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The fashion trends that will go viral in 2022

Signs of sartorial hope have sprung early in 2022, despite the year starting with a splutter from behind a mask rather than a roar. Some of Australia’s most stylish personalities have already made changes to their wardrobe as they flirt with the possibility of a post-pandemic era.

Melissa Leong, Masterchef judge and writer

Since landing on television cooking competition Masterchef as a judge in 2020, Melissa Leong has made the ascots of her predecessor Matt Preston a distant memory, thanks to consistent good taste in supporting creative Australian designers.

“I’m currently taking resort wear very seriously. Specifically, terry cloth dresses and accessories by Lucy Folk and Oroton, along with pyjama dressing in linen and silk. Locally, I’m loving Holiday The Label, Silk Laundry, Husk, Contrology and Sir.

“I admit to owning a bucket hat, with a view to acquiring more. Hats and headwear in general are something I’d love to see more of in the months ahead.

“This year, I will also be a woman who wears suits, specifically and immediately, monochromatic suit vests and wide-legged trousers. Repeat wearability of well-constructed pieces is the way you do luxury fashion sustainably, and I’m here for it.

“Ditto with jewellery. While I’m not beyond a statement earring at work, I’ve been saving pennies for classic items I’ve always dreamt of… I archive everything Jessica McCormack posts on her Instagram page. Someone, please tell my boyfriend.”

Say goodbye to…

“Low rise pants. I was there the first time, I won’t be there again.

“I think tie-dye has had its moment and should leave the room now.

“Shoes made primarily of PVC: nobody needs to see your feet sweat.

“Clothes deliberately designed for tiny boobs. Those of us packing heat understand why.”

Nakkiah Lui, actor and writer

When Harper’s Bazaar magazine relaunched in Australia in September, the composed features of Gamillaroi/Torres Strait Islander Lui, with a bold red lip, were selected to signal a new era. Lui’s work as a writer and performer on Black Comedy and Preppers is breaking new creative ground.

“With the rise of TikTok I am noticing a shift away from fast fashion towards a more personal expression of style. Micro identities such as Goth and Regency-core are filtering through. It’s almost a reaction to Instagram.

“I’ve been trying to find more one-off pieces to shift away from fast fashion, and I’m currently in love with vintage Pucci. Perhaps it’s from sitting inside for the past two years and escaping by looking at the glamorous photos of the jet set in the sixties and seventies.

“Suits are going to be a big part of my wardrobe as I explore a look that’s part Dark Academia and part The Talented Mr Ripley. I think about fashion characters a lot. Something from Wales Bonner should do the trick. I’m always on the lookout for a great blazer with a loose pant.

“As for shoes, something ugly with a pretty dress is now classic. It’s the statement I’m sticking to, whether it’s something chunky from Margiela or the Gucci loafers that are everywhere.”

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”After two years of not wearing Spanx, I’m not ready to go back. It’s about style and comfort today. A short kaftan in a party print from Pucci or metallic from Oséree ticks both boxes.”

Paris Bishop, model-to-watch

It’s easy to compare Melbourne-based Paris Bishop to her supermodel predecessors. There’s the baby-faced features of a young Miranda Kerr and lean limbs of Catherine McNeil, but soon the 17-year-old will be setting her own standard. With secondary school complete, 2022 is the year Bishop’s career shifts into top gear.

“Let’s be clear, skinny jeans aren’t coming back soon, so I’m all about baggy denim. I am taking a lot of my inspiration from the off-duty-model look of the nineties (it’s my top Pinterest search). Elle Macpherson has always been cool, Cindy Crawford and Kate Moss will alway be iconic. The little shoulder bags, mini-skirts and heels are great inspiration.

I might even be tempted to rock one of those bodysuits Kim Kardashian has been wearing. I’d love to pull it off. I could get some digitals [photos] done at my agency in a full black bodysuit.

The seventies colour-blocking trends is also big for me. I’m from Melbourne, so I wear a lot of black but green and orange have me excited.

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The whole Y2K thing just wasn’t for me. Stick with the look of the nineties and the colour blocking of the 70s. I’m also not a fan of chunky sneakers. I’ll keep wearing my classic Reebok Club C 85s. They go with everything.

Shannon Thomas, Desordre Boutique, founder

E-commerce was meant to signal the end of multi-brand, bricks and mortar stores. Someone forgot to tell Shannon Thomas, with the Sydney founder of Desordre boutique in Darlinghurst extending her empire to Melbourne in December. The stockist of Alex Perry, Dion Lee and Maticevski is also growing her online enterprise.

“The current mood is very much a mix of The Fifth Element with The Sweetest Thing, which sounds as crazy as it is. Labels like Ottolinger, with high-impact cut-outs in bold oranges, along with flirty Magda Butrym florals get it right.

“I’m really feeling strong, angular and fierce lines. It could be a blazer and T-shirt combination from The Mannei or mini-skirts with boots.

“Perhaps it’s because we are coming out of the pandemic, but I’m wanting things to be sexy and body-conscious, showing off the figure. That’s for all body types. Everyone is embracing their figures. Labels like Poster Girl go up to a size 22 and cater to curves.

“A surprising trend is gloves. Not the fingerless kind. These go all the way past the elbow for an evening look.”

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”I’m not wearing anything floaty. It’s all about strength.”

David Flack, interior designer

Melbourne residents have been familiar with David Flack’s nuanced work since he crashed onto the scene with the bold interiors for Entrecôte’s first restaurant in South Yarra. Residential work, including a high-profile assignment for singer Troye Sivan, helped land the towering Flack on the prestigious AD100 list, published by Architectural Digest last year. This year Flack’s eclectic approach can be experienced by visitors to the Ace Hotel in Sydney, when it opens in May.

“I haven’t worn colour for years and now I have it everywhere. Colour on colour and even some print. It really does bring you joy. Throw it back with some wide-legged jeans or white pants and I’m happy. It’s all rather low-key.

“Like many people I’ve been clomping around in chunky shoes, mine were from Balenciaga, but it all became too hard. Now I have some great Acne sandshoes that look like Converse. I also have some Converse. It’s about not trying too hard.

“Everything has to seem effortless (I’m not a huge fan of ironing) but put together. I like oversized shapes with some tailoring to make the look feel finished. Most days you will see me wearing a T-shirt with an oversized shirt on top, unbuttoned.

“When it comes to movie inspiration it’s hard to go past the summer vibes of Call Me By Your Name. Those eighties looks are key. At the moment the closest I’m getting is some Birkenstocks with socks.”

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”Don’t you feel as though the whole activewear look has been completely overdone?”

Olivia Suleimon, actor, model, director and DJ

Through her vast creative output, Olivia Suleimon has been giving a voice, face and groove to African Australians. Suleimon devised the series Rosaline’s Untaming, looking at the importance of hair in African Australian culture. For the Melbourne Fashion Festival in March, Suleimon is on the judging panel for the Fashion Film Award.

“Doom-scrolling on Instagram is over, and I’m taking my inspiration from film, especially The Great Gatsby. It is the twenties after all, and I think that we are about to experience the same exuberance and excitement with people going all out wearing metallics and shiny lamés. At home it may be grey marles but when we go out, we will make some noise.

“In the same way that we are beginning to invest in local film and television content again I’m feeling enthusiastic about fashion and spending on Australian labels Matteau, Christopher Esber and Sir.

Editor's pick

Kate Middleton’s approach to dressing in the public eye incorporates the theme of the event she’s attending with her own understated approach.

“This is the time to go all out, whether it’s changing your hair, getting a new piercing or switching your nails style. Don’t hold back. We shouldn’t be censoring ourselves anymore and that applies to fashion.”

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“Cheap jewellery should be left behind as we focus on investment pieces.”

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