sexy 90s classic”, according @Susamusa’s Tehrani.
Corner for arts and crafts
The rise of genuine artisanship is worth a look if the #craftcore craze was too much for you. “Gabriela Hearst is the leader at her own label and collaborates with South American craft collectives. She also launched Chloe Craft, which is a limited-edition line of handmade, unique pieces.” Wiggins says that Matches Fashion customers are passionate about authenticity. Then she mentions Proenza Schouler and Altuzarra as labels that showcase centuries-old artisanship. This product is not driven by trends or time. It feels unique and collectible. Each piece tells its own story and places an emphasis on global luxury production.” Page also links globality to our desire for escapism after too many years spent grounded.
The humble homespun brag: Any of The Elder Statesman’s wonderfully peppy knits, emphasized by Greg Chait, a surfing enthusiast.
It’s a great day to earn a living!
We are, on the other hand, excited to be back at work – at the very least, on the fashion front. Farfetch’s Seidel notes that the idea of workwear almost became fetishized during our time at home. “What was once reality is now fantasy. The idea of dressing up in office-y tailoring feels almost like a costume for an alternate reality.” Miu Miu’s spring/summer 2022 collection was a mix of preppy school uniforms, and minimalist office clothes from the ’90s, which speaks well to this.
Kaha from @archivesix believes Versace and Moschino tailoring will be a big hit with her customers. The smart Depop seller says, “We’re returning to the office, and the public, but doing so in style with suits of everyday wear, suits for Sunday afternoons Columbia Road Flower Market…tres chic.”
Water-cooler conversation starter: .Miu Miu’s cheek-grazing belt dresses, which are a grade A for schoolgirlish charm.
The last memo
Seidel says, “After being held back in our homes for so long, people are eager to re-emerge feeling more bold and risky on the cusp a new era.” Let’s see what happens next.