For the spring/summer 2022 print trends, designers used playful prints and patterns to create an escape from reality, going mainly with futuristic hopes and classic throwbacks. So, whether you wish to travel into a safari with the ever-on-trend animal print or time travel back to the ‘60s with bohemian geometric designs, there were many exciting options to play with.
In some cases, designers also made the decision to throw in a print that might cause some to do a double-take. Clearly, I’m not mentioning the floral craze of the spring runways that happens each year, but rather the rise of plaid as a spring print trend. I’d consider the early aughts to have replaced the ‘90s nostalgia, however that clearly appears to be a wrong assumption given that plaid now seems to be a perennial option – at least for 2022. So, as always, whatever mood you happen to be in, there will most likely be a trend to fulfill it.
#1. The Bigger the Flowers, the Better
In the wise words of Miranda Priestly, “Florals, for spring? Groundbreaking…” But in all seriousness, floral trends do come in different forms. Some of the prints might be small, while others are enlarged, and some are even abstract. This year it seems that small floral prints have been nudged out of the way to make room for big, bold flowers.
This print trend took center stage at Anna Sui, Richard Quinn, Collina Strada, and Rodarte, who made the flowers of the pattern 3D! After all, who wouldn’t want to emerge from a long winter as beautiful as an eye-catching flower?
#2. Abstract Elements
The first collection that this floral trend bloomed on was Jason Wu, who, in his words, has been working to find beauty in the imperfect parts of life during the pandemic. As he explained in his show notes, he partnered with a new fabric designer in New York that focuses on a fabric bundling technique to force the imprints of real flowers into abstract details onto fabric. As a result, his collection featured this new print style prominently, with only a few non-print pieces appearing.
Along with Jason Wu, Cynthia Rowley also used abstract florals as a trend throughout her collection, though we’re unsure if she used a fabric bundling technique to create them.
#3. Weeping for Red
We all know the age-old adage that ‘roses are red,’ but this year, they seem to be more so than normal. The fragrant bloom proved to be particularly popular, along with any other red flowers that could be reached for. At Saint Laurent, thinly crafted red flowers decorated garments, while Valentino worked with red flowers to create an almost gory detailing on a dress. At times the red flowers were simply combined into the print, which Carolina Herrera proved beautifully.
#4. Time to Do the Polka
While a resurgence of the polka has yet to occur, the dots named after the dance have come in as a major 2022 runway print this year. It didn’t matter whether the polka dots were small or large, either way, the subtle print was worked into main collections with Paco Rabanne, Louis Vuitton, and Balenciaga all using it in various outfits that can be worn day or night.
#5. Plaid Power
Often a key fall and winter trend, plaids have seemingly moved into the springtime this year. Markedly combined with large floral details, many types of plaid are taking over the runway. Mainstays are, of course, windowpane plaid and Balmoral plaid. Along with those, checkerboard plaid is back. So, if you happen to be in any type of festive mood this spring season, Acne Studios, Rochas, and Coach will fulfill your need for this classic print.
#6. Stripes Will Never Change
Marni’s creative director, Francesco Risso, created a laser focus on stripes for the spring 2022 collection. In his statements after the show, he made the short explanation that “stripes are strongly associated with direction.” While this statement isn’t exactly poetic, the assumption that the need for an easygoing, non-curved direction is something that all of us are aching for right now.
Of course, Marni wasn’t the only brand that brought in the timeless print. Christian Siriano, Tory Burch, and Schiaparelli also joined in the fun with the print, giving their collections a simple and classic direction.
#7. Tie-Dye Motifs
Tie-dye is that chaotic print trend that will never really leave us. A throwback to the rise of the hippie movement in the ‘60s, this freeform pattern seems to be equally popular now. At both Altuzarra and Isabel Marant, tie-dye was used in a very retro-chic way, but at Collina Strada, a modern take on the print occurred. The fun-loving collection put out by Hillary Taymour featured many garments that were similar to paintings and yet perfectly tie-dye at the same time.
#8. Gingham Galore
Tell me a more classic spring print; I’ll wait. See, I didn’t think so! Gingham is the pattern of both picnic blankets and flirty dresses that we wear in the spring, something that makes the often black and white print thoroughly cheerful. However, the classic image of gingham should probably be checked at the door this season, as imaginative takes on gingham occurred.
Brandon Maxwell may have used the print on sportier fits, but both Carolina Herrera and Prabal Gurung went for sequin effects and plushy details. However, if once again you failed to receive a Barbie dream closet during the holiday season, MSGM’s positively pink jackets, skirts, and pants will be right up your alley.
#9. Chevron Chic
When it comes to the playful take on smooth sailing stripes, chevron patterns have really taken charge. Prominently used at fashion houses that are more eclectic, the sophisticated and yet fun-loving stripe captured the interest of Matty Bovan, Alice + Olivia, and Versace, who used it in a vertical rather than horizontal print.
#10. Roar of the Tiger
Forget pythons and cheetahs – this year, the tiger took over as the prominent, influential print on garments. Often keeping in the colors of natural tiger stripes, clothing with this print was featured on many runways and often on various different garments.
For instance, at Kenneth Ize, and Salvatore Ferragamo, the spring pattern was often the loudest part of the outfit. However, at Missoni, the tiger roar was far quieter, with only a faint growl coming from a strappy triangle bra. So, if you’re interested in reaching for tiger print this season, the only prerequisite is to have fun!
#11. Animalistic Tendencies
While last year, heavily enlarged flowers reminiscent of artist Georgia O’Keeffe were popular, this year, it seemed that the more zoomed into the animal’s face, the better. Often a tiger face, the heavily focused image was cast onto skirts and dresses alike from all designers, such as the classically sophisticated Dior to the wilder Roberto Cavalli.
#12. Geometry Goes Wild
Fashion often comes in waves, and for this reason, not only are Y2K styles exceedingly popular right now, but so are throwback looks from the ‘60s and the ‘70s. The major example of this style comes from the dynamic prints from the runways in the form of bohemian-style geometric prints. Primarily at Paco Rabanne, the look featured squares and triangles, however many other brands such as Anrealage, Etro, Maryling, and Threeasfour all featured the vintage-style 2022 print trend in parts of their collections.
Fashion is a form of art, and while we all know this fact, in 2022, printed details and sketches are heavily featured on clothing. Jackson Pollock-esque painting designs were featured on Givenchy coats, Christopher Kane focused on abstract drawings of people, and Dries Van Noten made splashy and saturated looks that Warhol would certainly approve of. So, if you’re looking to purchase both art and clothing, it seems that now is the perfect time for you.
#14. Let’s Split
Color blocking is often done with many colors placed evenly throughout a garment, however, this season, split color blocking has taken charge as the most popular form. And when I say split, I mean a division so perfect even your younger siblings couldn’t argue.
The earliest example of this was in the Alice + Olivia collection in a jumpsuit that had one side completely white and the other completely black – a Jekyll and Hyde moment? Similarly, Dior created a matching dress and jacket piece with blue and red, cutting a horizontal line down the middle of the garment.
#15. Color Blocking, but Make It Abstract
Combining the trends of split color blocking and abstract florals, abstract color blocking comes in as a chic and stylish option. The cloudy color combinations create a fantastical effect to the clothes as if the garment floated out of a virtual reality platform. Chief among the brands that used this print were Loewe and Fendi. Both made sure that the colors only softly combined or created an ombre effect, making the lines blurred and obsession rise up for this summer 2022 print trend all the higher.
Major Theme Alert!
#16. Mixed and Matched Prints
This print trend is one that I’m sure many are here for. Finally, the old-fashioned style advice of not mixing and matching prints has become completely passé – something every fashion girl is rejoicing about. This trend is the perfect representation of self-expression, the chaotic print combinations representing our inner artists.
Contemporary designers, naturally, reached for this as inspiration, as they layered many colors and patterns one after the other to create a ‘lewk’ that would most certainly be TikTok-approved. Anna Sui went all in, along with classically simpler Simon Miller and Moschino also embracing this deliciously fun 2022 print trend.
Photos via Vogue