2022 In Fashion
That time of the year has finally arrived, the time when it is customary to take stock of the months that have just passed to evaluate their pros and cons, make predictions about the future, and make a copious new list of good resolutions. Mine is very long, because to the new ones I had to add the old ones that remained unresolved during this very unsuccessful year for my life, so I just have to wish myself good luck.
But let's not talk about me. Even the fashion world in these weeks is taking stock of this 2022, a year of great recovery after the pandemic, which certainly did not leave us with nothing to talk about. Initially, in fact, I had in mind to write a piece on all the big shake-ups that have taken place in the fashion system from January to the present, but by the fourth page of notes I realized that perhaps this was not the right idea: big explanations, as much as they are my signature piece, never appeal to anyone. Instead, I discovered-or rather, I studied it for my last university exam-that the people of the Internet absolutely love bulleted lists: concise and effective. And there you have it.
Then to my rescue came Lyst, a platform dedicated entirely to the world of fashion that, based on the purchases and searches made by its more than 200 million users, was able to catalog and track the trends that defined this 2022. I will offer my very personal interpretation of it.
BRAND OF THE YEAR
According to reports from the platform, and then mimicked by every outlet you can think of around the various social media, the brand of the year was MiuMiu, whose popularity on search engines increased by 34%. The top three items that seemingly contributed to this rise were the logo-embroidered chino miniskirt (strictly paired with the matching crop top), the Wander bag, and the ballet flats, brought back into hype after a long period of unpopularity.
Disregarding some of the data and asking Miuccia's forgiveness – which I would still like her to know about the boundless admiration I have for her and that a pair of Prada loafers will remain on my wishlist for as long as I can afford one – my thoughts on the brand of the year are a little different. Setting aside a bit from the shit-storm that swept over the advertising campaign that accompanied the launch of the Balenciaga Objects line, one cannot help but look at the facts objectively and acknowledge that the brand under the creative direction of Demna Gvasalia has been on everyone's lips this year. From the show in March, a tribute to the war in Ukraine, to the Mud Show in September during Paris Fashion Week, through all the absurd creations - from the Trash Pouch to the Balengiaca x Lay's bag – resold at unreasonable prices, considering we are talking about questionable reinterpretations of everyday objects that usually end up in our dustbins, or are the dustbin itself, the brand's irreverent spirit has been the talk of the town, for better or worse, until not long ago.
COLLAB OF THE YEAR
Jacquemus continued its run to keep its place in the hall of fame again this year, but not because of a fluke so much as a collaboration with sportswear brand Nike. In the minds of its creators as early as February 2021, the 15-piece collection was only launched at the end of June 2022, literally sending the French fashion house's website into a tailspin, which seems to have crashed several times due to the boom of searches that hit it in a short time after the launch and making this partnership, among many, the most successful this year.
Do I agree? In this case, my answer is: absolutely not. I love Jacquemus for the breath of fresh air it represents in the fashion system and would love a Chiquito of any color in production, as much as I have adored Nike for as long as I can remember. For that reason, the very high expectations I had after the partnership was announced were largely dashed after the launch of the collection, which left me with a feeling of "Okay, that's it?".
Different discourse applies to Adidas x Gucci, definitely the collaboration of collaborations this year. The capsule collection, first unveiled during Gucci's Exquisite runway show that was staged last February and only landed in stores in June, is a mutual homage that sees the meeting of the most iconic pieces from Alessandro Michele's 80s-inspired repertoire with Adidas' logo and vivid colors. The resulting Gazelles are the sneakers everyone deserves.
SHOES OF THE YEAR
The Boston model of the German brand Birkerstock was elected shoe of the year having conquered everyone in a short time and undermining (literally) sneakers from their supremacy of shoes that manage to combine most of all comfort and coolness. For me, they are a big yes, but I wouldn't want us to forget the Adidas Samba, the Ugg Taz Slipper and, above all, the New Balance 550, surely among the coolest and most in vogue models of this 2022.
For those with a more romantic style, on the other hand, the black loafer was the must-have this year, best if signed Prada or Gucci (horsebit 1953 model, of course).
BAGS OF THE YEAR
According to data released by Lyst, Prada's Re-Nylon Re-Edition mini-bag is the brand's most desired item and most popular bag of the year. Thanks to its 90s aesthetic, it has managed to fit into the aesthetic canons of the uncompromising Gen-Z, which has contributed to its popularity through TikTok, generating some 4.2 million views for the hashtag #pradanylonbag.
I'm not part of Gen-Z, but in this specific case I don't feel like questioning their taste, because the Re-Nylon is definitely one of the accessories that would end up in my ideal closet, not without having a Bottega Veneta Mini Jodie (certainly emerarlo green) and a Balenciaga Le Cagole next to it, which go to make up my very personal podium of it-bags for this 2022.
POWER DRESSER OF THE YEAR
To be decreed style benchmarks was Bella Hadid, whose oufits generated 1,900% searches for similar garments, leading the Y2K craze with her 2000s-inspired looks: she wore it, you inevitably wanted it.
In telling you which are my "power dressers" this year I will perhaps come across as unpopular on the one hand and biased on the other, but I will do it anyway, reminding you that these are tastes regardless of the popularity of the characters and the various statistics, which surely have more relevance than my opinion might.
Well, having said that, I would start right away with Harry Styles, which is my first preference. I think I will meet the opinion of many by saying that he is unquestionably one of the most influential personalities, style-wise, of this year. In his strictly Gucci signature outfits, which have accompanied him during the Love on Tour that has seen him around the world's arenas and stadiums, all the way to the red carpet films he has starred in this florid 2022 for his career, the British singer-songwriter succeeds in being one of the most credible models of this genderless direction that fashion is taking, demonstrating a stylistic figure that some have called didactic in the long run, but as far as I'm concerned is unique, despite having dragged behind it a series of incomparable imitations. For that matter, this year he also managed to seal his leg-breaking entry into the fashion world with the Gucci HAHAHA collection, born out of his friendship with Alessandro Michele.
If with Harry Styles I have probed still safe ground, now instead I would like to open a parenthesis on my second "power dresser" of the year: Elsa Hosk. Why is everyone talking about the Bella Hadid or the Hailey Bieber on duty, beloved by the new generation and defined as style icons, and no one is talking about her instead? This will remain a question that will never be answered, or perhaps the answer lies in the low media life choices that determine the greater or lesser public exposure. She may not have increased searches, nor may she have determined the 2000s fashion limelight, but Elsa is, as far as I am concerned, one of those cases where meritocracy does not pay. In fact, the 34-year-old model, ex Victoria Secret angel, who also launched her own clothing line (Helsa Studio) this year, has a style that needs to be given the right value.
This is my fashion year, how was yours? I hope it has been cooler than ever! Now I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, see you in 2023 fashionable Milanese friends, love you all.