Trend report: what to wear for AW22

Craig McDean British Vogue Aug 2022

As you know by now, my trend reports are utterly self-indulgent and reflect what’s ‘new’ through my own personal ‘gentlewoman style’ lens. So I’m glad to say that fifty shades of cappuccino, a Ralph Lauren revival, chunky gold chains and classic bags (with a twist) are all trending for AW22. Of course, the 90s is a major influence on fashion and culture. My 90s is big on deconstruction, grunge and minimalism and low on Spice Girls glam, so I’m very happy about all the Margiela-Prada-Lang throwbacks. And with a global credit crunch incoming, I predict we’ll see modern classic brands – Toteme, Khaite – performing especially well as we commit to buying less but better.

The deconstructed 90s is officially mainstream, with the likes of vintage Helmut Lang and Margiela achieving collector’s item status. Demna celebrated the era with his autumn 22 Balenciaga tribute to the pre-digital decade, including all-black super-shouldered coats and blazers (shown via suitably retro ‘home video’), not to mention the oversized hoodie of YeezyGap x Balenciaga*. Khaite also gave a nod to the 90s with more supersized androgyny (below), while Commission (below, coming to Net-a-Porter) is a new brand on my radar, inspired by the designers’ mums’ 9-5 style in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Juxtaposition is important here. Oversized ‘masculine’ pieces look good teamed with their slimmer, prettier, delicate opposite number. Think Prada’s signature XL camel overcoats (below) – subverted with fluffy sleeves of course.
Prada AW22 camel coat
Commission AW22
Khaite AW22 oversized 90s

  While extreme skin-baring is a hit with edgy designers like Nensi Dojaka, there’s a way forward for those who are a bit more modest in their demeanour. Slip dresses* are undoubtedly trending everywhere thanks to their versatility; they can be by turn, romantic, sexy or cool (and often all three at once). Bottega Veneta under former Raf Simons right hand Matthieu Blazy showed his long bias-cut slip with a casual waist-tied sweater (below), while Stella McCartney styled her lace-edged satin slip with a classic boxy greatcoat (below). I’m not a leggings fan but can definitely see knee length slips layered over flat front trousers and Nikes as me and my West London cohorts wore them back in the day (1994 at The Finches pub to be precise). Last week, I witnessed a pretty young thing rocking a lace mini-mini slip (an actual slip) with Tevas and socks at my local tube station. Gotta admit, she owned it. But a super-sized sweater or V-neck cardigan would add the required coverage (and warmth) for less extrovert types.
Bottega Veneta AW22 by Alessandro Lucioni
Stella McCartney AW22

If you need some respite from the bulbous brut of hovercraft-soled boots and Crocs, then how’s this? The return of the demure Mary Jane. Pick from velvet slipper flats (from Le Monde Beryl*) or flat slingbacks (from Toteme*, below) to wear with ankle-skimming slip dresses – see above – and 7/8th pants. Or the higher heels from Prada (top and below), offset with a sharp chisel toe.
Toteme flat Mary Jane slingback
Prada AW22 90s blazer and Mary Jane

Finematter, the fine jewellery e-tailer that launched in 2020 has evolved into a champion of repair, renew and resale practises. Known for its elevated photography and content (think Net-a-Porter for jewellery) as well as an impressive brand roster including Repossi, Kinraden and Jo Riis-Hansen (below), the platform’s disruptive resale function benefits its jewellers each time a piece is resold, rewarding them with royalties. Not only that, but you can also have existing pieces remodelled, resized, replated, or repaired. A true one-stop destination that will keep you coming back.
Finematter - Jo Riis-Hanse

The business of body care is growing faster than facial skincare according to data from the NPD Group. Especially products containing trending ingredients such as vitamin C, retinol and algae. Two brands on my radar happen to be co-helmed by former Glossier and Into the Gloss execs. Necessaire* has enjoyed a successful launch thanks to its gender-neutral branding and multi-vitamin body washes, while latest newcomer Soft Services (below) addresses conditions such as keratosis pilarisis (aka spotty upper arms!) with its high efficacy exfoliating Smoothing Solution and Buffing Bar – see more here.
Soft Service buffing bar

We’ve come a long way from the days when a two-litre Evian bottle on the desk was an aspirational status symbol. We cycled through the Starbucks coffee cup (thanks to The Devil wears Prada), then the vente Frappuccino (there’s thirteen teaspoons of sugar in those, sis!) and then the fancy insulated water bottle. (I adore my Diller.) “With Millennials, fitness and health are themselves signals. They drink more water and carry it with them, so it’s an item that becomes part of them and their self-expression,” observed NYU marketing professor Tülin Erdem. Enter the next iteration, the bougie water bottle holder. It’s so ridiculously OTT (giving Hermès apple carrier energy), and I so want one. Specifically, this Lemaire one* (below). I drink water, therefore I am.
Lemaire AW22 water bottle

7/ XXL MA1.
Move over puffers. The cooler sibling, military MA1s return – oversized, slouchy and deliberately styled in unexpected ways. Sacai* is the obvious choice having made elevated, voluminous MA1s a brand hallmark, but Prada follows closely with its flower-appliqued number (below) – clearly Raf’s influence.
Prada bomber jacket AW22

A cute two-in-one idea for those who want to travel light but can’t quite commit to decluttering. I mean, we have a lot of stuff to tote around these days – phone, mask, earbuds. Prada showed duo bags that help you split the load (below), while The Row’s waist pochette* comes with a considerate easy-access earbud compartment. Hermès gets my vote for most desirable; its ‘Kelly Sellier 20 en Desordre’ is a wonky take on the classic Kelly Sellier with its off-kilter external pocket (below). In other bag news though, the message is ‘classic is better’. Net-a-Porter reports seeing big success with Metier*, Valextra* and Savette’s* (below) recession-proof styles, while Telfar’s tote is catching up with the Birkin in the popularity stakes.
HERMES double bag - Hermes Kelly Sellier 20 en Desordre two-in-one
 Prada AW22 double bag
Savette Symmetry 19 Bag

Signs are pointing to a beauty retail bounceback. And unsurprisingly, it’s all about customer experience, service and personalisation. For starters, Aesop is capitalising on its cult popularity with a larger retail footprint, stepping out of its niche locations and slap bang in the middle of tourist trail, Regent Street. It’s retaining some of its mysterious allure though, with a ‘sensorium’ fragrance room (below) where customers can enjoy private scent consultations on its growing portfolio of perfumes (Eidesis, below, launches on 12 September). In addition, it’s amping up its facial treatments in a bid to become as known for facials as its highly desired skincare products. It all points to a more rounded experience that ‘isn’t simple transactional but more prescriptive and sensorial’, according to Aesop general manager, Karl Wederell. Elsewhere, John Lewis and Flannels are investing in the ‘tweakment’ boom, with in-store treatment clinics, beauty technology departments (a trend which I covered here) and even social streaming screens. John Lewis is linking up with the Cavendish Clinic* to offer facials and aesthetic treatments in-store, while at Liverpool’s new Flannels flagship, you can live stream your ‘tweakment’ to your TikTok followers. A clear sign of the lifestyle-ification of cosmetic procedures, in which obvious facial enhancements are no longer something to be coy about, but are a status signifier for the Love Island generation. Oh and the rumour that refuses to die? Sephora is returning to the UK says WWD. (Allegedly.)
Aesop sensorium fragrance room - Regent Street, London
Aesop fragrance Eidesis Eau de Parfum

This season may have been all about the Miu Miu take on prepster, but for AW22, my heart belongs to the daddy of it all – Ralph Lauren (below). His imprint is everywhere, from Burberry camel coats to Louis Vuitton XL rugby shirts (below) to Aimé Leon Dore’s shop fits. Ralph Lauren search terms are on the up, thanks to a five-year strategy aiming to future-proof the brand. Plus, next year sees the 20th anniversary of Ralph Lauren Home so expect a club chair and plaid throw revival. For now, indulge in cable cashmeres*, fairisle sweaters* (below) and a classic rugby jersey*.
Ralph Lauren AW22 Netaporter
Louis Vuitton AW22 rugby shirt
Ralph Lauren fairisle sweater ifestyle

Will we ever tire of cute outfits for our tech gadgets? Since the airport chaos that defined the Summer of 22, the AirTag has come into its own as an essential piece of kit. Hermès x Apple AirTag is the gold standard of tag holder, with its bag charm* and key ring (below) available in an array of Barenia and Swift leathers. And while everyone’s using their phone as a portable bank, companies have gone large on earbud cases as the small leathergood du jour. Bottega Veneta*, Saint Laurent* and Loewe* are all at it, but I love the affordable colour-pop variety of German brand Xouxou (below).
Apple Airtag Hermes key ring
XouXou tech cases

Third wave coffee isn’t just a beverage trend. You can now match your outfit to your beans with a layered combo of cappuccino-hued neutrals. Dark caramels are plentiful (like Commission’s cutaway sweater, below), but so are rich creams and muted latte shades (think Uniqlo’s brushed jersey shirt jacket*, below). My advice is to pick one or two shades lighter or darker than your skintone to avoid looking washed out or layer a white turtleneck underneath for contrast. Vogue nailed the look with this Margiela ensemble (below), while Loewe’s twisted-back sweater* – literally ‘classic with a twist’ – is an excellent choice for an autumn coffee date.
Craig McDean MARGIELA Vogue Aug 2022
Commission AW22 RTW
Loewe twisted sweater
Uniqlo Brushed Jersey Shirt Jacket AW22

Nothing new to see here. But non-dainty gold chains are still trending in my world. Notable examples: Jennifer Alfano (of The Flair Index) has taken her luxury knowledge to its logical conclusion with her extremely desirable 18k solid gold neck chains (below). Made to order, these mariner links look great with everyday tees and sweaters. See them here. More affordable are the bracelets and necklaces by Tilly Sveass, particularly this chunky gold-plated T-bar bracelet*. Although of course, an Hermès chaine d’ancre (below) is never a bad idea. In important jewellery-adjacent news, for all things watches with a side of pop culture goss and Love Island lols, don’t miss Brynn Wallner and Malaika Crawford’s new podcast, Killing Time.
Jennifer Alfano chain in Wall Street Journal by Cesar Buitrago
Hermes chaine dancre enchainee bracelet

No surprises at all that the home fragrance industry is thriving. Lookdown unleashed our love of scented candles, incense and room fragrances and the next iteration of that is uber-decorative scented objects. Paul Smith’s new scented candles* launch next month, interpreting his ‘stripe’ signature in a layered effect that combines colour blocked glass vessels with contrasting lids. Luke Edward Hall has taken his partnership with Ginori 1735 a stage further with travel-inspired scented candles for the Italian porcelain maker, illustrated with his whimsical brush strokes. Classic candle jars are accompanied by more ornate pieces including a giant candelabra evoking a Roman marble head (below). Pre-order here. And I love this ‘scented sculptures’ idea from aromatherapy candle brand SUN.DAY. It’s partnering with artist Ikuko on hanging ceramic tablets infused with more potent formulations of its popular botanical fragrances. Buy the limited-edition pieces at Sunday of London. Meanwhile, home cleaning products are getting a ‘lifestyle’ upgrade. Diptyque has expanded its offer into a 6-piece line called La Droguerie (“the drugstore’). Created with perfumer Olivier Pescheux, there’s a citrus and orange blossom dish soap*, a multi-purpose surface cleaner* and an odour-removing basil-scented candle. Elsewhere, The Laundress is hoping to acquire some streetwear clout with its recently launched sandalwood-scented detergent in collaboration with Kith.
Diptyque La Droguerie
Luke Edward Hall X Ginori 1735
Luke Edward Hall X Ginori 1735 candle
SUNDAY scented sculptures


Chloe Sevigny as CZ Guest. Uniqlo’s little sister is coming. How to meditate when you can’t sit still. Female watch collectors on the rise. This Willem Dafoe x Isabella Rossellini chit-chat is a masterclass in creativity. Goodbye Goop? It’s a hard pass on the Shake Shack ‘rotting meat’ candle. COS is launching wholesale. Wanna buy Joan Didion’s desk? Spiritual snacks. The virtual influencer returns :( Feeling sober curious? Sporty & Rich is getting richer. Third wave coffee and convenience are coming for your neighbourhood. Sotheby’s’ first artists’ jewellery exhibition.


UPDATE: Message for my weekly email subscribers. Some of this week’s posts are missing from the email. Click here to read about the Theory X Lucas Ossendrijver collection and here to read my quote of the day on Dimes Square and neighbourhood fomo.

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: UK Vogue/Craig McDean; Prada; Commission; Khaite; Bottega Veneta; Stella McCartney; Toteme; Prada; Jo Riis-Hansen/Finematter; Soft Services; Lemaire; Prada; Hermès; Prada; Savette; Aesop; Ralph Lauren; Louis Vuitton; Ralph Lauren; Hermès x Apple; Xouxou; UK Vogue/Craig McDean; Commission; Loewe; Uniqlo; Jennifer Alfano /Cesar Buitrago for Wall Street Journal; Hermès; Diptyque; Luke Edward Hall x Ginori 1735 (x2); SUN.DAY
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

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