Summer fashion 2022: candycore is the colourful trend to know

Move over cottagecore; this summer, fashion is all about candycore (and the sweeter, the better)

You know all about cottagecore and you’re familiar with coastal grandma. Now it’s time to introduce you to fashion’s latest – and sweetest – trend to date: candycore. 

Those of you with a sweet tooth, look away now, for according to TikTok, summer’s breakout trend is loaded high with sartorial sugar.

Of course, the saccharine, nostalgic 00s throwbacks we’ve already been endorsing have made this summer sweeter than its predecessors, as has the fact that this year, the warmer months will (hopefully) be spent sans lockdown, yet fashion is continuing to dose up even more on the sweet stuff.

According to global fashion platform Lyst, which analyses the online shopping behaviour of more than 8 million people, summer’s breakout trend is ‘sugar-rush core’, which we’re dubbing ‘candycore’. 

Summer fashion 2022: candycore is the colourful trend to know
New York's Collina Strada hinted at the emergence of candycore in its spring/summer 2022 collection.

Candycore results from an amalgamation of the signature sartorial DNA from several brands, most notably Paloma Wool, House of Sunny and plastic bling purveyor La Manso. The result is a twirly, swirly mish-mash of sorbet shades woven into geometric and floral prints and worn with a healthy helping of irony and kitsch.

“This trend offers an instant dopamine hit in the form of candy-like colours, bold patterns and geometric shapes,” Lyst notes, while also adding that it’s most popular on re-sale app Depop. Candycore, according to Lyst, is shoppers “seeking escapism with “treats”. What could be more of a treat than an overindulgent dose of sugar?

The first whispers that hinted to the emergence of candycore began during the spring/summer 2022 fashion weeks, with New York’s Collina Strada the first to embrace all elements of the trend. Colours were clashing, yet wishy-washy; silhouettes were fun and flirty; patterns were swirly and other-worldly. Elsewhere in the Big Apple, Kim Shui set the candycore wheels in motion, weaving kitsch cowboy hats and boots into its sickly-sweet ensembles.

Candycore strengthened its resolve in the spring/summer 2022 campaigns too, with Juicy Couture tapping Jenny Brough to photograph its collection, which according to the brand, is “anchored in hyper-colour and tactility”. Sound familiar? 

Summer fashion 2022: candycore is the colourful trend to know
Juicy Couture's spring/summer 2022 campaign was inadvertently inspired by candycore.

The data speaks for itself. Lyst has noted a 100% spike in the past couple of months in searches for flared trousers and has seen similarly significant increases in searches for floral and geometric prints.

The decree is clear: the sweeter the ensemble, the colours and the shades, the better. If you really want the full sugar rush, then clash as many candycore prints as you can and enjoy fashion’s sweetest trend to date. 

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Images: courtesy of Jenny Brough/Juicy Couture and Getty.