Another year is almost upon us, and what better way to slay your 2022 wardrobe than by taking your style cues fresh off the regional runways? This year, we’re ready to replace last year’s embrace of comfort, practicality, and utilitarianism with a bit of frivolity in the form of statement jewelry and voluminous shapes—playful embellishment, and turning to pieces that, regardless of your style, are easily incorporated into your daily fashion philosophy. Wondering how to go about your annual fashion closet wardrobe update? Read on for a breakdown of some of the upcoming new season’s most prominent trends.
Though fringe may have initially manifested through Western-inspired styles and dresses that feel reminiscent of a 1920s flapper, this season, it’s emerged as a key motif, sending the message that whimsy and frivolity are as essential as ever. As such, several African designers have showcased the power of these trailing tassels in their latest collections, including Nigerian designer Emmy Kasbit, whose application of the detail was pared back yet powerful. At Lagos Fashion Week SS‘22, he showed off loose-fitting, tailored separates laced with ample, neon-hued fringing, while cult brand Orange Culture’s Peacock Riot collection’s approach was a visibly confident one: fringed headwear was a prominent element of the label’s runway show, while standout pieces like a black, fringed leather skirt and woven, multi-colored tops featuring knee-length fringe provide that sense of playful exuberance promised by the trend. For emerging Lagos-based brand FIA, fringe offered a tool for unfettered experimentation, the results of which can be seen in their use of it as an unexpected patchwork applique and figure-elongating finishing touch to elegant evening wear selects.
Orange Culture SS'22 Photo: Courtesy of Lagos Fashion Week
Emmy Kasbit SS'22 Photo: Courtesy of Lagos Fashion Week
FIA SS'22 Photo: Courtesy of Lagos Fashion Week
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with an inclination toward daintier embellishment, just know that slinky metal chains, sleeper hoop earrings, and their ilk are set to take a back seat this season in favor of over-the-top jewelry. Given the ‘waist-up’ nature our dressing has taken these days (thanks, Zoom!), it’s little wonder that the swift doses of style that are oversized earrings are leading the pack. Palesa Mokubung’s presentation at this year’s SA Fashion Week saw models striding down the runway as enormous, boomerang-esque showstoppers adorned their ears, while golden talismans hung from the lobes of ROMARIA’s living mannequins. At Glitz Africa Fashion Week, gleaming, oversized exercises in more-is-more also peppered many a collection: Simone & Elise’s models wore shoulder-touching gilded creations that stunned with their sculptural forms and embracing of unrestrained luxury. Ghana’s Masantewaa also pulled out the big guns for their SS‘22 showings, their head-turning golden ear adornments exuding an air of regality and luxury.
Andrea Iyamah SS'22 Photo: Courtesy of Lagos Fashion Week
ROMARIA SS'22 Photo: via @safashionweek
Palesa Mokubung SS'22 Photo: via @safashionweek
Though the winter chill may not enable you to relinquish your perfectly-tailored coat or oversized blazer for a while, the proliferation of the statement sleeve in designer’s SS‘22 collections will undoubtedly have you considering ditching your coverup just to show them off. Serving as a built-in accessory that’ll easily take the place of any fussy earring or necklace, South Africa’s K.Moraba & Collective and Erre embraced strong, structured shoulders this season, their layered, almost-futuristic shapes delivering a dose of the avant-garde. Meanwhile, the puff sleeve proved to remain a larger-than-life staple in the SS‘22 collections of Ejiro Amos Tafiri, the label’s playful experimentation with volume exuding a sense of both romanticism and strength. Finally, sending a group of elegant evening wear down the 2021 Glitz Africa Fashion Week runway, House of Paon’s take on statement sleeves mirrored the Disney-villain-esque style of SS'21 Balmain, while Franc Elis offered a slightly quieter statement of subtle ruffles and volume.
The House of Paòn SS'22. Photo: @glitzafrica.hq
Ejiro Amos Tafiri SS'22 Photo: Courtesy of Lagos Fashion Week
K.Mobara & Collective SS'22 Photo: via @afi_sa
Defined by a soft, unstructured silhouette with horizontal seams, the tiered style is flowing, effortless and versatile. And while you may think of tiered pieces as a summer staple, it’ll also prove a more than worthy layering player in a winter wardrobe. An evolution of the popular smock-style dress, tiered dresses are universally flattering, and right now, they’re everywhere, so we’re pretty spoiled for choice. For beloved Ghanaian label Studio 189, this style of dress and skirt was a defining element of their latest range: cut from their signature hand-dyed cotton, tiered maxis skirts combined kente and indigo-dyed cloth. In contrast, layered midi dresses in tropical shades captured a fresh and optimistic spirit. Senegal’s Alia Bare meanwhile took a softer approach, their graceful SS‘22 collection featuring a white shirtdress that ends in floor-length tiers of cream fabric as well as a romantic, full, layered tulle skirt. Meanwhile, another trend—fringe—was what informed Rubicon’s take on the trend, the brand’s standout, tiered tassel creation epitomizing their penchant for playful glamour.
Studio 189 SS‘22 Photo: Courtesy of Lagos Fashion Week
Rubicon SS‘22 Photo: via @safashionweek
Alia Bare SS‘22 Photo: via @safashionweek
Over the past few years, the line between activewear, loungewear, and outerwear has become increasingly blurred. It’s swiftly evolved from spandex and neon to more subdued and versatile offerings, becoming something of an essential urban uniform. And if the season’s latest collections are anything to go by, it would seem that the elevated sportswear trend isn’t going anywhere. At Glitz Africa Fashion Week, Clemas Effanga sent out a notably subdued offering of tailored bomber jackets and trousers that effortlessly mixes function with fashion. David Tlale’s take on the trend was decidedly more opulent: cut from a vivid yellow fabric and featuring a drawstring waist and raffia detailing, it’s symbolic of the considered opulence one has come to expect from the veteran South African designer. Meanwhile, Johannesburg-based brands Boyde and Watermelon Social Club have embraced utilitarianism. Their collections of practical jacket and trouser sets and basketball-inspired activewear are an effortless embrace of the enduring style.
David Tlale SS‘22. Photo: via @afi_sa
Boyde SS‘22. Photo: via @safashionweek
Watermelon Social Club SS‘22. Photo: via @safashionweek
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