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10 trends seen on the fashion week catwalks so far

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

23 Sept 2021


Image: Rue Agthonis LFW, courtesy

The global fashion month is nearly halfway over, with several recurring themes and trends recurring across borders and fashion weeks. Here are the top 10 fashion trends as seen during New York and London Fashion Week:

1. Adaptive Fashion Hits the Runway

Since 2019 Adaptive Fashion has seen a rise in brands designing for the differently abled, with companies including Nike and Tommy Hilfiger championing and expanding their designs for disabilities. Runway fashion is catching up and this season saw models in wheelchairs take to the catwalks to show that innovative fashion can be truly inclusive. Faduma’s Fellowship in partnership with Oxford Fashion Studio showed being wheelchair-bound should not limit the joy of self-expression through fashion.

Image: Faduma's Fellowship x Oxford Fashion Studio

2. Colour

There is nothing like the hue of optimism, translated into a joyous use of colour which so far has seen a rainbow palette wash over the collections. From the jewel tones of Roksanda Ilincic at LFW, Norma Kamali’s vintage quilt prints and vibrant florals in NYC to master of the LBD Tom Ford, who is often resigned to a muted palette, but who’s opening look of vivid orange, glittering pink and azure blue stole the show.

Image: Tom Ford SS22

3. Elevated Athleisure

The groutfit is out. No longer does activewear need to just be a sweatshirt and sweatpants. Designers are taking the athleisure trend and making it truly fashion. Essentials like the cargo pant or jeans worn with shrunken t-shirts or bra tops are the new uniforms of the street. Timeless wearability is a key factor making the fabric quality for sporty separates vital.

4. Artistic Prints

The prints seen on the runway this season were beautiful enough to frame and hang in a museum, from digitally enhanced graphics to sumptuous heritage quilts. Tie-dye even saw revolution in new ombré versions, where colours seems to seep and blend into the fabric. There was hot pink gingham seen as Prabal Gurung and an artistry of print at TSC Design House at Oxford Fashion Studio shown in London.

5. Hybrid Everything

Fashion weeks are hybrid. While September is traditionally the season for womenswear companies, menswear designers have taken to the catwalks too. Some brands are hosting digital shows, others in person, or revealing collections via film, like Victoria Beckham and Matty Bovan, the Woolmark Prize winner. In New York, Eckhaus Latta’s sensual knitwear made the point of being gender neutral. Designers are choosing which medium is right for them.

6. Spring Suits

The two-piece suit is making a comeback. Especially vibrant, colourful tailoring that makes a fashion statement. Suiting can be dressed up or down, but not to be confused with the grey business suit of the office uniform, instead tailoring is deconstructed and executed in subtle shades for a more modern take.

Image: Proenza Schouler SS22

7. The Colour Purple

Already a key colour on the Pantone radar, shades of purple have been everywhere for the SS22 season. From mauve and lilac to lavender, grape and violet, spring is the season of all things purple. Wear it in full regalia or as punchy separates.

8. Gender-Free Looks

Gender is largely a social construct and designers are taking note and showcasing more fluid looks on the runway. In truly inclusive design, brands are keen to remove gender boundaries, featuring all kinds of body shapes and abilities. With the 90s trend revival set to stay, the oversized grunge looks emphasises youth culture by layering pieces any person can wear. This appeals to a customer who sees beyond the limitations of gender.

9. Sheer

Skin is in, with the little black dress shorter than ever, and a universal need to feel sexy again in clothing. Fabrics like tulle, chiffon, netting, mesh, lingerie and other see-thru options made a return to the catwalk. LVMH prize winner and London Fashion Week designer Nensi Dojaka was crowned the symbol of modern femininity by the Guardian with her fresh take on hosiery, bras and tiny dresses.

Image: Simone Rocha SS22


Any shape is a go next season, as long as it can be cut, sewn and re-cut to dramatic effects. Designers are experimenting with asymmetric draping, knotting and twisting fabric in innovative new ways to show openings in a garment’s most unexpected places.

Image: David Koma, LFW SS22

Trends collated in collaboration with The Riviere Agency