VIEWPOINT #38 Think Small
Political commentators, designers, and thinkers are heralding a future in which globalization is reversed, shifting the focus from global to local; and power of the few to the power of the people. From the increasing number of people choosing to set up their own small business rather than work for a giant corporation, to the burgeoning numbers of households committing to a more self-sufficient way of living, this is the up-rising of small against big. Issue 38 of Viewpoint Design explores the rise of the ‘Small Revolution’.
Driven in part by a burgeoning mistrust of the establishment and big business, and in part by a desire to maintain more autonomy over our own lives, the small revolution is a grassroots, bottom-up movement. Adam Lent, author of Small is Powerful writes ‘Political and social change is increasingly delivered by many small initiatives and campaigns rather than big parties. More than ever, people make their own decisions about how to live their lives rather than accepting the rulings of big religious and civil organisations.
This is not about running for the hills and reverting to a ‘back to basic’ or ‘grow your own’ mentality. We uncover the potential of digital technology to connect and empower communities to nurture efficient and effective ecosystems that operate locally, but are connected to share information and knowledge globally. Recognising that scale is sometimes the only viable option, we also uncover the importance of collective action, featuring some exciting examples of locally organized, self-directed coalitions.
We explore how digital communication and distributed manufacturing are strengthening localised peer-to-peer networks that are based on trust and mutual benefit. Distributed manufacturing with its smaller-scale, more focused approach not only allows makers more control over what they produce, but also gives consumers more stake, more input and more autonomy when they choose what to purchase. On a domestic scale we look at how designers are enabling individuals to create the home factory, ultimately leading to more self-sufficient lives. On a macro scale, we explore new models for self-sufficient cities that are locally productive but globally connected.
We report on how brands need to become enablers, facilitating learning experiences for a more empowered, nimble and self-sufficient consumer. How recognizing the local nuances of your offering and driving community engagement now needs to come to the fore, emphasizing the importance of re-connecting with a more localised identity, abandoning a one size-fits-all attitude.
CONTENTS VIEWPOINT #38
The creative industry round-up featuring the new design, retail, lifestyle, material and technology stories that you need to gen up on
Each issue we report on The Big Idea, the current topic influencing the creative industries, exploring the core rationale for this thematic focus and the context behind the trend. This issue: THINK SMALL
We show how THINK SMALL, this issue’s Big Idea, is beginning to affect the creative industries, unpacked through cutting-edge case studies and the work of pioneers in the field
From turning waste into new products to bringing craft and tech together to supporting making communities, these varied creatives, designers and facilitators are aiming for positive change. Their focused, distinctive initiatives punch above their weight in terms of impact. Super Local / Makery / Opendesk / Unfold / Dave Haakens / Makerversity
The Visual Essay
A visual essay featuring a series of images by Benjamin Grant, inspired by the Overview Effect – the sensation felt by astronauts when looking down at the earth from space.
Interviewing global leaders to get their take on The Big Idea — Frances Edgerley, cofounder, Assemble architecture collective / Joe Gebbia Cofounder and CPO, Airbnb / Jon Marshall, Cofounder and director, Map / Gianantonio Locatelli, founder, Museum of Shit
An in-depth analysis of the Fab City initiative — this issue’s Big Idea in action. The Fab City initiative combines cutting-edge technology and hands-on practical skills to create self-sufficient cities that can power, feed and fix themselves
The design movements manifesting as a result of The Big Idea — how designers are embracing a new aesthetic with sustainability and conscience at its heart
Reporting on emerging behavioural and attitudinal lifestyle trends that are shaping the design world — No Ownership / Politics Rebranded / New Vegan Values / On The Move
A visual exploration of emerging design movements across the lifestyle industries and their influence on colour, shape and form
A rundown of the need-to-know new technologies, materials, approaches and working methods currently affecting the creative industries — Augmented Empathy / Designed by AI / Materials of the Anthropocene Era / Human Hair / Environmental Indicators
A directory of names that you should know. From photographers and illustrators to disruptive fashion designers and idea sculptors, we identify the idea-makers of today and tomorrow. Atelier Biagetti / Kia Utzon-Frank / Convivial Studio / Alessandra Kila / Ka Wa Key / Ira Ivanova / Dawn Ng
AUTUMN 2016: FIRE
Tides of change
There is growing sense of rebellion. Social media and online facades are being debunked by Millennial insta-celebs and savvy brands are opting for unfiltered, real, warts-and-all marketing campaigns. As a conscious generation comes of age, the focus of social media is shifting from personal gain to social good, with communities and campaigners using the internet as a tool for positive change.
Among a growing number of Millennials, we are seeing a shift in values and a desire for realness and non-conformity. Due to their rejection of “good taste”, we are going to see the rise of a new set of brands that are not afraid to alienate and challenge, do not conform, and set out to disrupt the status quo. Being different, being real and having an opinion seems to be the way ahead and that will certainly affect how fashion works.
We can already see this happening in the way fabrics, colours and styling are evolving for A/W 17/18. In our Womenswear Inspirations, we comment on how the dismantling of established frameworks creates space for alternative thinking: “Designers are greeting this opportunity with daring enthusiasm. The predictable notions of cut, shape, and fabric choice are being tested, along with the larger issues of gender and family, of place and belonging. It’s all up for grabs and the bold are embracing the challenge, moving and exploring these uncharted worlds. Turbulence shifts the landscape and where it will settle is not yet clear – but we are beginning to see the emergence of a brand new picture.”
Publisher’s View: Quo vadis?
Never has the fashion business been at such a crossroads, wherever you look, from the way we approach trends to the purpose of exhibitions and the very future of catwalk shows. It all adds up to exciting times. But, faced with economic uncertainty, in a world increasingly influenced by Millennials and Generation Z, the industry needs answers – and quickly.
Fibres & fabrics: Natural & precious
A/W 17/18 knitwear looks set to be warm, but very light and soft, with fine yarns in the finest raw materials, made with technical brilliance. But there were also more really big yarns than ever, some huge as if looking through a magnifying glass, but always light as if blown with air.
Haute Couture: A global perspective
It may be a far cry from the hallowed couture ateliers but the times they are a-changing and this season the Chambre Syndicale gave couture a global perspective, extending the schedule and opening the doors to an international roster of designers.
Menswear r-t-w designers: In & Out
Menswear feels strong and self-assured. For now, sales are up and growing, Creativity is bold and thrilling, but the formula of the twice-yearly shows routinely held in the same cities excites no one.
Womenswear inspirations: Face on
In a time of upheaval seemingly coming from all sides, political, structural and economic, there is an atmosphere of revolution in the air. The dismantling of established frameworks creates space for alternative thinking and the appetite for change is palpable. Designers are greeting this opportunity with daring enthusiasm
Womenswear colours: Alliances
In a time of disorder and confusion it becomes necessary to extract order from the turmoil and look quietly at the simplicity of pure colour. Our colour selection for this winter season remains bound to the materials that inspire us; their surfaces draw us in and charm us.
Womenswear styling: Fashion shifts
A new freedom emerges when definitions and established systems are challenged. This rebellion is taking shape in new and experimental design ideas, which defy notions of gender, age, market category and season.
Womenswear fabrics: Shock of the new
Innovation continues at a pace, but it is not so much the fabrics per se that stand out, rather the way they are pieced together in the final garment.
Womenswear trimmings and accessories
The season of hope is here, just when we need it! Designers fluctuate between the opportunities of the future, the hard lessons of today’s reality and the wonderful treasures of the past.
Casualwear colours and styling: Hybrids
We see a new approach to lifestyle, identity and fashion. Rules are broken and boundaries blurred, as people break free of traditional ways of thinking.
Menswear colours, styling and fabrics: All in the detail
This A/W 17/18 season is all about the detail. A maximalist approach is applied throughout, with a clear focus on textural fabric interest and hand finishing that leaves few surfaces appearing flat. Even in the cleaner themes, we see a concentration on texture, all be it more uniform in nature.
Women’s and menswear fabric forecast: Fit for purpose
Studying the latest graduate and designer collections, the word uniform buzzes. There has never been so much fusing, hybridization and collaging; but there also seems to be a growing need for a new set of rules for fashion.
Print design forecast: Uniformity
There is a trend for ‘belonging’, belonging to, a nation, a region, a religion, a village, a football team, a brotherhood, a language or political group, a gang or band, rebels and revolutionaries. We express it through our clothes.
Showcase: The game changers
Designers are setting new paradigms that work for them, as technology and ever-changing communication mean that archaic operational modes need to go and the industry needs to metamorphose for the future.
Welcome to our new issue of View2. We’ve made a few changes and we’re not afraid to shout about it, which is why we have called this issue Amplify! I’m sure you, our savvy readers, have no doubt noticed that it’s on the shelves a full six weeks earlier than usual and, as you navigate through the issue, you’ll find the layout is quite a bit different to before. So, I thought I should take a moment to explain why.
The fact of the matter is the world of fashion is changing and, within this, so is the world of casualwear. Once the casual market was chino and denim dominated, but this world is broadening to embrace our new lifestyle choices – especially when it comes to activewear and the growth of athleisure blending comfort, high performance and function fabrics in everyday casual and even formal dressing! Just think back to over five years ago when we saw the emergence of the ‘onesie’ – a celebrity phenomenon at first, but an overnight sensation, a revelation in fact… Suddenly sportswear was not about doing sport, it was about being comfortable (and I bet most of you secretly have one tucked away at home, for those loungy weekend moments).
Casualwear now encompasses a much wider group of fabric bases: think warp knits, 360-degree stretch denim you can do yoga in and the development of technical performance finishing techniques that can be applied across a vast range of fabric bases. It’s all about fabrics that react to our daily needs and enhance our quality of life. Just think how, if we can now dress smartly in our finest tweeds and worsted wools without feeling itchy and overheating if the sun suddenly comes out, or smelling a bit like a soggy dog if caught in a rainstorm, this is a much better place to be! Similarly, we can now wear sportswear to the workplace or casualwear that offers the movement and technical attributes only possible in sportswear in the past.
Garment silhouettes and styling directions now question the need for gender diversity. As we know, gender neutrality is a serious topic of discussion. Already many UK schools have introduced a gender-neutral uniform policy, which allows boys to wear skirts and girls to wear trousers, in order to recognise the rights of students who feel they don’t fit into the binary genders. This is just part of a UK government funded drive to support LGBT+ children in schools.
In this changing world, we are all now involving product categories and combinations that we never thought likely before. And all these different product categories work to their own timetables. Footwear, hardware and active sportswear need earlier information than, say, the general r-t-w casual cotton market. Hence, our decision to move everything forward to try and find a common denominator, where we all work together to satisfy a new market demand.
Not only that, we are all living in a new world of “see now, buy now” which is creating divisions and earthquakes in the world of r-t-w designers and catwalk shows and raising demands for earlier and earlier information.
As a result of all this movement, we have decided not to run our features in their usual, season-to-season running order. Instead, we have divided the magazine into product groups. Our three main areas remain ‘Denim’, ‘Casual’ and ‘Sport’, so we stay true to our history, but, now, you can easily tab to one section and find current reports and future concepts all in one place.
But please do not be alarmed. We have not gone completely genderless and season-less, because, of course, this is not how many businesses are operating…yet! We have just moved to a common ground, if one exists, in terms of gender, where styling details, colours etc. shown in womenswear can translate to menswear and vice versa, while we are delivering information and inspiration that can translate into a season that works for your market and timetable.
It’s a new dynamic and we feel very passionately about it. We hope you do too! Plus, of course, we continue with our much-loved regular features. Enjoy!
View2 #21 – Content
SECTION 1: STREET & RETAIL
London/ Paris/ Tokyo/ New York/ Amsterdam/
Our trend watchers get out and about in some of our favourite cities to bring you a snapshot of the hottest looks being worn on the streets.
London/ Paris/ Tokyo/ New York/ Singapore
Our Hot Retail section highlights a select few of the freshest new shops to visit when travelling the globe.
SECTION 2: DENIM
Denim Most Wanted
Within these pages of indigo eye candy, our findings show that casual is king, the 501 is far from dead and over sizing is definitely not over! Stylish chino shapes, sporty jogger influences, relaxed slouchy pants and soft weaves all provide a casual approach. However, there is also a strong feminine presence.
The new developments in texture, colour, detailing, handle and finishing that we present here are inspiring. From 3D textures to cracked leather effects and from bold contrast two-tone blocking, to a host of sporty features and detailing, it’s clear denim is no longer just about a fabric with which to make a good-looking jean!
SECTION 3: CASUAL
We introduce five palettes that begin in monochrome and end in a riot of colour. They are not what they seem. One looks mechanical, but has a very human story to tell. Another looks feminine but explores a new masculinity. Leave your preconceptions at the door and look with fresh eyes!
We take you on a journey from a Neo Gothic mindset, to a Cyber world, to utopian utility, to a 1980s ‘Back in the Days’ block party, to 1970s theatrics, and then bring you back down to re-imagined natural landscapes for inspiration. The underlying message is that product, no matter how fashionable, should function and feel good.
Our fabrics sit harmoniously within each concept to show how to realise each look. We find super-future aesthetics that hold comfort at the fore, retro looks that have been adapted to perform, structural interest that challenges what we believe. In a nutshell, the weavers have been very busy creating, and it’s incredibly inspiring…
Trim designs are taken to the next level, with outspoken and impeccable stories. The desire for strident ornamentation is merged with a revived interest in natural elements, innovative technologies and exquisite details.
Here we provide a simple, illustrated range plan of the women’s and men’s silhouettes that we feel most strongly for moving forward.
Our final casual feature presents a forecast of more directional inspiration, for those of you wanting to plan further ahead. With so little changing around us right now, we are allowing the unruly world of art to be our main driver and source of inspiration. Let’s allow misbehaviour to be the lead and catalyst for a change!
SECTION 4: SPORT
Here, we take a look at the most directional ways sport product is emerging on the streets. We find urban runners, a hip hybrid rock/sports mash up, sporty East and West Coast US clashes, a fresh ‘OG’ attitude, plus a whole host of cool details – many of which are potentially bubbling-up mainstream looks.
Since functional coatings and finishing treatments can often be added to a range of fabric bases, we use this section to present key directions and aesthetics together with composition and weight, allowing you to imagine the final end-use, purpose and performance requirements you need.
A ‘New Wave’ attitude to technique and technical experimentation sees cross-seasonal sportswear rebooted for true cross-functional appeal. The latest fabric technologies deliver a contemporary outlook that promotes individual storytelling without sacrificing the user experience – a seamless integration of style, substance and surprise.
SECTION 5: FOOTWEAR & ACCESSORIES
The recent Chinese fashion, design and art fairs were so brimming with talent that we decided to dedicate this footwear forecast entirely to the Asian market, featuring mostly Asian brands. The themes are not so different from the global trends we see continuously, but they are less dystopian and more optimistic and dynamic – a reflection of the new found possibilities in this society.
Our concepts show a distinct contrast between a contemporary, functional aesthetic and richly textured, organic sources of inspiration. For the most part, trusted styles are updated in subtly oversized silhouettes, while our final theme injects a new level of utility through body-conscious statement pieces.
An interview with Jeff Griffin and our usual round up of all the best new websites and apps.
COLOUR PLANNER 38 FOR SUMMER 2018
In Greek and Roman mythology the word “muse”, referred to the nine goddesses, daughters of Zeus, the supreme deity of the ancient Greeks and Mnemosyne, the ancient Greek goddess of memory. These nine goddesses presided over the Arts and Sciences, two areas that are today developing hand in hand at an incredibly rapid pace. Because of this, we feel that they are the perfect inspiration for Spring/Summer 2018. Right now, we are experiencing a moment of acceleration in our desire to merge science and art. By doing this, we uncover new approaches and ideas, not just in colour, but also in form, material and shape.
Our palettes are designed to encourage adventure without the fear of losing touch, about exploration of the new without losing sight of the known – which is crucial when dealing with commercial product. Our new palettes are diverse, rather than limited and all-embracing, because we live in a post-trend world of multiple ideas and cult items.
Last season, we explained how different brands are now using our palettes as a starting point to create and merchandise a more unique approach to colour that can be tailored to their very own customers. We continue to develop this approach for Spring/Summer 2018 as brands grow in confidence to do what is right for them rather than follow the mainstream.
COLOUR PLANNER 38: MUSE CONTENTS
The enlightenment palette includes inexpressive shades floating, flying, hovering to find a direction, a muse. The two neutrals – white and warm grey – are sprinkled with a layer of wind-whipped blue and glacier green.
This palette is based on four reassuring hues of ligneous browns. Wood has been used by men for tens of thousands of years as the basic source material and the colours of wood are part of our evolution.
Four grounded shades, rooted in nature, are the foundation of our story – green, blue and brown. Trustworthy khaki and cool slate act as well loved base colours, from which olive and lichen spring forth.
Fragrant and restful colours: a creamy pink sits with a passionate coral, rich warm brown and a gentle aromatic cumin. These serene tones are perfect for creating tranquil groupings that are also decoratively rich and layered.
Four heavily pigmented, opaque colours convey a strong commercial statement about the solidity and essential confidence you get from a good, mid-toned summer selection.
A range with a touch of core yellow in every hue: from the new yellowish greens to the more acidic shades, yellow initiates every tint here.
White is the start point for this group and is a key summer colour, particularly when offset with other high energy brights. The pinks continue to be important.
Bridging our way from S/S 2018 towards A/W 18/19, we introduce a quartet of transitional colours – four strong and atmospheric blues, each bearing a contrasting character, but that work as a family.
Another transitional range where four soft, warm and cold tones carry forward our winter dark narrative from last season, but are dusted and greyed into a softer expression for the transition into summer.