Neon, nature and Nineties nostalgia: Lysanne Currie reports on the changing world of luxury, revealing five key trends to watch as the year turns.
another seismic year recedes in the rear-view, it’s time to face 2022 with hope
and a good dollop of happiness. But this year the trends that will be shaping
our new world order will not only be seen or heard but also experienced –
deeply. Get ready to embrace our favourite five – and a shiny, new optimism…
1. Feel the joy
We’ve heard much about the return of the Roaring Twenties, with parallels drawn between the decade-long celebration following the end of the First World War and the retreat of Covid. Clearly, that’s not the best comparison – the pandemic is still very much with us, and the jury’s still out as to whether this is going to be a period of renewed prosperity. Yet, verdant green shoots are poking through – but now the green is neon. Yes, retro club culture is back on the catwalks – whether it was Versace’s rave neon pinks and oranges, Tom Ford’s sparkly jewel colours or Dolce & Gabbana’s rock-chick sexiness. And following two years of lockdowns, the mood and emphasis is on joy, partying and having fun. Hotels are reporting that guests are dressing up for dinner and ordering the finest food and wine. Meanwhile, interior design guru Michelle Ogundehin is hailing the return of rooms “drenched in full-fat colour and mixed with joyous prints on walls”, courtesy of Pierre Frey’s Joie de Vivre collection and Yinka Ilori’s vibrant homeware, all hot pinks and purples. The future is most definitely bright.
2. Back to the Nineties
Call it a longing for the “Before Times”, but retro mania is once again exerting a seductive pull – and this time it’s centring around the Nineties. Dave Grohl has stated that “the dial is starting to turn back towards guitar music”, and the much-anticipated Liam Gallagher at Knebworth gig (some 25 years after Oasis’s legendary performance) sold out so quickly that promoters had to add a second date. From the world of film and TV, Nineties stalwarts such as Sex and the City, Scream, Toy Story and The Matrix are all getting reboots. Meanwhile, in fashion land, Gen Z are combing thrift shops for Nineties vintage jewellery, and baggy is back – as are hoodies, puffer jackets and Maharishi trousers.
Elsewhere, device-free, pre-smartphone entertainment is making a return. Sales of board games and jigsaw puzzles soared during lockdown and, according to the Guardian, the global market for playing cards and board games is “expected to continue to grow strongly to reach $21.6bn (£16.2bn) by 2025”. Meanwhile, a rise in “digital detox” dining is seeing restaurants taking away customers’ phones during dinner so they can actually talk to one another.
3. Nurture & nature
In the aftermath of the pandemic, wellness has taken on a new significance. While spas and gyms may increasingly be fitted with air purifiers, virtual clinics are offering everything from guided meditations to equipment-free workouts. Immune-boosting programmes will come into their own and the importance of gut health on our overall wellbeing will be increasingly flagged up. And what started as an order two years ago – meet outdoors – has developed into a serious romance. Luxury hotels are investing in jaw-dropping outside spaces, restaurants are al fresco whatever the weather, and accommodation that compliments rather than dominates the natural world is emerging – check out the off-grid Casa Eterea on the slopes of Mexico’s Palo Huérfano volcano. Finally, luxury camping is set to grow further: according to Energy Siren, “The glamping market is expected to hit an approximate size of $6.32bn [£4.73bn] by 2027, with growth of 12.30 per cent for the forecast period from 2020 to 2027.”
4. Kooky collaborations
One crucial thing to come out of the pandemic was the importance of working together – at a geopolitical level and right down to tiny local communities. There would be no chance of getting through the crisis if we didn’t help each other out. Collaboration is not only charming and compassionate but can also be curious, leftfield and fabulously creative.
As 2021 came to a close, the kookiest of joint ventures started to emerge – Rick Astley performing covers of Smiths songs with the band Blossom (gigs sold out in seconds), and fashion house Balenciaga putting The Simpsons on the catwalk during Paris Fashion Week in October. Jewellery maker Tiffany recently teamed up with streetwear label Supreme, while other surprising collaborations included The North Face with Gucci; Fendi with Versace; cult fragrance house Byredo with rapper Travis Scott; and Silicon Valley fashion label Soul of Nomad with boxer Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin, on a hoodie embedded with an NFT (Non-Fungible Token).
5. Power to the planet
It’s not a new trend but sustainability will continue to move up our priority list and embed itself in our everyday lives as the year unfolds. Recycling and reusing will be the new cool for a post-COP26 era concerned with restoration as we strive to work towards net zero.
Luxury fragrance brands such as Guerlain, Gucci, Ormonde Jayne and Diptyque are now offering refills; while Aqua di Parma’s Colonia Futura fragrance has ensured sustainability is a feature all along the supply chain, with leftover quarry dust used to make its packaging and recyclable caps. In the fashion world, Thalassophy, for one, makes its garments from 100 per cent recycled polyester or certified organic cotton. Elsewhere, new fashion darling Harris Reed is sending its models down the catwalk in upcycled Oxfam attire, while a new clothing product label, the Impact Index, has been co-created by the Responsible Business Coalition, Accenture and Vogue to mark sustainability metrics. “It is intended to make it easier for brands to communicate their efforts with customers and ultimately accelerate the industry’s sustainability progress overall,” reports Vogue Business.