Ahead of the upcoming Fall/Winter 2022 showcases, we unfold a summary of trend themes set to impact forthcoming design influences for the season via four predominant themes or so-called ‘SYMBIOTIC SCENARIOS’ including key details and colour stories, picked from Christine Boland’s predictions.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought forth continued insecurity that is driving people apart. Opposing and conflicting views and the urge to express oneself coupled with the desire to break free is gearing to turn the tide.

It’s time we stop demonizing those with whom we do not agree, start listening more closely to Mother Earth as well as to each other and start building bridges again.

Reuniting us with the people and the environment around us, design, as always, serves some impressive examples of this need.

Everywhere we see extremes harmoniously merging, such as cultivated and wild, indigenous and modern, technology and craft, science and senses, realism and surrealism, female and forceful, fairy and scary, intellect and intuition, body and mind.

Ahead of the upcoming Fall/Winter 2022 showcases, we unfold a summary of trend themes set to impact forthcoming design influences for the season via four predominant themes or so-called ‘SYMBIOTIC SCENARIOS’ including key details and colour stories, picked from Christine Boland’s predictions.

Read on to discover:

SURVIVING THE ANTHROPOCENE

The Anthropocene is the era in which the earth’s atmosphere and climate started to register the impact of human activity. At the moment, it’s reaching a critical tipping point, with the COVID-19 pandemic proving to be the ultimate example.

Humans have been demanding and taking too much from Mother Earth without paying heed to the repercussions that come in exchange. Overconsumption, pollution, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity are just some of the prime examples in this regard.

Now more than ever, what really is required is a mutual, beneficial and cyclical partnership in which humans work in tandem with nature. As a result, under this trend, we see that the design language is all about protection, utility, survivalism, upcycling and recycling.

The key aspects to consider under this trend are hi-tech but refined designs, nomad, gypsy and cavemen-like silhouettes with ample layering, geology inspired knits and (denim) dye effects, details and fabrics drawn from utility and survival wear, organic stripe patterns, tech/sports fabrics mixed with feminine prints and the use of pre-owned repurposed fabrics (à la patchwork detailing).

The colour story embraces natural mud, stone, grass and autumn leaf tones with bright flashes of ochre and brick tones.

TRANSCENDING LIMITATIONS

We are seamlessly moving from a ‘digital’ world to a more ‘phygital’ world, which combines the best of digital and physical entities.

Whichever direction you look, this parallel world of augmented reality, mixed reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence stretches to an unlimited universe. There’s an explosion of creativity, where designers are creating dreamscapes by entering into collaborations with virtual gaming platforms, AR and VR companies and avatars.

This particular trend is dictated by gradients, sheer materials and shiny fabrics and effects that feature silver and titanium influences. Additionally, retro-futurism in patterns with art deco and ’60s inspired prints, blobby volumes in terms of puffed and padded renditions, and sculpted silhouettes polished to perfection beyond the limitations of reality add to the trend.

The key colours to consider under this trend are retro screen colours and translucent tones, all featuring a cool undertone such as lavender, frosted blue, greyish jade, sea-green, violet and French blue contrasted by cloud white, black and light mahogany.

UNLEASHING THE FEMALE FORCE

We are transitioning towards a more feminine era. Many developments and events in society illustrate this – right from the recently appointed female Prime Ministers in Northern Europe and US Vice President Kamala Harris.

A shift from a more purpose focused to a more process focused approach is set to take place, from confrontation to compassion and from individualism to holism and inclusivity.

In terms of design language, an equivalent of an invisible female force, full of mysticism and romanticism will challenge stereotypes.

Style elements characterizing this trend are delicate yet strong structures and materials, think chiffon, pleats and ruffles with sharp tailoring or leather, dramatic darks x delicate whites, Victorian-inspired artworks, punked-up lace, redesigned florals, opinion prints and feminized re-interpretation of historic design classics.

The colour palette, on the other hand, is dominated by feminine hues featuring a mystic undertone of midnight blues, muted petrol, fiery reds and carmine-pink with saturated brights in the form of soft pink, apricot and coral.

INTEGRATING SCIENCE WITH THE SENSES

The sheer unpredictability cast by the pandemic has shaken the world to the very core, leaving humans hanging on a fragile thread that swings between hope and insecurity, causing them to drift off balance.

In order to recalibrate and return back on course, consumers are seeking sanctuary and comfort in the safety of their own homes and well-being is the number one priority across the world.

Brain care and mental health are becoming increasingly important and are now intertwined in fashion, fabrics, and interior design, resulting in a design language that serves as a visual yoga with a lot of invisible integrated technology.

This trend is dictated by soothing shapes, silhouettes, fabrics and colours such as fluid pyjama-style suits, airy volumes, soft and highly tactile materials (satin, knits, down and chenille), blanket and plaid inspired designs, gradients and endless rhythmic linear effects with pleats and line play.

The key colours in this trend include delicate, soft, and harmonious tones. Think of sandy tones and powder make-up colours such as soft pinks, golds, lilacs, clay, and terracotta. Darker tones are reserved for pine green and reddish-brown.