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


With over 30 years of experience, trend analyst Christine Boland is the expert for identifying relevant trends in consumer behavior. Exclusively for Fashion United, she gives a summary of the winter edition 22-23 of her renowned biannual design language analysis: SYMBIOTIC SCENARIOS.

The ongoing uncertainty caused by the pandemic is driving people apart. Opposing “camps” continue to develop and crystallize out of different opinions and ideas. Everything is aligned to turn the tide. It is time we stopped demonizing those we disagree with, listened to each other more, and started building bridges again. We unite with the people and the environment around us. Design, as always, offers some pretty impressive examples of this need. Everywhere we see how extremes merge harmoniously. For example, cultured and wild, indigenous and modern, technology and craft, science and senses, realism and surrealism, feminine and powerful, fairy and scary, intellect and intuition, body and spirit.

For the winter of 2022-23 this will be summarized in four predominant themes or so-called “SYMBIOTIC SCENARIOS”:


The Anthropocene is the era when the Earth’s atmosphere and climate began to register the effects of human activity. At the moment it is reaching a critical turning point, with the Covid pandemic as the ultimate example. We ask too much of Mother Earth; Overconsumption, pollution, deforestation, loss of biodiversity. A reciprocal, beneficial cyclical partnership in which man works in harmony with nature is urgently needed. Hence, design language is all about protection, utility, survival and recycling.

Within this trend, the most important style aspects to take home with you are: high-tech but sophisticated designs, nomadic, gypsy and caveman-like silhouettes with many layers, geology-inspired knitting and (denim) color effects, details and Fabrics from utility and survival wear, organic striped patterns, tech / sports fabrics mixed with feminine prints and the use of used repurposed fabrics (patchwork).

In terms of color, everything revolves around natural mud, stone, grass and autumn leaf colors with lighter flashes of viridis green, ocher and brick tones.


We are moving from a “digital” world to a phygital world in which the digital and the physical come together. With blurring 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 extends into a limitless universe. Travis Scott’s live virtual concert in-game Fortnite and Cardi B’s elaborate campaign for Reebok are great examples. There is an explosion of creativity with designers creating dream landscapes.

The style features that characterize this trend are: gradient colors, sheer and glossy fabrics and effects with a big role for silver and titanium, retro-futurism in patterns with art deco and 60s-inspired prints, blobby volumes: puffed and padded and sculptural silhouettes polished to perfection beyond the limits of reality.

The main colors are retro screen colors and translucent tones, all with cool undertones like lavender, matte blue, greyish jade, sea green, purple and French blue, contrasted by cloud white, black and light mahogany.


We are moving towards a more feminine era. Many developments and events in society illustrate this; Just look at all of the recently appointed Prime Ministers in Northern Europe. A more feminine way of doing things is becoming the accepted norm, moving from purpose-oriented to process-oriented, from confrontation to compassion, and from individualism to wholeness and inclusivity. In the design language we see a new beauty that challenges the stereotypes. Much invisible feminine power, full of mysticism and romance.

The most obvious style elements within this trend: delicate but strong structures and materials: chiffon, pleats and ruffles with sharp cuts or leather, dramatic darks x delicate whites, Victorian-inspired works of art, punk lace, newly designed flowers, opinion prints and feminized reinterpretations of historical Design classics.

The color palette is all about feminine nuances with a mystical undertone: midnight blue, muted petrol, fiery red and carmine pink with rich brights in the form of delicate pink, apricot and coral.


The capricious unpredictability of the pandemic has shaken us to the core. Defeated between hope and uncertainty, we are out of whack. In order to realign ourselves and get back on track, we seek refuge and comfort in our own home and wellbeing is our top priority. Brain care and brain health are becoming increasingly important and are intertwined in fashion, fabrics, and interior design today. The result is a design language that serves as visual yoga and with a lot of invisibly integrated technology.

His style features are: calming shapes, silhouettes, fabrics and colors such as flowing pajama-style suits, airy volumes, soft and very haptic materials (satin, knit, down and chenille), designs inspired by blankets and checks, color gradients and endless rhythmic lines Effects with folds and play of lines.

The key colors are delicate, soft and harmonious. Think of sand tones and powder makeup colors like delicate pink, gold, lilac, clay, and terracotta. Darker tones are reserved for pine green and reddish brown.

Stay tuned for the upcoming FW22 trending webinar coming soon to FashionUnited readers!

More trend insights from Christine Boland Here.

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