TEXTILE VIEW ISSUE #110
The end for trends?
According to many of the leading fashion gurus, columnists and bloggers, trend-led fashion is a thing of the past. In fact, even in our own magazine, we talk about designers no longer pinning their collections down in ‘trends’ and a new fashion vocabulary emerging with which labels define themselves in fresh terms (Womenswear Designer Messages page 116-117). There are many reasons behind this thinking.
The most important development is that brands, retailers and even the media are currently fixed on creating their own universes. That means they are creating collections that reflect the unique individuality of the brand and show that it understands its devotees, offering them visionary stuff that they cannot help but love. There seems to be less of a compulsion to take completely different tacks each season; instead there’s a tendency to redefine and refine, an evolutionary approach that promotes invention and heritage in equal measure. The drawback, of course, is that you end up with a huge and diverse range of looks and inspirations, making trend distillation virtually impossible.
Meanwhile, the role of the fashion magazines has also completely changed. Once sources of style advice for their readers, they have been usurped by social networks and bloggers. We also live in a world of myriad choices from clothes to food to the music we listen to, so it’s hardly surprising that we get overwhelmed and find it difficult to concentrate on one single approach. This is a moment of ‘individual expression of style’ ‘ and ‘freedom to choose for yourself’, thus whole concept of trends becomes something of an anathema.
Then there’s the question of speed. In a paradoxical way, the ‘trend’ approach implies obsolescence and a stream of ‘ins’ and ‘outs’. But now things come and go so fast that nobody gets a chance to adapt to and absorb what’s new and fashionable. If you are impressed by the quick response systems of the Zaras and Primarks of this world, have a look at Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing, Shelikes, Missguided, the new crop of digital fashion brands, who update their sites once a day with new stock and can turn samples around in 24 hours.
So who cares about trends in this age of just being yourself? Actually, we all do. The point of trendspotting today is to create clarity out of all the high-speed stuffocation. Designers know everything already, so what they need now is not more information, but confirmation: am I doing the right thing? Am I making the right choices?
And although the fashion industry might be thinking in ‘post-trend’ and ‘personal wardrobe’ terms, that does not mean all the related industries are following. There are major manufacturing sectors that need to think four or five years ahead (two years of creative work plus two years on marketing plans), and they need all the information they can find. Indeed, so hard is it to find reliable forecast information that they often end up creating their own trends. This is true of the movie and entertainment business, the automotive industry, high-end cosmetics and perfumes, and last but not least, gastronomy.
What is important is to separate the final acknowledgement or arrival of a trend from the process of trends – that is, the question of where it starts, how it travels and where it ends. Whenever a trend starts, it commences life as a tiny embryo; it takes two years or more of gestation and momentum before it becomes mainstream. But, once it’s in Selfridges and fodder for the lifestyle magazines, the trend has already happened, and it’s already two years too late.
TEXTILE VIEW #110
Capital updates (30)
A round-up from London, Paris, New York and Tokyo about what’s new in the shops and general zeitgeist. Across the globe, things seem to be taking a turn for the better.
Womenswear ready-to-wear designers (52)
While the international runways confirmed the monumental changes currently driving womenswear, with the ongoing mood for season-neutral dressing and a bending of the stereotypical gender rules, we still saw the vintage back catalogue continuing to colour mainstream trends.
Womenswear designer fabrics and colours (66)
Designers fully explore the gamut of new technical possibilities of fabrication. The use of handcrafted elements and highly creative methods elevates some results into the extraordinary, expanding frontiers in the most astonishing ways.
Womenswear designer silhouettes and styling details (82)
Retro modernism with a fresh approach plays with abbreviated shapes in clean bouncy outlines. Shortened shapes either follow rounded tulipy lines or kick out into a springy ‘A’line. It’s a transeasonal look often edging closer to summer dressing with all these little sleeveless options. Perfectly groomed dressing with a nod to the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Menswear designer messages (96)
Menswear is in a phase of transition and the results show a subtle shift to designs that are complex, yet understated. The crossover points and new connections are quietly breaking through conventional boundaries. Cherry picking items from seemingly
Womenswear fabric best-sellers and new design directions (116)
There’s no outstanding story this season, as fabric manufacturers concentrate on texture and touch. There’s more linen on the market but the key to the season lies in blends with viscose, with its lustre and handle, acting as a catalyst.
Menswear fabric orientations (148)
This season, you could have found new fabric looks by touch alone. All key looks were 3D and tactile. Flats did their stealthy work like a background noise and this let our fingers do the walking along the aisles of the salons.
Womenswear fabric & colour forecast (162)
This season, women’s fashion fabrics will surprise with the unexpected. Brush strokes and random scribbles will break the tradition of the formal, symmetrical
Menswear fabric & colour forecast (176)
Autumn/Winter 2016 offers a fresh approach to texture and colour pairing. We see the relationship between material and form being emphasized through exaggerated forms with their impact heavily reliant on innovative fabrications and new technologies in pattern cutting and, of course, 3D printing.
Accessories & trimmings forecast and inspirations (190)
As our perception of reality is constantly challenged, A/W 16/17 accessories explore the interaction that exists between the artificial and the natural. Dizzy fake likeness, macroscopic images and surreal sublimations play on the paradox between natural and industrial artefacts.
Womenswear knitwear colours, yarns and styling (210)
Knit companions for a winter wardrobe are prompted by personality and spirit on the one hand plus a focus on touch and texture on the other.
Menswear knitwear styling concepts (236)
Another strong knitwear season to come for A/W 16/17, with so much inspiration for texture and structure! The knit piece continues to evolve as a statement garment and that is where the further development of men’s knitwear should be focused.
Womenswear knitwear forecast (248)
Freethinking, materialist designers frame and focus on a style of knitwear invention that explores and expands the craft’s dimensional potential more than ever before.
Design in lifestyle (260)
Salone del Mobile 2015 encouraged us to engage ourselves in physical design objects and invited us to share our finds and actions with our social network. A range of DIY innovations, engaging open-source platforms and a triggering mixture of disciplines opened doors towards playful and thought-provoking design.