Christine Boland’s trend analysis for winter 22-23: a summary

With over 30 years of experience, trend analyst Christine Boland is the expert in discerning relevant trends in consumer behavior. Exclusively for Fashion United, she gives a summary of the winter 22-23 edition of her famous biennial analysis of Design Language: SYMBIOTIC SCENARIOS.

The continuing insecurity created by the pandemic is pushing people away. Opposing “camps” continue to form, crystallizing around diverse opinions and ideas. As a result, everything is designed to reverse the trend. It’s time we stopped demonizing those we disagree with, started listening to each other more carefully, and started building bridges again. Reunite with the people and the environment around us. Design, as always, serves as some pretty impressive examples of this need. Everywhere we see extremes blending harmoniously. Such as cultivated and wild, indigenous and modern, technology and crafts, science and sense, realism and surrealism, feminine and powerful, fairy and scary, intellect and intuition, body and spirit.

For winter 2022-23, this is broken down into four predominant themes or “SYMBIOTIC SCENARIOS”:


The Anthropocene is the era when the earth’s atmosphere and climate began to record the impact of human activity. Right now, it is reaching a critical tipping point, with the Covid pandemic as the ultimate example. We ask too much of Mother Earth; overconsumption, pollution, deforestation, loss of biodiversity. A mutual and beneficial cyclical partnership in which man works in tandem with nature is urgently needed. As a result, the design language is focused on protection, utility, survival, and recycling.

Within this trend, the most important style aspects to take home are: high-tech but refined designs, nomadic, gypsy and caveman silhouettes with lots of layering, geology-inspired knits and dye effects (denim), details and fabrics taken from utility and survival clothing. , organic striped patterns, tech / sport fabrics mixed with feminine prints and the use of second-hand recycled fabrics (patchwork).

Color wise, these are natural colors of mud, stone, grass and fall leaves with brighter flashes of viridis green, ocher and brick tones.


We are moving from a “digital” world to a phygital world, where digital and physical meet. With blurred boundaries between time and place, real or rendered. Whichever direction you look, this parallel world of augmented reality, mixed reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence expands into an unlimited universe. Travis Scott’s live virtual concert in the Fortnite game and Cardi B’s refined campaign for Reebok are prime examples. There is an explosion of creativity, where designers create dream landscapes.

The style characteristics that characterize this trend are: gradient fabrics and effects, transparent and shiny with a major role for silver and titanium, retro-futurism in patterns with art deco prints and inspired by the 60s, volumes blobby: baggy and padded, and sculpted silhouettes polished to perfection beyond the bounds of reality.

The key colors are retro screen colors and translucent tones, all with a cool undertone like lavender, frost blue, grayish jade, sea green, purple and French blue contrasted by cloud white. , black and a light mahogany.


We are moving towards a more feminine era. Numerous developments and events in society illustrate this; just look at all the recently appointed women prime ministers in Northern Europe. A more feminine way of doing things will become the accepted norm, moving from a goal to a process, from confrontation to compassion and individualism to holism and inclusiveness. In the language of design we see a new beauty, defying stereotypes. Lots of invisible feminine strength, full of mysticism and romanticism.

The most apparent style cues within this trend: Delicate yet solid structures and materials: chiffon, pleats and ruffles with pointy stitching or leather, dramatic dark tones x delicate whites, Victorian-inspired artwork, lace punk, redesigned florals, opinion prints and feminized reinterpretation of historic design classics.

As for the color palette, these are feminine hues with a mystical undertone: midnight blues, felted petroleum, fiery reds and carmine pink with saturated highlights in the form of soft pink, apricot and coral.


The whimsical unpredictability of the pandemic has rocked us deep within. Between hope and insecurity, we have lost our balance. To recalibrate and get back on track, we seek refuge and comfort in our own homes and well-being is our number one priority. Brain care and brain health are increasingly important and are now closely linked in fashion, fabrics and interior design. The result is a design language that serves as visual yoga and with a lot of invisible built-in technology.

Its style characteristics are: calming shapes, silhouettes, fabrics and colors such as flowing pajama-style suits, airy volumes, soft and very tactile materials (satin, knits, down and chenille), inspired patterns covers and squares, gradients and endless rhythmic lines effects with folds and play of lines.

The key colors are delicate, soft and harmonious. Think sand tones and powdered makeup colors such as soft pinks, golds, lilacs, clay, and terra cotta. Darker tones are reserved for pine green and reddish brown.

Stay tuned for the next FW22 trends webinar, coming soon to FashionUnited readers!

Discover more trendy ideas from Christine Boland here.

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