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Christine Boland’s trend analysis for SS22: A Summary

By Partner


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Christine Boland is a trend analyst with over 30 years of experience in discerning relevant currents in consumer behaviour. Especially for FashionUnited she will give a bimonthly insight into the most prominent trends and must-know new developments for the fashion bizz.

As our new contributing author, she kicks off with a Trend Summary for Summer 2022.

The turbulent times we live in churn up a great deal of uncertainty: a pandemic, polarization, a ‘phygital’ world, paradigm shifts... Resulting in a longing for a new way forward. Therefore, currently everything revolves around reinvesting meaning into things and the systems that surround us: a reset of the balance between man and nature, between man and possessions, and between people themselves. In a nutshell: a need for ‘SOULFUL SOLUTIONS’. And ‘when times are tough, art gets loud’. This means Summer 22 promises to become an inspiring alchemy of expressive imaginative powers, virtuality, nature and spirituality in which time-consuming traditional skills and practices co-exist with high-speed technology and hyper-realist colours.

Within this frame are 4 distinguishing trends:


The pandemic has made people look to their own resources. For many their room to manoeuvre has been sharply curtailed metaphorically, psychologically and physically. We become increasingly aware of what is really important, resulting in a clear shift towards ‘less, but better’, from innovation to ‘unnovation’. For example: the perfect white shirt in crisp cool cotton beautifully made, the simplest white tiles applied in a new way and smoother than smooth polished wood. Second, the fact that hygiene and disinfection have become a set element to our daily rituals translates into ‘clean’ materials, clear colours and the hues of medical PPE and disinfecting UV light floating on a sea of white. 

Within this trend the most important style aspects to take home are: 

clear and minimalist elegance in design and imagery, functionality, plain natural fabrics, shadow effects and layering. 

Colourwise it’s all about fresh white, lavender, surgical green, and band-aid beige. 


This trend is driven by the swelling dissatisfaction with the current world situation; global warming, racism and inequality. The time is ripe for a change in the system and for new norms in our attitude towards (over)consumption, pollution and raw materials. This ‘angry’ energy is released in a loud design language via pronounced and expressive art and unique personal statements. A colourful blend of slogans, vintage, historic and hyper-new elements, with handmade details. Reuse is the recurring refrain and recycling and upcycling remain firmly embedded. It is colourful and (almost provocatively) unconventional.

Its style characteristics are: 

handmade and expressive artworks and fabrics, urban vibes via denim, cotton and T-shirting, recycled materials, graphic patterns, and shapes and loud combinations. 

Key colours are deep red, electric blue, all shades of green, and fresh coral.


The limitations thrown up by the pandemic have unleashed an unprecedented surge of creativity and are mirrored in this theme. Resulting in a surrealist world of human fantasy and endless digital possibilities. For example, in the virtual world of gaming we’ve already seen the borders of reality blurring. Now the opposite is happening: in the analogue world a virtual-looking design language is merging. Either surrealistic or hyper-realist. At the same time nature proves a bottomless source of inspiration. Bioluminescence inspires new ways of lighting, whilst jellyfish become the models for new ruffles and volumes. Even the plastic soup on and in the ocean can be seen in the design language and colour scheme.

The most apparent style elements within this trend: 

unusual and surreal animal and plant inspired colours, silhouettes and details, (apparently) natural materials, and fluid versus sculpted designs and patterns. 

Colour wise it’s all about vivid green, Mediterranean blue, cool pinks and purples contrasted with wine red.


During lockdown we witnessed nature perk up and relax. A clear and must-needed proof of man’s shameless one-way relationship with nature: depleting resources, threatening biodiversity and warming up the globe. But, we also have proof that it’s not too late. ‘Rewilding’ is this trend’s catchword, where indigenous and naturally living communities are the new influencers. Hence the growing popularity of plant-based restaurants, wild foraging and Urbano music. Nature itself is slowly but steadily making its way back into our lives: our houses are literally ‘greening up’ again and materials are created with nature’s assistance.

The style features that characterize this trend are: 

hand-crafting techniques such as knotting, weaving and braiding mixed with modern hightech materials, ancient patterns and structures, organic irregular shapes and vegan materials. 

The key colours are warm yellows, brick and burned orange, deep plums, rainforest green with dark earthy tones.

Curious for and in need of a more in depth report on the trends for next summer? Join Christine Boland’s LIVE TALK “Design Language Summer 2022” on May 27th 3 pm. Register now with this link!

credits: Hugo Boss, Dolce and Gabbana, Miu Miu and Hermes SS21, Catwalkpictures
Christine Boland