After two years of staying home and then working from home, people are looking to get out — and this season’s must-have accessories are reflecting a commitment to color, sparkles and a desire to make a bold statement, said representatives of The Accessories Council at the recent FashionGo conference in Palm Springs, California.
“We’re starting to get into the idea of maximalist styling. [For] spring 2022 into fall 2022, people want to dress with presence. It’s about dressing with bold colors, with sparkles, ruffles, making sure you’re seen. No matter what region you’re in, this is a consistent idea across all our different markets,” said trend forecaster Jessica Richards, fashion director of the Council.
For colors overall, purple reigns. After a season dominated by pink, some designers are starting to work with purple more than before. “It’s not as universally popular as pink has been, but it’s a nice new entrant for the top of the color pyramid,” Richards said.
Another trend is quirky cool. After a season of brights and warm colors in the red tones being popular, now is the time to look into the cooler end of the spectrum.
“In 2020, everyone was locked up in the house,” Richards said. “Blues and greens are starting to move into the color zeitgeist.”
In terms of leather, color is deepening. A bit of color is even coming into leather goods, as neutral tones in 2021 are giving way to the traditional, more orangy saddle, but done in a quirky or funky way. “Even the neutrals are getting more pumped up,”she said.
Footwear, too, has an up-and-coming presence dubbed by Richards as “shoes that go clunk.” Heavy platform shoes (even in party shoes) and heavy footbeds are coming to the fore.
“It’s your way to register presence in 2022,” she said. For spring and summer, Doc Martens are being shown with shorts, even in New York City.
Yet, the complete opposite is true as well, as princess pumps return. “We want to feel special and decorated,” Richards observed, explaining the growing trend of Cinderella-esque, bedazzled footwear for the evening, as well as the resurgence of classic rain boots.
People still want to feel secure and safe, Richards explained, after living through uncertain times related to the pandemic. “You’ll be ready for any rainstorm or calamity that comes your way,” she added.
The style of the Old West is returning at various price points — not just in boots, but in jewelry, bags and optical as well. Perhaps this is because people are beginning to explore again.
“They’re very wearable trends,” she said, referring to these returning styles.
Later in the year, look for more variations on loafers (a nod to uniform dressing), as well as shoes that are just more comfortable, including rubberized clogs and shearling slippers. Jewelry trends will be a bit more ornate, with pearls of varying lengths making a comeback. Pearl drop earrings, for example, will add a touch of class to various outfits, from casual to formal looks.
“They used to be fussy, but now we’re seeing that it’s cool and evolving in new ways,” Richards noted of the fresh pearl trends.
Fall styles will be even more ornate, inspired by royalty. Chandelier earrings, especially those that are vintage-inspired, also will be popular. Heart-shaped jewelry of all kinds will continue to be popular, representing that, “You’re showing your love to the world,” she said.
And returning to in-person meetings also means the return of the cocktail ring, as hands are finally visible again.
“The ring is the thing for 2022, including stacking them up,”she said.
The handbag industry, meanwhile, is staging a comeback. As people are leaving the house and need all of their belongings on-hand, there is a great push for larger bags. For example, luggage maker Rimowa is bringing new silhouettes to the market, including backpack styles, what Richards dubbed “a great extension of their brand.”
Other handbag styles that are set to return to popularity are the top flap silhouette for uniform dressing, the half-moon style for a bit of newness and the structured tote in a medium size.
Also look for geometric shapes like box bags, yet, ironically (especially on the East Coast) are soft carryable clutches.
Including such fabrics as shearlings and other soft surfaces, gilded fabrics and brocades, “materials will be really important for this season, and spring 2023 will be heavily textural,”Richards said, looking to even further trends.