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Radically sexy or radically comfortable: four womenswear trends for autumn/winter 22/23

By Weixin Zha

19 Jan 2022


Image: Moschino AW21, Lemaire AW21 by Catwalkpictures

"Corona will likely be under control soon, but fashion will continue to be shaped by the experience of the crisis for a very long time," said trend researcher Carl Tillessen during his online talk at the German Fashion Institute's Fashion Day.

The new wardrobe must be comfortable and appear well-dressed at the same time, and new garments may have to be developed for this purpose - ideally based on the principle of the polo shirt, which combines the elegance of a shirt with the comfort of a t-shirt, said Tillessen. In addition to rather simple daywear, people will demand more exuberant and body-hugging fashion for going out, he predicted.

These contrasting trends between "radically sexy and radically comfortable" are reflected in the following four themes, which the German Fashion Institute calls 'Natural Me', 'Intuitivism', 'Otherwhere' and 'Supercharged'. "Post-pandemic fashion will not be gradual, but instead will be either-or. Either consistently day-to-day, or consistently different," Tillessen concluded.

Natural Me

"Softness meets rawness" is the principle that lies behind the theme 'Natural me'. Here, unconventional brightness and lightness meet monochromatic colourways. Tonal layered looks are given depth through chunky knits, a material with a structure to touch and feel, said trend researcher Karolina Landowski.

Image: Brunello Cucinelli AW21, Lemaire AW21, Kristina Fidelskaya AW21 by Catwalkpictures

The women's fashion for AW22/23 invites you to cocoon in the padded cloud coat without quilting; the puffer jacket in short and neutral colours is also indispensable. Another core product is the sleeveless coat, wrapping around the body with a wide silhouette, a belt at the waist and a row of buttons.

The look of the AW22 season is casual yet perfectly coordinated in tonal layering. Sweatpants become more tailored and overall women's pants remain wide. Surface texture is shown through ribbed two-piece tops and pants, as well as long all-over knit dresses. As in previous seasons, knits remain chunky and rustic, oversized and voluminous, hairy and fluffy - preferably in a way that flaunts an artisanal touch. Hairy bags and flat boots complement this quiet and sensual look.


"The theme of 'Intuitivism' expresses a longing for connection," Landowski said. "The desire to party, to show off, to pursue that thrill of temptation and the rediscovered desire for a smart sexiness." Silhouettes are slim, sophisticated and necklines are plunging. Cut-outs showcase the body and the dramatic looks are inspired by the club nights of the 70s and 80s. Glamorous party dresses, mini skirts and asymmetrical tops with glitter, sequins, lacquer and leather shine into the darkness of the night.

Image: Petar Petrov AW21, Coperni AW21, Givenchy AW21 by Catwalkpictures

The silhouettes of the coats are wide and flared towards the hem, the puffer jackets for the ladies are fitted. Long wrap coats and short blouson jackets in dark shades of fake fur or animal print are lavishly combined with tight leather pants, shiny leggings or slim dresses. Legs are flaunted even more with high heels and over-the-knee boots. Blazer are crisp with shoulders that are extremely emphasised. A somewhat casual form of sensual women's fashion for fall-winter 22/23 are tunics made of viscose or knitwear, combined with flowing pants.


"The theme 'Otherwhere' is inspired by a place of longing, the world. It's about folklore and distance, freedom and self-determination," said trend researcher Landowski.

Image: Dsquared AW21, Etro AW21, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini AW21 by Catwalkpictures

Folk motifs and streetwear garments come together for a unique and lighthearted look. The padded anorak with quilting, a patchwork of different fabrics and surfaces in colourblocking, constitute the essence of this look. Nylon, knits, wool and paddings are used to create deconstructed garments, often inspired by college life. Ribbons, pins and emblems complement the colourful blazers and jackets. Pleated skirts come in both mini and midi.

Checks on wool blazers, overshirts and fringed skirts carry a hint of the 70s and vintage nostalgia. Coarse knitted Norwegian sweaters or a preppy sweater augment this naively ironic look, as do coarse boots, sneakers and loafers with a high platform and bold frame stitching. Matching denim pants for women are wider, more colourful and, at their best, look handcrafted.


'Supercharged' is a departure into the contrasts of impulsiveness and harmony, boldness and austerity, happiness and tailoring, Landowski said. "Everything is blended together to create a bold escapism into the extremes."

Image: Prada AW21, Isabel Marant AW21, Jil Sander AW21 by Catwalkpictures

These women's looks for AW22/23 rely on bold colours and clean, minimal, shapes. A futuristic form of art deco meets sportswear. Deep, often novel, colours emerge as bicolour looks, an essential for shirts or tights, a contrasting dress, on lapels or piping. Lemon yellow, bright red and apple green lend fresh appeal to classic wool coats with dropped shoulders.

Lacquer is indispensable as a statement material for jackets and pants. Oversize vests and hoodies in nylon and fleece are inspired by winter sports and offer protection and statement at the same time. Geometric patterns on shiny viscose skirts and knit sweaters are also borrowed from art deco; a futuristic nuance is brought in by loud colours. The colourful turtleneck sweater in jersey or rib-knit represents one of the essential pieces for this women's look, as does the pink blazer or statement boots.