When it comes to setting trends in the world of aesthetics, fashion design is often the first place people look for inspiration. The experiences over the past two years have undoubtedly impacted the design sector, with minimalism, quality and environmental considerations prioritised across the spectrum. Here’s a look at how these are working into the 2022 fashion design trends.


1.     Eco-aesthetics

With the conclusion of COP26 still fresh in our minds, and the pressing need for environmental sustainability everyone’s responsibility, we’re likely to see eco-aesthetics become a massive trend in 2022. This will infiltrate all aspects of design so as to reduce the fashion carbon footprint. Expect the use of environmentally-conscious materials and packaging, sourcing from locally-based suppliers, and minimising waste wherever possible. There have already been great strides with manufacturers producing biodegradable products and water-based inks. In terms of design, we’re moving away from the very ‘on-the-nose’ greens and floral prints to more subtle natural colours and nature-based themes. It’s more about reconnecting with nature in approach, design and practice where less is more.


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2.     Collaborative designs

The pandemic has become an unexpectedly unifying force, bringing the world a lot closer together through a shared experience – bad as it may be. However, fashion design is now leveraging this unification by creating interesting collaborations that will be reflected on the catwalks. From Asia and Africa to the Americas and beyond, cross-country designers are working together, fusing a mixture of tastes and cultures to create a revolutionary new look and feel. This barrier-breaking creativity will result in an interesting fashion design trend in 2022.


3.     Fighting consumerism

Drawing on from the eco-aesthetic trend, fashion design – once considered a place of unnecessary excess – is actually flowing with the tide of anti-consumerism and embracing simplicity where it can. This drive away from self-indulgence and over-consumption is leading to more refined, minimalist designs as people realise that happiness cannot be found in having more and more. Sensory stimulation is also an important part of this trend, as well as a real drive for happiness and positivity. Expect more fashion houses to start engaging with consumers on an emotional level with customer satisfaction key.


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4.     Back to the 1990s

We’ve been through the psychedelic 60s, the bell bottoms of the 70s, the shoulder pads and netting of the 80s…and now it’s time for a bit of 90s nostalgia! With us now firmly into the 2020s, we’re flipping over to some millennial reminiscence in all its MTV glory. Crop tops, mom jeans, basketball jackets and caps are going to dominate the scene in 2022 with the stylings of Friends, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Clueless suddenly back.


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5.     Vibrant typography

The massive shift to the digital space these past few years has made us feel very connected to specific typography. The binge-watching, streaming culture has brought more television shows into our lives, with the typography triggering associated certain emotions. We can expect typography to get more exaggerated and vibrant as we move into 2022, with flowing forms and vivid shapes dominating.


6.     Global studies

In the education sector, those seeking a career in fashion design will be looking for a solid grounding from more international organisations. There’s a definite shift to more online studies, either in the form of short courses, diplomas or degrees. Students will also be looking to institutions that can offer an international experience, with real-world connections. Lecturers with actual fashion design experience and opportunities for global travel will be sought after. It’s a case of quality, connectivity and opportunity.


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South African-based Villioti Fashion Institute is an accredited tertiary institution prides itself in making the ordinary extraordinary. Led by Spero Villioti, who has run a successful fashion brand for more than 30 years, Villioti offers a variety of options in terms of fashion design, from short courses through to degrees. The institution also has international affiliations with Parsons New York, FIT (NY) and London College of Fashion. This provides an international benchmark for fashion courses and extensive global networking opportunities.