Textile View #130
RESET, RESTORATION OR REVOLUTION
If you believe all that you read, many things will never be the same again after the coronavirus pandemic. But it’s not the first time that we have stared disaster in the face and expected transformation. As the financial crisis of 2008 showed us, it takes more than hope to change the world. So, it is to be reset or restoration? No one can answer that question, because no one knows what’s going to happen once the coronavirus has subsided – or when or if we will find a vaccine. The best prophet, wrote Thomas Hobbes, is the best guesser. However, one thing is sure: what the consumer is searching for now is security, trustworthiness and clarity.
We need to accept that the pandemic and the damage it has done has not necessarily changed the world, rather it has accelerated trends that were already shaping business. When it comes to deglobalisation, companies have been busy lowering their exposure to countries that carry high geopolitical or health risks for some time. We have been talking about data for many years now and it can only encroach further on our lives. In purely business terms, anything that promises to reduce stock and minimise risk has to be a plus. The virus has also opened the door to a robotic army and the post-coronavirus workforce could look quite different. Economic downturns have a habit of spurring automation.
And fashion? The sector is expected to contract by 27-30% this year, according to the State of Fashion 2020 Coronavirus Update report by the Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company. It hasn’t been easy for the fashion industry for some time, but “doing the right thing” was not only the fashion norm of 2019, but also encapsulated much of the industry’s response to the pandemic.
By 2022 the world will be fundamentally changed, much the same, or somewhere in between. We think it will probably be much the same but, hopefully, with some significant changes.
Design and lifestyle – touching consumer hearts as well as their minds!
In this era of data, algorithms, bots, and a self-learning internet of everything, where does the boundary between man and machine actually lie? What separates out human intelligence from artificial intelligence?
SEASON IN REVIEW
Womenswear designer fabrics, silhouettes and styling details
Navigating extremely challenging territory, the best collections showed an assertive show of strength: forceful statements, packed with confidence.
Menswear designer messages
Free expression. The profundity of being male… Is there any such thing as ‘the mainstream man’? We think not. Today and tomorrow is all about blending and nuance.
SEASON IN FOCUS
The latest additions to womenswear collections with pointers to A/W 21/22
There are those that say it’s a ‘lost season’ and that retailers will just box current Summer 2020 merchandise until next year. We don’t agree. There will be a season, but the approach will be different with buying done in a more directed, less seasonal way.
Menswear fabric orientations
10 new looks, where a new lightness is key and plains are favoured over elaborate effects to build the basics. Natural, dry and textured eco materials contrast with refined smoothness and ultra-light technical styles.
Womenswear fabric and colour forecast
In these uncertain times, creativity will flourish as we become more focused and resourceful. We will be able to rethink all aspects of our profession, taking time to reflect on our world’s magnificently diverse cultures.
Menswear colours, styling and fabrics
A ‘hopepunk’ feeling envelops the season, with positivity being driven by community, creativity and reconsidered consumerism.
Accessories & trimmings forecast and inspirations
Under high protection. A vision of the future that aims to be cerebral and survivalist, where the driving forces are built on a new balance of forms and volumes.
Womenswear knitwear colours, yarns and styling
We gravitate towards things that hold personal or collective meaning, discarding the superficial and short lived and diving deeper for our inspiration.
Menswear knitwear styling concepts
Creatives are confined to their homes with limited access to new inspiration and, with travel this year unlikely, they will search for alternative resources and find their surroundings the catalyst for revitalised creativity.
Fibres & fabrics
This season’s yarn and fabric fairs were driven by sustainability and eco responsibility, with many yarn and fabric choices taking account of sustainable criteria. Certainly, every fair is giving the issues more space.
With nowhere to travel in light of lockdowns, in place of our regular ‘City View’ feature, we take a look at how industries have adapted and how culture, inspiration and escapism has moved online.
Saxen Weimarlaan 6HS
1075 CA Amsterdam
Textile View #129
SPRING 2020: OUR FOOTPRINT
Looking back just 10 years to 2010, it is difficult to understand how we got from there to here. It seems only yesterday that Donald Trump was a reality TV star, Boris Johnson was a jocular mayor, and Facebook was just a way of tracking down old friends, rather than a threat to western liberal democracy. It was a decade of austerity, fracking, populism and fake news. But there were also a lot of lifestyle positives: the plastics backlash, women’s rights, veganism, renewables, mental health, gender fluidity, and last, but definitely not least, women’s football.
And what do we remember in the world of fashion? The death of Alexander McQueen and Lady Gaga’s meat dress in 2010; Kate Middleton’s wedding and her sister Pippa’s derrière launching a thousand bottoms in 2011; Kim Kardashian starting a boom in front-cover pregnancy nudes and maternity wear in 2013; the arrival of the hoodie, a lightning rod for aggro and later for luxury; Kanye’s Yeezy Season 1 show in 2015 launching flesh tones and an era of streetwear that bestrode the rest of the decade; Vetements’ DHL T-shirt, ‘Call me Caitlyn’ and the start of the genderless dressing movement; fashion’s discovery of feminism in 2016, when pink became the colour of the decade, reaching new heights in January 2017 as the pussyhat at Women’s Marches across the world; Serena Williams’s Nike catsuit for her first major grand slam appearance in Paris after having a baby in 2018, the same year that body obsession and fitness, epitomised by the Love Island television series, brought us the gym craze. Then, to end the decade, the industry went through a Damascene conversion where, in the face of ‘woke’ culture and climate change protests, doing good became the hot new thing.
2020 and the decade it ushers in will undoubtedly see the end of one era and the start of another, thanks to the impact of a new generation on fashion and fashion systems, and the inescapable consequences of AI. The industry is already fighting on all fronts. It’s not just a question of rethinking business models in the face of more sustainable and responsible practices, it’s also about decreasing costs but increasing services at the same time. On the one hand, industry is looking to cut costs in stockholding, waste, distribution, speed to market, inventory, order fulfillment and customer acquisition; on the other, consumer expectations are rising in terms of self-realisation, meaningfulness, multi purposes, time and money spent, experience and responsible behaviour.
The Future of Making
Eight themes embracing an attitude shift when it comes to the basic gear we make, sell, buy and wear.
The jewellery collection by Cecile Feilchenfeldt, who wanted to reinvent jewellery without hooks or any kind of visible opening or closure, elastic jewellery. No right, no wrong; no front nor back!
Every aspect of the fashion industry needs to act for the future. Our stories look at different attitudes and influences that we feel are central to changes it must make.
The colour landscape for 2021 looks different, seeking out a rebalance on one level, whilst also joyfully embracing seemingly disparate elements.
Womenswear key looks
This is a season for contemplation and paying thoughtful attention to design and how it aligns with our responsibilities to sustainability.
Advanced ideas continue to emerge around how things are made and how materials are sourced, developed, disposed of or regenerated. It’s a progressive evolution, so don’t expect the big seasonal switches of old.
Womenswear trimmings and accessories
We react to our overload in consumption, invent sustainable solutions and focus on a clean fashion production in a season that is more sensitive, intelligent and inventive than ever before.
Casualwear colours and styling
As dress and gender codes blur, just like the seasons, change is in the air from all directions.
Womenswear and menswear fabric and colour forecast
While designers traditionally rely on intuition and experience for problem solving, we look at computational design, which aims to enhance the process by encoding decisions using a computer language.
Print design forecast
Thoughfulness! There is no way to sneak away from sustainability. Print has to be thought as long living, not a quick ugliness of random patterns thoughtlessly thrown onto cheap fabrics for one season only.
All eyes on Tokyo this summer as the Olympic Games takes over the city. The home of kitsch styling and immersive character experiences, Tokyo presents a unique offering of fashion, retail spaces and food.
Saxen Weimarlaan 6HS
1075 CA Amsterdam
Textile View #128
WINTER 2019 CRESCENT MOONLIGHT
Are we living in a post-happiness world? The question is being raised. According to the 2019 World Happiness Report, which ranks 156 countries based on inhabitants’ perceptions of their wellbeing, happiness in the United States is declining. Americans said they were less content in 2018 than a year earlier, ranking at number 19 in the list, behind Australia (11) and Canada (9). The UK comes in at number 15. The 24-hour news cycle, combined with the onslaught of natural disasters, social upheaval, political strife and economic uncertainty is challenging much of the world and psychologists say anxiety is on the rise.
Experts define happiness as a positive state of overall wellbeing combined with a sense that one’s life has meaning. Joy, by contrast, is delight in moments that, by their nature, are fleeting: we don’t need to be happy to feel joy. That could be why consumers are in love with ephemeral events and moments, such as the Hanami cherry blossom viewing festival in Japan or catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
Certainly, marketers have caught onto the concept of ‘joy’. It is used to sell boxes at Ikea. It is included in ads for drinks at McDonald’s and as a prescriptive for female hygiene. There are T-shirts that shout joy as an ‘act of resistance’. There is the Chasing Joy podcast. And a number of books are being published this year devoted to joyful living, covering topics such as marriage, productivity, and positive thinking.