When it came to putting this issue together to mark our decade in publishing, and looking back over all our past issues to gauge how the mood of the market has changed and the world altered, one word sprung immediately to mind, summing up our message for this issue “Decode”. Why? Because in today’s digital world of endless and immediate information capabilities, we are decoding stuff pretty much all of the time.
Over the last 10 years, words have appeared in our business vocabulary that have irreversibly altered the state of play. Words such as “seamless”, “immersive”, “inclusive”, “integrated”, “transparent” and “convenient”. Phrases like “brand experiences” and “individual experiences”, it seems, even overshadow the importance of product nowadays. We are told to “empower our consumers”, “incentivise” and “reward”. “Woven T-shirts”, “tailored joggers” and “jeggings” are now forever embedded in our fashion history. And “athleisure” is an entire new category, around which, I am sure, big brands and buying groups will create whole departments.
In fabric, a decade’s worth of development has been astronomical. We now see denim that is anti-bacterial, tear resistant, thermo-regulating, moisture wicking, moisturising, circulation improving and body sculpting. Manufacturers have worked hard to remove harmful potassium permanganate sprays, reduce stone-washing, stop sand-blasting and massively reduce water consumption. Laser finishing and waterless washing technology have progressed incredibly to bring innovative and inspiring possibilities for the future of the denim industry. The inevitable dearth in cotton is also being addressed with many weavers looking to alternative fibres to use as a blend or even a replacement in the years ahead. And wearable tech means that, very soon, our jeans will answer our phone for us and upload our whereabouts into The Cloud.
Technology has made all the difference in fabric development as well as in manufacture. Just look at how 3D printing has revolutionised what can be done! Now we can print intricate, complex and beautiful jewellery, parts of athletic footwear that perform and customise to individual feet and adapt to specific athletic requirements (even though they are produced for the mass market) and component parts to send as prototypes to manufacturers, massively speeding up the development process and lowering development costs. PLM systems have changed the way product is developed and are even taught as part of the syllabus in some of the leading fashion schools.
Over the years, View2 has tried to “decode” a little of this stuff for you by delivering key trend and forecast information. Of course, along the way we have challenged you, too, to offer a “Friend” (issue 5), create “Ripples” (issue 8), “Connect” (issue 10), “Entice” (issue 12), “Astonish” (issue 14), “Immerse” (issue 16) and “Coexist” (issue 19) with your consumers. It has been great fun taking a trip down memory lane and I really hope you enjoy our celebratory booklet, where you will meet some of our contributors and see some of the things we have managed to “decode” over the last decade. Also enjoy our main issue where, in our usual format, we will be “decoding” information concerning what lies ahead…
View2 #20 – Content
London/ Paris/ Tokyo/ Amsterdam/ Los Angeles
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/ Tokyo/ New York/ Paris/Amsterdam
Our Hot Retail section highlights a select few of the freshest new shops to visit when travelling the globe.
The trends we highlight this issue contain staple and commercial menswear styles, they reference key menswear influences and take inspiration from the past. But what makes things new and interesting is the way different influences are mashed together, garments are layered to create unexpected proportions and new hybrid silhouettes emerge when sportswear enters the mix.
Denim Most Wanted
View2 took its seasonal trip to Barcelona to visit Denim by PV to discover future trend directions. Striving to create that unique pair of jeans put customisation and creative detailing in the forefront. But as is often the case, raw denim ruled for purists. Textured surfaces appeared through both simple and intricate patchwork, beautiful hand-stitched patches and linen and bleached waffle effects.
The division between strong, saturated colour and paler, more ethereal tones continues as we enter S/S 2017. There is certainly a growing mood for gentler, less aggressive masculine colour. It’s a good season for sportswear as the industry embraces both fast and strong colour for competitive sport, while slower sports such as yoga have more traditional ghosted neutral palettes to turn to, in addition to these brighter shades.
Fabric & Trim Direction
For Summer 2017, we put fabrics at the centre of our thinking again. It’s not enough to just produce a basic and colour it. You need to execute construction and embellishment with care and attention to detail so that no matter how banal the look from afar, it’s actually a wonder of manufacturing when seen close up. It is a meeting of technology and creativity, the mantra of current design thinking!
Women’s Trend Direction & Key Items
We continue to move away from the clinical predictability of recent seasons with an evolving appreciation of the handmade; an aesthetic that teases the senses with its rich array of texture and pattern. Textured fabrics and surface decoration are pivotal factors – no surface appears flat. Relaxed fits retain a feminine edge through the use of exaggerated A-lines, maxi lengths and wide-leg denim fits.
Men’s Trend Direction & Key Items
This season’s menswear trends seem to encapsulate a mood for moving forward from – or indeed away from – the geopolitical issues that have become the backdrop to our lives. We find hyper-modern trends, which derive more influence from architecture, science and technology than from any historical fashion pastiche. With the increasing development of lighter-weight, increasingly sheer, and stretch recovery textiles that are robust enough to withstand the demands of menswear, there seems to be a quiet revolution going on.
In recent seasons there has been a stark, linear quality to many of the key themes, but now we see a shift towards a more handcrafted and individual aesthetic. This is a season rich in texture, tone and detail, drawing on far-ranging inspiration that takes us from dry desert landscapes to artisan market squares. Where texture is not so significant, print and pattern take over.
Humanity is in flux. No longer are people sitting around waiting for better times to come. They go out to look for them. This means everything is constantly changing, never solidifying but staying fluid. Different motives underly this new ‘Great Trek’, all based on Maslowian needs. Some move for physiological needs, others for safety. Then, there are those who move on the lookout for belonging, esteem and self-actualization. We can see these needs in all of our footwear trend stories.
This season we muse on concepts of otherworldliness for our forecasts: futures that are not as yet confirmed, but futures that fascinate and inspire nonetheless. We start our journey inspired by new notions of gender, and then move on to exploring our human selves by imagining how we could build new communities, divorced from technology, in worlds that are yet to be created.
Sportswear ramps up its high performance benefits in a winter wrapping that belies its technical prowess. Seemingly more at home on the runway than the running track, and less fast fashion than go-fast fashion, traditional category distinctions are further blurred by multipurpose silhouettes and layering driven by user needs and desires rather than specific sporting function.
Plus in this issue we celebrate our successful 10 Years in publishing with a special anniversary booklet.