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Anatomy of a trend by Christine Boland: soothing shapes

By Partner


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In ‘Anatomy of a trend’ trend analyst Christine Boland anatomizes a specific trend worth keeping an eye on. 

The trend

Undoubtedly one of the most striking characteristics of the AW22/23 fashion shows is a certain soothing effect found in both shape, silhouette, fabric and colour. It resulted in an overall design language that is well considered and literally calming; soulful, cocooning and healing. Everything to create the ultimate feeling of wellbeing. Not surprisingly, the pyjama-style triumphed. Materials are all about softness and tactility (satin, knits, down and chenille), envelop and offer protection, reminiscent of blankets and plaids. Patterns have a radiating - nearly spiritual - rhythm giving them a relaxing effect, almost a visual yoga. That can also be said of the abundance of linear effects, endless-looking pleats and line play. The sparsely used flashes of colour are reminiscent of light beams, providing some sort of light therapy: vibrant but still soothing. Even distinct, bold and geometrical forms are softened by rounded edges, waving lines and large and airy volumes. The message is clear: there's no place for any sort of rigidity this coming season. 

The origin

The pandemic’s capricious unpredictability has shaken us to the very core. Cast down between hope and insecurity, we have drifted off balance. To recalibrate and return back on course we seek a gentle stability, peace and quiet, a healing tranquillity in a sustainable balance with our living environment. All our senses are focused on acquiring holistic wellbeing.

The relevance

Currently, everything is geared to turning the tide on polarisation, destruction of the planet, fear and inequality. Therefore, we seek a new balance. We are desperately in need of a home where our interior and personal style serve as a refuge; a serene space to retreat into. And it's exactly AW22/23's soothing and calming design vocabulary that helps to ground us and to reset that balance. The demure, harmonious and introverted atmosphere invites us in. A sanctuary leading to stillness, contemplation and meditation as a counterpart to the demanding disorder of daily life and the current chaos of the times we live in.

The influencers

Influential fashion houses for this trend are Fendi, Krizia, Simona Marziali, Victoria Beckham, Zanini, Roksanda and The Row. But woolen blanket brands such as Yumeko and Icewear play an important role too. As does the soft, feminine and 'groovy' furniture from the sixties. Not surprising, as the sixties is fashion’s (and interior) designers' new favorite decade. The frequently showcased curvy linear shapes are clearly inspired by interior design and architecture, such as the organically shaped wooden chair and pendant lamp by Piegatto. Or even more distinct: how 3-D artist Hugo Fournier and Shanghai-based design studio Lukstudio turn rhythmic lines into a new architectural pleat-like experience. De Blue Building in Brooklyn's trendy Bushwick is the ultimate paragon for this trend. Light design serves as a major colour influencer, especially the round led shapes by Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis, the ‘Circlo’ Table Lamp and of course the iconic Philips Hue range.

Curious what other trends the season of FW22/23 has in stock for us? Stay tuned for a delicious summary of Christine Boland’s newest Trend Analysis coming soon.

Image credits: Pexels and Unsplash

Christine Boland
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