Goodbye 2021. Hello 2022. A new year is nearly upon us and so too are a dizzying array of new trends, moods and ideas. We’ll be shopping for fresh new styles and tuning into a feast of new TV shows, but which trends will capture our attention and define the year ahead?
There was a time when trend forecasters stared into their crystal balls to divine their visions of future trends. Nowadays, they have data analytics. Leading tech companies, including Instagram, Pinterest and Yelp, make data-based trend predictions at this time of year and their forecasts are generally spot-on.
We took a deep dive into these reports to find out what’s on the horizon. Plus, we spoke to some of Ireland’s leading tastemakers and trend-setters to get a sense of what’s in store.
1. We’ll be colouring ourselves happy
Bright, playful interiors and ‘dopamine dressing’ are set to go mainstream in 2022. Pantone’s Colour of the Year, a violet-infused blue shade called ‘Very Peri’ hints at the vivid year ahead. Meanwhile, the kaleidoscope of jewel colours on the spring/summer 2022 runways gave us a glimpse of what’s arriving in stores. “There are lots of vibrant colours in the new collections and I think that might be coming out of the pandemic,” says Brown Thomas Fashion Buying Director, Shelly Corkery. “We’re calling it ‘colour me happy’.”
2. We’ll be designing our homes with natural materials
Nature-inspired materials like rattan, jute and sisal dominated interior design in 2021. People wanted to feel connected to nature and create serene, calming homes. The trend will continue in 2022, says Roisin Lafferty of Kingston Lafferty Design, but it will evolve to incorporate natural stones and timbers.
“People are more invested in creating a tactile, sensory environment,” she says, “and I’m seeing a real appreciation for the beautiful imperfection of natural stone and timbers.
“For me, there is no comparison between what these materials feel like and the materials that mimic them. They add depth and quality to a home and that is such a beautiful starting point.”
3. We’ll be celebrating new milestones
If you thought gender reveal parties were a little OTT, you ain’t seen nothing yet… According to Pinterest’s year-end trend report, Millennials, Gen X and Boomers will continue to “embrace celebrations that mark fresh milestones”.
The search terms ‘adopt a pet birthday party ideas’, ‘empty nest photoshoot’ and ‘breakup cake’ have surged in popularity. ‘Divorce parties’ are also having a moment. Just look at super-producer Dr Dre, who recently celebrated the end of his marriage to Nicole Young with a brazen display of gold balloons reading ‘Divorced AF’.
4. We’ll be watching ‘The Gilded Age’
There’s no shortage of appointment TV coming to the small screen in 2022.
The first half of Ozark’s fourth and final season debuts on Netflix on January 21, while season five of The Crown premieres in November. Elsewhere, there’s a swell of anticipation building around Julian Fellowes’ historical drama The Gilded Age, which comes to Sky Atlantic on January 25. It looks like a cross between Succession and Downton Abbey (another Fellowes hit), and promises to fill the Bridgerton-shaped hole in your life.
5 . We’ll be reading ‘Black Cake’
Charmaine Wilkerson’s debut novel Black Cake sparked a multi-publisher auction in 2020. The following year, there was a heated bidding war for the TV adaptation, which is co-produced by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films. The “family drama wrapped in a murder mystery” hits book shops in February but we’ll have to wait a little longer for the TV version to hit our screens.
6. We’ll be asking our beauticians about lip blushing
Yelp’s 2022 trend forecast predicts the biggest beauty trends based on words and phrases that were rising the most significantly in 2021. Searches for mullets were up by 73pc (yes, it’s still happening) while searches for curtain bangs (think Brigitte Bardot) were up 828pc.
Meanwhile, in the world of tweakments, it looks like people are seeking alternatives to lip filler. Searches for ‘lip flips’ (a Botox treatment that subtly lifts the upper lip) and lip blushing (a form of semi-permanent make-up that enhances natural lip colour) are on the rise.
7. We’ll be wearing skirt suits
Hemlines will rise in 2022, says Brown Thomas Fashion Buying Director, Shelly Corkery, and the iconic skirt suit is set to make a comeback. “Dior’s Spring 2022 collection featured all these little tailored suits and the Prada runway had a great take on mini skirts with lots of tails. So I definitely feel that cleaner look is coming through, with references to the 1960s, 1970s and 1990s.”
8. We’ll be embracing the circular economy
Gen Z has long led the way for the circular economy. They represent the most active users on second-hand marketplaces like DePop and Poshmark and they’re more willing to use clothes rental services.
But according to Dee Bowman, co-founder of marketing and communications firm Lux-BE, second-hand will become second nature to all of us in 2022. Citing a number of new partnerships between big brands and second-hand platforms, she says: “There is no doubt that fashion resale has become mainstream and a legitimate player in the luxury retail market.”
9. We’ll be travelling to lakeside retreats
Nature-based tourism will continue to grow in 2022, according to Pinterest Predicts. Gen X and Boomers especially are craving the solitude and tranquillity of lakeside retreats where they can relax by the water’s edge.
Resorts and all-inclusive getaways are also trending, adds Pinterest Predicts, as more people “want to get away to beautiful escapes where they won’t have to lift a finger”.
10. We’ll be eating playful high-end snacks
The pandemic has had a severe impact on the hospitality industry, says food consultant and writer Ali Dunworth, but chefs are continuing to adapt to the current climate. And as they experiment with new concepts and flavours, key trends are beginning to emerge.
“Playful, high-end snacks are hopefully here to stay,” says Ali, who cites the gildas (iconic pintxo from the north of Spain) in Uno Mas, the gougeres (cheese puffs) at Ox and the newly-opened Library Street’s chicken wings as best-in-class examples. “Chefs are having fun and putting a lot of effort into snacks and they will continue to be an exciting part of menus in 2022,” she says. “Plus, more wine bars will go hand in hand with this trend.”
11. We’ll be listening to drill music
According to Niall Byrne, aka Nialler9, drill music will gain even more ground in 2022. “It’s basically harder rap music with a very particular style,” he explains. “I think drill music is growing in Ireland and that’s going to continue. The Drogheda-based A92 Collective is doing really well and their numbers on YouTube are insane. Their label, Trust It Entertainment, recently did a deal with Atlantic Records, because they obviously see huge potential in it.”
12. We’ll be re-evaluating our career priorities
Instagram’s 2022 trend report focuses on the tastes and tendencies of Generation Z, who are, apparently, “consistently creating the future and defining trends” on the social media platform.
According to their research, this generation is re-evaluating their educational and career goals, with over two-thirds of them rethinking the value of a college education, and 71pc agreeing, ‘I’d rather have a meaningful job even if it means I make less money’.
It looks like the Great Resignation is only getting started…