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Fashion after corona: colour and lifestyle trends for SS22

By Katrien Huysentruyt



Antwerp - Every six months Trend watcher Hilde Francq from Trend Studio Francq Colors shares the most important upcoming colours and trends during the Colour Trend Seminar. The corona factor has certainly made it extra exciting this edition. FashionUnited was in (virtual) attendance and noted what we can expect for the summer of 2022.

There’s absolutely no doubt that the pandemic will have an impact on social and lifestyle trends. Francq detects four sociological factors which drive lifestyle trends, not only in fashion, but also, for example, in design. We would like to put the spotlight on four of these: the Resident, the Essentialist, the Tinkerer and the Lunatic. She will present different colour palettes and combination options for each trend - from neutral to avant-garde. Each trend will also come with a specific preference for the materials and patterns used.

The Resident

The first trend builds on the rise of everything local. Designers were forced to work with materials from their own direct environment during lockdown, but consumers also started supporting the local economy more. This trend became even more important in 2020, and will definitely be mainstream by 2022. Consumers want typically local, authentic and unique products, made with local materials and processes. The combination possibilities proposed by Francq for each colour card start with a subtle, safe option and extend right through to more avant-garde applications. For example, the Resident’s sand colours can be subtly combined with brown - a permanent fixture which will look even warmer by the summer of 2022.

Everything can look handmade or second-hand where the materials and production are concerned, including imperfections. Matching patterns are the country check, the wide beach chair stripe in warm shades or prints of flowers and plants. Raw materials come from nature: from paint on new materials to straw and grass.

The Essentialist

The nostalgia associated with the 1990’s is here to stay for a while, although it will be taking on a different form: we’ll be longing for the minimalist aspects of the nineties in the summer of ‘22. This prediction follows the conclusion that there will be a return to the core after a crisis. In all its simplicity, this is the Resident’s polar opposite. Unlike in the 1990’s, the shapes are softer, colours more subtle and sophisticated and materials more ecological. The trend shows itself in a somewhat duller palette where the colour is concerned. The Essentialist promotes comfort with the basic, oversized silhouettes we’re already familiar with from previous seasons and the use of colour blocking. Shape contrasts and semi-transparent materials are also dabbled with.

The Tinkerer

The most playful and colourful theme pleads for a return to childlike creativity and shows a need for less rational thinking in favour of emotion. With the actual production of the item being more important than the result: The Tinkerer isn’t trying to realise perfect objects, but is instead opting for something childlike and spontaneous, it’s allowed to be quite messy-looking. Artificial intelligence is used to bring randomness and spontaneity into the design process. There is no such thing as incorrect colour combinations within the palettes of this creative trend. Raw materials like transparent resin, clay or Jesmonite can be used for the accessories. Plus growing your own materials will definitely also become mainstream by the summer of ‘22.

The Lunatic

Francq sees the Lunatic as ‘someone who admires the moon’. The great return to nature allows people to rediscover how the moon influences the earth's rhythms. Biodynamic agriculture – which harvests and sows in line with the rhythm of the different moon phases - is already a hype and will certainly become a trend too. Research has shown that even the stock market - one of the most unpredictable businesses - is influenced by this: a new moon has shown to result in a great deal more speculation. Moon-inspired colour palettes are supplemented with lots of grainy, dusty textures. In addition to all kinds of treated metal, we also see many bioplastics, with a dirty transparency - as if they've been covered with a layer of moon dust.

Colour evolution

The trend watcher insists that a brand must always maintain the 80-20 balance when purchasing or designing. This is the ratio within a collection of 20 percent trend colours versus 80 percent commercial colours. If a brand is more avant-garde, the percentage of shades which are more difficult to sell can be reduced to 40 percent. We are actually taking many of the autumn ‘21 colours with us to spring ‘22, albeit in a slightly modified nuance.

Hoofdbeeld: CKS

Hilde Francq