The coronavirus pandemic has made us feel stagnant in many ways. The coming and going of new variants and constant threats of yet another lockdown have made it hard to move ahead and plan for the future. In turn, movement is what we’re all yearning for. So it comes as no surprise that fringe, one of spring 2022’s most defining trends, exhibits exactly that: our collective desire to forge forward in our most festive attire.
Proenza Schouler’s spring 2022 collection featured vibrant-hued maxi dresses with cascading fringe skirts that swayed in the wind as the models walked through the newly-inaugurated Little Island’s amphitheater overlooking New York’s Hudson River. Meanwhile, Jonathan Simkhai showed airy, crochet dresses that came undone in delicate fringe hemlines, with models walking in and out of the indoor-outdoor venue. Then, there is Chloé’s spring 2022 lineup, which designer Gabriela Hearst embedded with colorful fringe details over a muted color palette, displayed along the Seine River in Paris. The combination of fringe and open space signaled the optimism designers are feeling for a post-pandemic world — when we are all ready to leave our houses for good and celebrate.
Since the pandemic took hold, many trends from the roaring ‘20s and excess ‘80s have made a comeback. It makes sense: The flapper era — filled with The Great Gatsby-esque parties and sequins — followed WWI. Meanwhile, the ‘80s trailed two decades filled with social and political upheaval (sound familiar?). Thanks to the recent Omicron wave, we’re not yet in full party mode. It’s a good thing then that designers are bringing trends, like fringe, party embellishments, and statement sleeves, in ways we can wear in our everyday lives. Fendi’s fall 2021, for example, included fringe, furry coats paired with minimalist slip dresses, while Proenza Schouler showed fringe-adorned pieces in otherwise-simple silhouettes.
Fringe has been around for a long time in fashion (see: the ’20s and the ’60s), but this latest wave is infused with more details than just dangly pieces of fabric hanging from one’s legs. Jonathan Simkhai’s designs were adorned with knots, while Alejandra Alonso Rojas’s take on the trend appeared in the form of layered, waterfall-like skirts. Designers are also forgoing fabric altogether to create fringed hemlines, much like Proenza Schouler’s beaded, pendulous embellishments.
Although it may seem that, much like the fringed hemlines, we’ve all come undone in this pandemic, this fashion trend is reminding us to look ahead. To days when we are not only moving forward but dancing into the future.
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