From the frazzled English woman, to Barbiecore, Festercore, and Ketamine Chic, we revisit the fashion trends that riled and reigned over 2022
If a trend drops on TikTok and nobody engages with it, does it have any impact?
In 2022, the word ‘trend’ has seemingly become a dirty one, and for good reason – this year alone has seen us change on a dime, from dressing like Y2K girlband boppers to haunted Victorian dolls, from Boombox Barbie to BDSM babes.
We’ve editorialised every inch of our lives, spinning so fast in the hamster wheel that has somehow already seen the return of the galaxy print. It’s easy to become overwhelmed – whatever you do, don’t take a shot every time you see the suffix “-core” – but is it really that deep?
Dating back to the dawn of time (read: the 14th century), trends in their earliest form were a way for the rich to show off their wealth with a revolving wardrobe updated with new pieces. Nothing much has changed there, other than the fact that trends now come from all directions: TV, film, music, fashion magazines, influencers, TikTokkers, forecasters, or your fave Twitter personality.
Similar to memes – which we don’t take anywhere near as seriously – trends come and go. Some are good, lots are bad, and most require nothing more than a cursory glance followed by an eye roll.
So, *deep breath*, without further ado, let’s dive into the silly little trends of 2022, that weren’t so silly or little to a lot of people. Do with this information what you will. By all means, buy it all (but please don’t!), sound off to your local MP, or just ignore it completely because if 2022 actually taught us anything, it’s that The World Is On Fire But We’re Still Buying Shoes!
The way m*n acted when Joker came out in 2019 is how the girls/gays/theys will when Greta Gerwig’s Barbie drops next year. As we await its release, rewatching the trailer for the 1000th time, fashion prepared us with a plethora of pink looks that you’ll likely see in the queue outside your local Odeon when the film drops. Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli went HAM with an entire collection in Pepto-Bismol pink (sorry, ‘Valentino Pink PP’) save for a few monochromatic black looks. Not just for Barbie-sized figures, the trend has been worn by Lizzo, Kim Kardashian, Glenn Close, and Harry Styles. Elsewhere, pretty in pink looks turned up at Balenciaga, Versace, and Jacquemus. Hot pink, bubblegum, rose, blush – all is welcome in the Barbieverse.
After slouching around in sweats throughout 2020 (and most of 2021 too), we finally emerged from the pandemic (the only mention in this entire feature, I promise) as maximalist magpies. Euphoria doubled down on bitchcore, men’s fashion got slutty, and the red carpet turned into this monstrosity. More is more is more. Yet it was the quieter moments that spoke the loudest. Take this year’s Oscars, for example. The only look worth mentioning was Uma Thurman’s quietly chic shirt and skirt combo courtesy of Bottega Veneta. And the standout red carpet look of the year? This (no arguments)!
On the runway, Prada’s AW22 show saw Hunter Schafer step out in a simple white tank (stamped with the brand’s recognisable triangular logo) while Bottega Veneta’s SS23 collection included a follow-up to the much-loved jeans and tank combo – it has its own Instagram fan account! – with grungy checked shirts that were similarly created in the softest leather printed with layers of ink to look like plaid. Dressing like a basic bitch never felt so good.
Has there been a more talked about look in recent memory than the Miu Miu miniskirt? She’s sparked memes, inspired Halloween costumes, and been worn by the likes of Nicole Kidman, Paloma Elsesser, Zendaya, Hunter Schafer, Emily Ratajkowski, and Saweetie. Her impact is so grand that she’s spawned a host of micro minis including Diesel’s allegedly unwearable (we beg to differ) leather belt skirt and Coperni’s crotch-skimming iteration. Miuccia Prada loved the OG mini so much that she brought it back for AW22 and SS23 – the new and improved versions cementing the notion that with hemlines, the only way is up baby.
The last of 2022’s silly little trends takes its cue from 00s cinema – think Keira Knightley in Love Actually and Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones’ Diary. Frumpy sweaters, skinny scarves, long denim skirts, and baker boy hats – it has all the charm of an overwhelmed supply teacher, unless you look like Bella Hadid. On the plus side, this final trend hopefully signals a change for 2023 – eschewing the need to buy more in favour of character-based, content-led looks using what you’ve already got. There’s a frazzled English woman at the back of your closet waiting to be discovered, so let her out!
On Renaissance – this writer’s album of the year – Beyoncé boldly proclaimed: “Birkins? Them shit’s in storage.” With Hermès’ elusive accessory seemingly toppled from its pedestal, 2022 made space for a generation of new It bags: among them: JW Anderson’s Bumper, Diesel’s 1DR, Kiko Kostadinov’s Trivia, Balenciaga’s Cagole, and the Telfar Shopping Bag, which has had Brooklyn (and beyond) in a chokehold since 2020. If you’re not one for following the crowd, then look no further than the real MVPs of 2022: batshit bags. Here for a good time and not a long time, these kitsch carries include JW Anderson’s pigeon-shaped clutch, Gucci’s Gremlins collab, or Balenciaga’s bag of Lay’s (Demna’s own came without the £1.5k price tag). If you favour something more refined, Coperni’s hand-blown glass accessory might be more your bag, though no more practical I’m afraid.
@dazed It’s cool to dress like you’re emerging from the landfill of consumer culture dressed like a blabbering minion. Read more at the 🔗 #LongStoryShort #microtrends #postironicmemes #internetculture #2022trends #swag ♬ original sound – dazed
What’s the solution to the overwhelming amount of trends in 2022? Another trend, of course! If you’re a fan of accelerationism, this one’s for you. Not to be confused with heroin chic (no, that’s not having a comeback), its ketamine-favouring sibling is a memey mash-up of cringe clothes: UGGs, diamante baseball caps, Spongebob tees, apple bottom jeans, and boots with the fur – by now, you should get the picture. Bonus points if you find a way to incorporate Minions into your look. Basically, it’s lost property dressing, but fashion.
As privacy becomes more of a foreign concept with each passing day (Alexa, I know you’re always listening) the idea of becoming an anonymous entity is becoming more and more alluring. Kicking off the year with a bunch of berserk balaclavas – courtesy of a group of crafty designers on TikTok – these accessories are what we imagine a bank robber in the Euphoria universe would wear. Fashion followed suit with functional, daytime-appropriate head coverings at Botter, Louis Vuitton, Eckhaus Latta, and Maximilian. Simone Rocha dialled up the glamour, encrusting hers with pearls and crystals, while Paco Rabanne chose giant golden paillettes. Anonymity ≠ bland.
Back in April, a very smart person coined the term Festercore in answer to the gargantuan-shouldered silhouettes that appeared at the AW22 shows – seemingly stolen straight out of Uncle Fester’s wardrobe. Unsurprisingly, the oversized trend trickled into tailoring too with slouchy suits your dad might have worn in the 80s appearing on Irina Shayk, Zendaya, Dua Lipa, Kid Cudi, and Emily Ratajkowski. Want one of your own? Try Peter Do, Martine Rose, and The Row.
An unexpected win thanks to the Y2K revival; women’s clothing finally has pockets. For the army enthusiast or the woman who simply wants her clothes to have function, cargo pants were everywhere from Blumarine and Balmain to Diesel and Dior. Elsewhere, pockets migrated onto tops, skirts, and dresses at GCDS, Simone Rocha, Louis Vuitton, and Miu Miu. Jackets too were well represented, of course, with standouts including Balenciaga’s hulking security jacket – worn by the SS23 show’s opener, whose name I can’t quite remember… – with enough hot pockets to store all of your Hot Pockets.
As decreed by its patron saint, Julia Fox, 2022 was the year denim got dirty. Marching out in pubis-grazing jeans with matching bag and barely-there bra, Fox’s looks were often upcycled from old pairs of jeans hacked into pieces. On the runway, denim got downright dirty and Blumarine and Diesel, with dark washes and distressed bandeaus and coats. Vaquera took ‘dirty’ literally, staining denim with soy sauce and at Balenciaga’s SS23 show – hosted in a peat pit with models splashing through the muddy puddle that was the catwalk – it was fucking filthy: slashed, soiled, and hanging off the wearers.
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