The trend cycle has always been a dynamic, ever-moving creature but, recently, it’s become a new beast entirely. With how fast fashion begets an over-saturated market, the very concept of a trend has become ambiguous and muddled. (Is a trend a color? A specific garment? A collective mood? All of the above?) Furthermore, the runway-to-street, trickle-down fashion structure is no longer as strongly in effect. Social media — particularly Tiktok — is democratizing fashion and turning the insightful creators on the platforms into leading industry forces. To make sense of what’s to come in 2022, TZR tapped three TikTok fashion trend forecasters for their aesthetic predictions and insight.
Mandy Lee (@oldloserinbrooklyn) says the anti-minimal fashion phenomenon will continue to be fruitful throughout the year, spawning more niche subsets of the experimental aesthetic. “[Maximalism,] however you define it, can swing very extreme,” Lee tells TZR over Zoom, equating the aesthetic to a mindset of sartorial liberation that exists on a spectrum. “Sometimes people will go all the way and then later reel it in, or sometimes they won’t because that is their personal style,” she offers. Some relish high saturation and outrageous silhouettes, while others partake in the bold aesthetic via extraneous layering and subtle statement pieces — it’s dependent on the individual, she says. At its core, though, Lee says maximalism is “about people giving themselves permission to wear whatever they want.”
Subversion will also be integral this year, says Agus Panzoni (@thealgorythm). “2022 will be all about innovation, rebellion, and the breaking of fashion’s conventions,” she says. “Elements of alternative subcultures such as punk, emo, and goth will be reinterpreted through blurred lines and mix-and-match aesthetics.” Ready for more? Below, the TikTok trend forecasters share what 2022 trends they expect to take over and offer advice on how to wear the up-and-coming looks.
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One of the variants of maximalism Lee has on her radar is what the trend forecaster calls “Avant Apocalypse.” An extension of the subversive basics trend, the end-of-the-world aesthetic is characterized by asymmetry, deconstruction, non-formulaic layering, and a muted and sooty color palette. Those who partake in the apocalyptic aesthetic often lean into the “I just narrowly escaped a zombie attack” look by wearing clothing incorrectly, too: Putting their arms through a top’s neck-holes, turning a maxi skirt into a dress, or flipping a piece upside down, repositioning the garment anew.
Lee credits grunge god Rick Owens and the avant-garde spirit of Maison Margiela for heavily influencing the trend and cites balaclavas, distressed knitwear, and multi-pocketed accessories reminiscent of a doomsday prepper’s emergency go-bag for being emblematic of the look.
Space Age-Inspired Futurism
“We welcome the new space age, and advances in space tourism have brought newfound hope for the future. I believe this will inspire a new wave of futuristic designs,” postures Panzoni. “We'll see designers explore new materials and silhouettes, akin to the 1960s space age. This time around, though, I expect to see innovation center around biodegradability and modularity,” she predicts.
Citing LYST’s year-in-review trend report, Panzoni says the retrofuturist trend is an evolution of 2021’s ‘60s mod resurgence that allows the modern-day individual an opportunity to celebrate novelty, innovation, and the unknown. The trend forecaster shouts out the Spring/Summer 2022 collections from Loewe, Mugler, and Chet Lo for championing the style.
Alyssa Mosley, a fashion contributor on TikTok (@cherryemojixo,) has her eye on Abercrombie-core. “As the trend cycle moves from the early 2000s to the late 2000s,” it enters the age of “peak Abercrombie/Hollister consumerism,” she tells TZR over the phone. As a result, people are retiring their heavily glossed and flashy Y2K staples for the more muted and grounded styles of the late-aughts. Look to how UGG Boots are one of 2022’s most sought-after items; A study by Clothes2Order found Mini Uggs, in particular, to be TikTok’s fastest-growing fashion trend, with “a remarkable +8233.33% increase in Google search demand over six months.”
Mosley also references Miu Miu’s Spring/Summer 2022 show (macro-viral, micro-miniskirt, anyone?) and the wired headphone techaccessory trend for signaling Abercrombie-core steady procession into the stratosphere. She points out, too, that the trend also has deep ties to thrifting, as authentic relics from the 2010s are readily circulating the reselling market. “This trend will be huge, especially on sites like Depop. I’m already seeing Hollister and Abercrombie’s cable-knit sweaters and T-shirts sell for over what they retailed for back in the late 2000s,” says Mosley.
For a more garish, in-your-face take on maximalism, allow Lee to introduce you to clown-core, a niche trend defined by bright colors and exaggerated volume. The trend forecaster admits she herself is partial to the jester-inspired look because it represents what she considers to be an integral maximalist value: joy. “I love seeing people in big exaggerated colors, not being afraid of volume and crazy silhouettes, and just having fun,” she says.
The circus-centric trend is inherently childlike, but that’s not to say sophistication it lost. Lee credits Ganni for long championing wearable takes on the aesthetic with the Scandi label’s signature oversized collars and playful prints. She also invites you to also consider more subtle harlequin-inspired prints — like multicolored diamonds and stripes — as a means of harnessing the whimsical nature of clown-core without teetering into costume territory.
“The most exciting theme of 2022 is the rise of what I have called sculptural styling. It’s a no-stitch practice that’s turning stylists into ‘designers’ through creative positioning, layering, and wrapping,” Panzoni shares with TZR. “Sculptural styling questions fashion silhouettes by DIYing new styles and utilizing one's body as a canvas,” she explains. Ornamental, easy-to-manipulate pieces like gloves, leg warmers, and tights are essential to the look and Panzoni invites you to consider the dress-over-pants trend, too.
“Sculptural styling is the base of the Avant Apocalypse trend coined by [Lee,] but I suspect we will see people fit it into their own aesthetic (meaning it doesn't have to be apocalyptic),” Panzoni says. “It comes as a response to the ubiquity of fast fashion's designs, giving style enthusiasts an exclusive alternative. This shift has the potential to change what we consider clothing!”