Viewpoint #42

GUILT FREE

Imagine a future where the culture around consumption had evolved so far that responsibly manufactured products were the norm rather than the exception – a future of guilt-free living.
In Viewpoint #42, the Guilt-Free edition, we explore how that future could become reality. A groundswell of popular horror at the ravaging of the planet, both in environmental and human terms, has become a potent force. We don’t want to sacrifice our oceans for a new drinking bottle every day or a microbeaded facial scrub – nor do we want to find ourselves eating our own rubbish when that plastic finds its way back into the food chain. We don’t want a throwaway £10 dress if it was made using modern-day slavery.
Brands, governments and organisations alike are being forced to take notice – and some of them, at least, are welcoming the imperative. Long-standing forces for good in the retail world such as Ikea and Patagonia are being joined by a host of others, including some of the largest corporations on the planet – who are belatedly recognising that sustainability makes not only good sense for securing our future but also good financial sense.
The importance of design’s role in guilt-free living cannot be overstated. People want to make consumption decisions that actively do good, or at the very least, do no harm. But these products need to be readily available, attractive and affordable – and therein lies the challenge for the creative community.
THE EDIT
This guilt-free creative industry roundup features the eco-conscious thinkers seeking to change the future for the better
GUILT FREE
There is increasing evidence that people have a genuine desire to accurately establish the implications of their consumption choices – and are keen to identify the options that are best not only for themselves but also for their fellow humans and for the planet.
THE EVIDENCE
We cannot ignore what we can clearly see – and we can see it writ large in mainstream media. The final episode of the BBC’s hugely popular 2017 Blue Planet II series showed sobering images of oceans awash with plastic and ended with David Attenborough’s call to action: ‘The future of all life on earth now depends on us.’
AGAIN AND AGAIN

We are in the midst of a material revolution, where the discarded is becoming the essential, and waste is becoming wanted.

THE PIONEERS

Global thought leaders give their take on this issue’s central theme — Christopher Raeburn / Shaun Frankson / Suzanne Lee / Tom Domen / Dave Hakkens / Daniela Bohlinger.

VEGAN REVOLT

Vegans can now satisfy a desire for indulgent treats and classic comfort food without the need to compromise their morals.

MINDSET SHIFTS

Reporting on emerging behavioural and attitudinal lifestyle trends — Debunking the Myth of Body Perfection / Conscious Luxury Fashion / Kindfulness / Activist Youth.

AFTERLIFE

Designing the end at the beginning How we view and design products, not as static objects but as dynamic and evolving systems, is key to this more sustainable future.

FIND YOUR VOICE

Protest Press believe in the power of design to create social change.

Textile View #123

AUTUMN 2018 COMPOSED

After 25 years of trying, the fashion world has suddenly woken up to the imperatives of sustainability, environmental control, wastage and recycling. Technology and synthetics were seen as the enemy, the propagators of stuffocation and fast obsolescence. But not anymore! If we are to really confront the terrible impact of consumption, then we not only have to tackle sustainability and recycling issues in the processing and manufacturing stages but combine them with winning aesthetics at the design stage. To do this, we need to believe in innovation and technology as much as reduction and recyclability as the ways forward to what we most love and aspire to, to fabrics that are desirable, inclusive and serviceable and garments that make us look beautiful. As we say in our Fabric Preview S/S 2020, where we list nine ways to achieve this, we should never forget that its aesthetics that really enable us to connect with what we wear. Technology provides the freedom to create anything we want: our values set the boundaries to make it human and sustainable. It’s a wonderful new combination, as we set out to show in our Lifestyle pages,‘The Next Phase in Making and Creating’.

Publisher’s view

Luxury that is democratic and open to all is quite a step away from the scenario where elitism and exclusivity were its very raison d’être. Who will manage the change?

City view

We look at Frome, a multi-award winning, culturally vibrant market town in Somerset that prides itself on its independence, its strong spirit of community, innovation and enterprise.

Season highs & lows

What were the real winners S/S 2018 in retail and how will that influence S/S 2019

Menswear r-t-w designer styling & colours

There is a contemporary lexicon of menswear that defines a new establishment: it features the tracksuit at its core. The tracksuit is not a suit, but is the sharpest way for men to dress right now.

Menswear r-t-w designer fabric analysis

Designers are rejecting the old norms and tired categorization of clothing and, instead, looking to think intelligently about new material choices that are lifting menswear into other realms.

Womenswear inspirations

A new assertiveness is emerging that shines a light on our future direction. Young people are embracing the immense difficulties facing humanity with courage and mettle.

Womenswear colours

We power down and take a brush and some paints and rediscover how colours really sit together and how each hue gradates and flows from deep intensity to softer tints.

Womenswear key looks

Fashion is responding to the ever-increasing multidisciplinary approach within creative trainings, where boundaries are blurred between art, science and product.

Womenswear fabrics

Autumn/Winter 19/20 is a season of contradictions, a season when fashion takes on new meanings to reflect the changes in the world around us.

Womenswear trimmings and accessories

A new freedom of independence, optimism and personalization is in the air, creating a disorderly burst of energy, creativity and vitality. Fashion is liberating itself, stepping firmly ahead into a promising future.

Casualwear colours and styling

Fashion and design is at the forefront of the fight to save the planet, as we embrace accountability and preservation. Research, technology and design are the keys to change.

Menswear orientations

Men’s fabrication this winter leant heavily towards multi-styles of design, scale and pattern making, with the check holding pole position: patterned clean or hazy, pure tech and raspy or luxe-soft and relaxed.

Womenswear and menswear fabric and colour forecast

We came up with the following nine textile design strategies for positive change within in the industry. 

Print design forecast

Start to influence the world with your imagination not with your nightmares. Dream of beauty! Dream of tolerance! Dream of art! Dream…

Lifestyle trends

New ways of making and creating bring unlimited freedom in design. Do the unexpected, be wild, unique and rebellious.

The future of making

This overview presents meaningful developments focusing mainly on young designers and recent graduates as symbols of progression, opportunity and potential.

Viewpoint Colour #4

IDENTITY PARADE

New generations are bringing us new understandings of personal identity, inclusivity and cultural ties. Just like the students in 1968 (May saw the 50th Anniversary of the famous Paris protests by workers and students), they disagree with traditional ideologies, they’re anti-establishment and believe in a safer, fairer world. They’re on a mission to leave the world a better place than they found it.

 

Anti-judgmental, Millennials and Gen Z reject the idea of ‘normal’ and defined categories. We are all different but there’s no right or wrong, ugly or pretty, you are who you are. They won’t question your sexuality or gender and most definitely will not judge you for it. Diverse cultures are welcomed and blended. Don’t label me and I won’t label you.

 

Be yourself yes, but also be connected. ‘Collaboration’ is the word of the moment, as people try to connect with each other to create a better future. They are busy concocting ‘cultural smoothies’, blending cultures, skill sets and people from all parts of the world as traditional frontiers, both mental and physical, are broken down and totally new identities and norms are created.

 

Taiye Selasi had it so right in the 2014 TED talk: “Don’t ask where I am from, ask where I am local. All experience is local – all identity is experience. What makes a place a home are the experiences around it Culture exists/ in community and community exists in context.”

 

So, welcome to our latest issue of Viewpoint Colour, “Identity”, where we look not just at colour but at the world in a totally new context.

News: a creative industry round-up of the most insightful colour news stories across the lifestyle industries .

Identity Parade: identity is one of the strongest creative inspirations across all fields – in particular fashion, which is perhaps one of the most experimental and rebellious of all. As identity becomes more fluid and hybridised, its influence becomes ever more potent.

Colour Forecast A/W 2019/20: this issue’s colour forecast embodies varying aspects of our ‘Identity’ theme: ‘Femininity Redefined’ drawing on a mood of fresh activism and resistance to female under-representation; ‘Street Wise’ where street style and luxury fashion collide to create an amalgamated aesthetic that straddles the divide between high and low culture; Multi-Local’ that embraces the inherent idea that identities are formed not by a single heritage; and ‘More is More’– a total rejection of convention and the status quo resulting in a design direction where anything goes.

Tying the Knot: the first of our visual essay features where the visualised thoughts that artist William Ukoh presents are a celebration of his own identity, both generational and cultural.

Colour May Vary designers take a leap of faith, for, just as repurposing determines the new iterations of materials and products, it also influences their colour – sparking a different way of thinking about colour and incorporating it into design.

‘Bright Generation’ positioned between the duality of her Swiss and Guinean heritage, photographer Namsa Leuba’s work in our second visual essay envisions ‘the representation of African identity through the Western imagination.

Colour Futures: ‘Other Worlds’ as emerging technologies break down the boundaries between digital
and real, human and machine, alive and inert, we observe new worlds of our own creation.

View Two #25

AUTUMN/WINTER 19/20 AND SPRING/SUMMER 20/20
 
DESIGN IDEAS FOR THE DENIM, SPORTS, CASUAL, ACTIVE AND ATHLEISURE MARKETS
Brands have realised that their consumer market has changed. It’s no longer about elitism: it’s about relevance. It’s no longer about boomers, but about reaching Generations Y and Z – consumers that would never usually take an interest in high-end fashion or tailoring and see the business models of many traditional luxury brands as uncool. Hence luxury’s sudden love affair with rappers, hip-hop, sneakers and streetwear.
 
The most talked-about collaboration of the moment is the appointment of Virgil Abloh, the founder of streetwear sensation Off-White, as men’s artistic director of Louis Vuitton. This encapsulates the massive change taking place in fashion at the moment and shows how luxury brands are looking to the cultural energy and business model of streetwear to stay relevant.
 
The question everyone is asking is whether all this truly heralds a new age of luxury streetwear, permanently changing our understanding of clothes. Certainly a ‘Millennial mindset’ is taking hold across the luxury market. Generations Y and Z are now the main growth engine of that market, driving 85% of luxury expansion last year, according to Bain & Company. By 2025, they are expected to account for 45% of total luxury goods spending.
 
What’s more, these generations were brought up on the internet; they live a socially networked life which streetwear, with its graphic visual approach and irony, can so much better reflect than formal fashion. We are also living in the age of drop marketing, with its constant flow of new product releases: street and athleisure are much better at providing a stream of novelty at Instagram speed than traditional luxury fashion. Most important of all, streetwear exists within a culture of collaboration, and collaboration models are one of the biggest factors driving innovation at the moment.
Big Ideas
We continue to explore the concept of ‘belonging’, examining the interconnecting themes that surround this idea through key cultural drivers, to build a series of colour palettes and harmonies that epitomise each statement and envelop the season.
Denim
Authenticity and originality drive newness as themes that reference denim heritage are re-spun for a modern audience. Western, worker and grunge influences are each revisited this season. Vintage-look washes in mid to light blues remain key, while cleaner dark rinses and washed blacks, greys and green-tinted blues offer more seasonally adapted looks.
Casual
Themes of resilience, originality and simplicity are echoed here, taking direction from the big ideas for the season, realised through fabric choice, explorative styling and the emerging move towards finding luxury within simplicity.

Athleisure

As the boundary between casual and active wardrobes continues to blur, we highlight the key crossover statements emerging for the AW19/20 season. Head-to-toe dark urban looks are reworked in high-tech performance fabrics for an updated ath-tility aesthetic. Everyday basics including hoodies, T-shirts and sweats are updated and reworked through asymmetric cut-about panelling, high-contrast top stitching and lacing detail inserts.

Active
Drawing on the continued desire for escapism and the need to retreat, which we have highlighted as a key theme for the previous two seasons, the latest developments are designed to calm and re-centre the wearer, both in body and mind.
Performance
The desire for adventure and experience over physical possession remains a key consumer trend, and functionality, durability and hybrid styling remain the strongest selling points within the performancewear category.
Forecast
The mood of the season is iconoclastic but thoughtful, embracing change as a positive force for current needs and future communities. Conventional thinking loses relevance as a radical new attitude comes to the fore; one that gleefully mixes ancient and futuristic, global and local, technological and spiritual.

Textile View #122

SUMMER 2018: PRONOUNCED


Luxury Street

The most talked-about collaboration of the moment is the appointment of Virgil Abloh, the founder of streetwear sensation Off-White, as men’s artistic director of Louis Vuitton. This encapsulates the massive change taking place in fashion at the moment and shows how luxury brands are looking to the cultural energy and business model of streetwear to stay relevant.

The question everyone is asking is whether all this truly heralds a new age of luxury streetwear, permanently changing our understanding of clothes. Certainly a ‘Millennial mindset’ is taking hold across the luxury market. Generations Y and Z are now the main growth engine of that market, driving 85% of luxury expansion last year, according to Bain & Company. By 2025, they are expected to account for 45% of total luxury goods spending. Each generation has its cultural touchstones and Millennials are clearly more in tune with hip hop than red-carpet glamour. They want brands that reflect what they consider more authentic cultural associations.

What’s more, these generations were brought up on the internet; they live a socially networked life which streetwear, with its graphic visual approach and irony, can so much better reflect than formal fashion. We are also living in the age of drop marketing, with its constant flow of new product releases: street and athleisure are much better at providing a stream of novelty at Instagram speed than traditional luxury fashion. Most important of all, streetwear exists within a culture of collaboration, and collaboration models are one of the biggest factors driving innovation at the moment.

City view
We look at Lisbon, which has undergone somewhat of a cultural emergence over recent years, with international visitor numbers having risen by 12% year on year and creatives citing the city as ‘the new Berlin’. Updates, as ever, on London, Paris and NY.
Season in review
Autumn/Winter 18/19
Womenswear designer colours 
The designer colour choice for A/W18/19 delivered strong amplified messages with vivid colour reinforcing a powerful “Don’t-Mess-With-Me” attitude.
Menswear designer messages 
When a designer steps off the wheel and bravely presents a focused collection that is relevant and stands apart from the masses, we welcome it with open arms.  
Season in focus
Spring/Summer 2019
The latest additions to womenswear fabric collections 
Manufacturers have been working hard to combine the two talking points of the season – sustainability and relevance. In a way, they are polarised objectives, but by using new technology to find natural solutions, the results are surprisingly good!
Menswear fabric orientations 
The summer fabric mood took two directions: the sporting life – an active leisure or athletic style with tech performance at its heart or a more subtle game of smooth refinement in gentler colourations for fluid, sensual satins and filament silky looks.
Forward view
Autumn/Winter 19/20
Womenswear fabric and colour forecast 
As the feminist climate intensifies, the merging of men’s and womenswear collections escalates. Textiles will range from classic, non-gender specific designs to ultra-feminine florals.
Menswear colours, styling and fabrics 
A/W 19/20 remains colour intense from the deepest tinted darks, through warmly filtered reds and ochres, updated flat primaries to hyper-fantastical pastels.
Accessories & trimmings forecast
This season offers eclectic inspiration, turning around accepted codes and blurring still further different market segments.
Womenswear knitwear colours, yarns and styling 
The intertwining of radical technical advancements and the natural order of things points the way forward.
Menswear knitwear styling concepts 
Now we see what we have done to our planet, we are reflecting on our mistakes and, seeking redemption; we look for action aided by technology and natural resources.
Knit forecast
For S/S 2020, materials break boundaries and combine to create new tensions where an eco smart sustainable edge is at its invisible heart.
Design and lifestyle – fashion meets furniture 
In a year overshadowed by the #metoo discussion, data protection issues and political distress, designers and brands appear to be avoiding moral, social and political issues focusing instead on pollution, future cities and new branding opportunities.