Pitti Predicts:
Joyful Dressing
Edition 102
Pitti Predicts is your connection to Instagram archivist Samutaro who’s here to talk you through Pitti 102’s main themes and the future trends you need on your radar.

As the fashion industry prepares to reunite in June at Pitti Uomo’s 102 edition - even after a reboot earlier in January - it feels remarkably more normal than the one this time 12 months ago. The mass re-openings in the wake of the global pandemic has given way to a collective feeling of hope as we dream of better days to come. This optimistic mood is certainly something that has been reflected on the runway over the past few seasons with designer collections banking on bright colour and joyful dressing as key directions to watch as we emerge from this thaw. 

Some of the top trends for the seasons include Fuchsia pink as seen at Valentino where Pierpaolo Piccioli adopted retina-vibrating fuchsia as an extreme color strategy for the 81 looks that appeared on the F/W 22 runway show, set included. Meanwhile Simon Porte Jacquemus transported his audience to the sunny shores of Hawaii for S/S 22 where he sent models in head-to-toe skittles-bright looks along a cobalt catwalk that cut across the sand of the Moli’i Gardens’s beach on the northern side of Oahu.
After almost a year of shelter-in-place orders across the world, it's no surprise that many shoppers are ready to swap out trackies in favour of mood-boosting fashion. One of the biggest industry buzzwords to emerge out of this feel-good fashion moment is ‘Dopamine Dressing’ - a trend based on the theory that choosing certain clothes can make you happy and elevate your mood.

In an article discussing the trend, GQ pointed to a 2015 research study from California State University, Northridge and Columbia University that discovered that outfits we wear can have a direct impact on the way we think. The study across five different experiments found that dressing a certain way could influence the way we make decisions. 
Fashion psychologist Dawnn Karen and the author of Dress Your Best Life backs this theory. She shares on Instagram – “Mood enhancement dressing, aka dopamine dressing, simply means selecting clothes that increase your happiness, raise your spirits, and make you feel better, stronger, safer, or more empowered.” She attributes it to the release of the chemical dopamine in your brain.  

Naturally, bright colours have spent the past year erupting all over social media as consumers embrace clothes that bring them joy to counter the pandemic and its mood-altering effects. Pinterest also predicted that ​“Dopamine Dressing” will be 2022’s biggest fashion trend, with search terms like ​“rainbow dress women”, ​“fuchsia outfit” and ​“vibrant outfits” driving this trend among Gen Z. The return of seasonal events like fashion week, weddings and music festivals have only heightened the trend too - you only have to look at the looks from Pitti’s 101 edition to see how they played out in street style. 
The demand for these serotonin boosting brights beyond summer and into fall is forcing fashion retailers to quickly change up future collections to supply pieces featuring bold hues. "We’ve just finished buying resort and pre-spring where the trend is very much continuing," Page told Vogue Business. "We anticipate that this ‘dopamine dressing’ mood is here to stay."

These zingy colours have given new life to menswear categories like knitwear, outerwear and tailoring, which in the past have relied on more neutral palettes. At Pitti Uomo 101, Italian label Amaranto offered up mohair sweaters, cardigans and accessories in vibrant pinks, orange and neon yellow, while Pintorie and Phillip Huang explored plant-based colour as a way to approach the trend in a responsible way. 
Another standout brand to watch at the fair is Manuel Ritz, an Italian brand who used pop brights and hyper texture to add a mood-boosting quality to preppy classics. The label’s A/W 22 collection included happy hues like "Gen Z green" (a sister shade to millennial pink), lemon, orange, and magenta on key silhouettes like everything from colour-blocked shearling jackets, plaid shirts, varsity jackets and down outerwear. It’s this clever fusion of colour with wider trends that are happening in the market that is proving that this ‘dopamine dressing’ movement is not just a temporary reaction to pandemic-induced misery but a lucrative trend that holds longevity.
Gen-Z’s fondness for Y2K fashion has been unavoidable over the past few seasons, especially for young menswear, and dopamine dressing has provided designers with a fresh direction to the early 00s. Heaven by Marc Jacobs has been serving up a slew of Y2K-inspired prints in its S/S 22 collection modelled by musicians Yung Lean and Steve Lacy, while at Pitti you can find young designers like Mod Wave Movement who are offering bold prints and eye-catching colours reminiscent of turn-of-the-millennium styles.
While dopamine dressing might feel like it speaks to a younger audience, it's a trend that transcends age. “The premise of dopamine dressing is that what we wear makes a difference in how we feel and how we are perceived which, in turn, can boost our confidence and well-being,” says GQ’s Namrata Kedar. “It’s about learning to style yourself inside out – what you wear outside can affect how you feel inside. It is part fashion and part mindfulness.”

Italian menswear label Pierre-Louis Mascia is one designer at Pitti Uomo that is striking the perfect balance between elegant menswear and youthful design. His unrivalled approach to mixing and matching colour palettes and traditional patterns on wide-leg trousers and patchwork silk shirts embrace the type of drama you’d typically expect to see in street style at Fortezza Da Basso. It's what he calls an “unpredictable classic.”
Although colour plays a big part in the psychological impact of Dopamine Dressing, there's more to it than just bright patterns and fabrics. Texture and style can boost mood as well. "What we wear affects how we feel so much that it can distort and determine our thoughts and judgments," says psychologist Karen Pine in her book, Mind What You Wear: The Psychology of Fashion. 

Researchers refer to it as "enclothed cognition" and have indeed found that our clothes can have symbolic meaning that affects psychology and performance. For some, the comfort of the clothes they clung to during difficult parts of lockdown hold positive memories beyond the return to regular social settings. Ultimately it’s all about wearing what makes you feel you. The most important thing is to have fun with it.
This desire for comfort dressing was a key focus for 032c magazine, who collaborated with Sloggi for a capsule collection of elevated sweats in cool nude palettes. These joyful themes were showcased in a plush installation at Pitti Uomo, where the collection debuted in a custom, “pillow fort” inspired structure. Surrounded by mirrored surfaces, the contrastingly cushioned temple is both a functional shelter and a playful demonstration of the idea of supple support behind sloggi’s raison d’être and the conceptual framework through which 032c Ready To Wear approached the collaboration.
So with the S/S 23 season quickly approaching, how can we expect dopamine dressing to influence Pitti Uomo’s 102 edition in June? If the current micro trends on TikTok are any kind of indicator (#clowncore or #kidcore anyone) then we can expect to see more self expression and maximalist style appear on the show floors. This exploration of personal style is evident in the show's introduction of the vintage supermarket, which will allow visitors to explore thrifted styles alongside seasonal collections for a more eclectic aesthetic. More than anything, the triumphant return to Pitti Uomo’s famous courtyard will be a big enough reason for visitors to embrace the bold and the colourful as a way to celebrate something positive through their aesthetic.

Words Samutaro
Pictures Julien Tell
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