Forbes India Showstoppers 2022-23

The fashion trends of 2022 were largely shaped by social networks and TV shows

As incredible as it may seem, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of ready-to-wear trends today, influenced not just by runway shows, but by social networks and TV shows

Published: Dec 2, 2022 04:11:35 PM IST
Updated: Dec 2, 2022 04:17:57 PM IST

The fashion trends of 2022 were largely shaped by social networks and TV shows TV shows, movies, and social networks have influenced fashion trends this year, including the passion for Barbie pink. Image: Shutterstock

Barbie, "Emily in Paris," dance culture, and even our grandmothers played a big role in how we dressed in 2022. As incredible as it may seem, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of ready-to-wear trends today, influenced not just by runway shows, but by social networks and TV shows.

We predicted it, and we were not let down. Fictional personalities proved to be the most influential influencers this year, calling the shots when it came to our fashion must-haves. But they weren't the only ones. Whereas once upon a time—as recently as two or three years ago, in fact—the world's most renowned designers led the way for determining fashion movements, they seem to have now been usurped by social networks. Ok, it's not the social networks that are actually determining trends, but they are spreading them, validating or destroying them in a snap. Emily Cooper, Barbie, Edwina Sharma, and Lady Diana were more influential than Kim Kardashian this year, as were our grandmothers, true fashionistas.

A trend underlined by Stylight's recent 'Fashion Recap 2022' report, which reveals that while big brands may still be influencing street trends, it's pop culture and social networks like TikTok that are making a mark on trends and online purchases, outlined Ilenia Sarman, vice president of brand marketing and customer experience at Stylight, which just unveiled its 'Fashion Recap 2022'. As a result, fashion inspirations are no longer defined by words—with a few exceptions—but by hashtags, and are now counted in millions of views. A phenomenon that should continue next year, with series of micro-trends rather than trends, ever more ephemeral.

Barbie and memes taking over wardrobes

After the comeback of crochet, cardigans and scarves in the year 2021, we thought our grandmothers' wardrobes had been (once again) relegated to the past. But we hadn't taken into account the powerful lure of nostalgia, which so often comes to play in shaping our desires, a necessary look back in order to be able to look ahead to a better future, as well as a revival of interest for basic clothes. This simplicity that we call 'effortless chic' gave rise this spring to the 'Coastal Grandmother' trend, which was widely embraced on social networks by younger generations. A few weeks before year end, the numbers are indisputable: nearly 260 million views for this wardrobe inspired by the chic grannies of the Hamptons.

But gradually, grandma fashion's crown was stolen by a much more powerful figure (with all due respect to grandmothers): Barbie. As a pop culture icon, the most famous doll on the planet has clearly made her mark on our wardrobes. Her influence this year is not unrelated to the movie of the same name, starring Margot Robbie, and the trailers that seem to have stirred up fashion yearnings. And we're far from being done with the kitschy doll, given that the feature film will be released in July 2023.

Luxury brand Valentino was in the zeitgeist, making Barbie pink its color of choice for the fall-winter 2022 season by showing it in a host of all-pink silhouettes, for all genders. As a result, hashtags associated with the #Barbiecore trend generated nearly 200 million views, while search interest in pink steadily increased throughout the year to peak in September 2022, as reported by Stylight.* The global fashion search engine warns, however, that green is beginning to replace pink, poised to become the star color of 2023.

Also read: How paid promos take the shine off YouTube stars (and tips for better influencer marketing)

"Emily in Paris," "Bridgerton"

From 2021, everything was in place to make TV series the new fashion influencers, making a bigger impact than even the likes of Kim Kardashian, Hailey Bieber, and Bella Hadid. And that's what happened. Emily Cooper, the most French of Americans, has elevated the beret to star status since the release of the second season of the romantic comedy, December 22, 2021, having an effect on the fashion trends of the first half of the next year. And this interest shouldn't weaken according to Stylight, since searches for this category of accessories have soared by +392%, stealing the show from the bucket hat that peaked at the top of the trends for two years. The release of the third season of Netflix's "Emily in Paris," scheduled for December 21, should help make the beret the star headwear of 2023.

Since late 2020, Netflix series "Bridgerton" has also been a fashion heavyweight. Which is surprising and incredible, considering the characters wear period costumes throughout. It goes without saying that these types of dresses and wigs, feathers and other frills aren't exactly showing up in office wear or on the subway, but the impracticality of these fashions hasn't prevented social network users from falling for long gloves and corsets. Thought to be firmly relegated to the history of fashion, these garments were announced at the end of 2021 as among the fashion stars of 2022. Not only has the historical romance inspired viewers, it has also influenced many fashion designers and celebrities, who made the corset the must-have piece at the Met Gala.

With a peak reached last January, the demand for corsets is tending to fade in favor of a piece straight out of the men's wardrobe, the suit vest, whose search interest has jumped by +165% in recent months. Beware, though, the TV show "The Crown," whose fifth season has been out on Netflix since November 9, could also set trends of the coming year, with pieces now considered historic, such as the iconic 'revenge dress' of Princess Diana. A dress that the royal wore in 1994 in response to the televised revelations of Prince Charles's infidelity.

Also read: How much more would holiday shoppers pay to wear something rare?

Ode to Y2K

We can't end this 2022 trends roundup without talking about the unprecedented appetite for 2000s fashion. This has resulted in the return of several items and styles, including parachute pants, cargo pants, butterfly patterns, and the low rise. A remnant of those carefree—and tasteless—years, low-rise pants have been a hit all year long, but it's likely to be soon overshadowed by long denim skirts, which have been gaining interest for months.

Among the other trends, it's worth mentioning cut-outs, very popular in 2022, which should give way to sheer garments in 2023, as predicted by Stylight, while the platform pumps should soon give way to ballet flats, a must-have that is already popular both on social networks and on celebrities.

*For this report, Stylight examined clicks and therefore the demand on 18 selected trends over the period January 1 to October 31, 2022. This information is based on analysis of the shopping data of its 160 million annual shoppers. The emerging trend numbers were compared over two shorter time periods to show the reader how demand is developing, especially at the end of the year. July and August were compared to September and October 2022.

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