Let’s face the music and shop – Fashion Forecast 2019/20
Fashion Forecast 2019/20 & trends round up
Clothes are what we fill our wardrobes with; sweaters, trousers, jackets, etcetera, but the extraordinary world of fashion doesn’t like terms such as “clothing” or “apparel” it sounds both prosaic and flat. Fashion demands that it becomes “the must have sweater” or “ the pant of the season”, or “ the hot jacket”.
Even basic pieces become “ wardrobe essentials” or anything rather than simply a piece of clothing to purchase and wear. Trends, and all that’s new, feed the blogs, Instagram accounts, glossy magazines and store windows to excite us and to make us part with our money.
Trends have been the life blood of the industry for so many years and seasons. Remember “Out of Africa”; crumpled white linen and a touch of lace as far as the eye could see? Think about cropped tops and hip huggers, the trend aimed fairly and squarely at the youngest, skinniest sector of the market.
Think about “Boho”, which swiftly plunged from designer level beauty to the cheapest nastiest flounced skirts, and tatty accessories at the lowest possible price. Think back about so many trends, which in truth were never as big or as financially rewarding as the business thought. The pressure and the implication of trends is “ buy this to remain in fashion.”
Well it’s hardly hot news that retail is struggling, the endless shuffling of designers behind big brands point to a nervous business. Fashion isn’t top of many people priority list for many reasons. In addition we now have so many micro trends and diverse looks across the globe, and the idea of local versus global is important, as is being culturally aware of appropriate dress attitudes, all of which means thinking about what to purchase has a whole new set of rules, a different mindset and attitude.
Clearly the fashion business and the consumer need to meet in a mutually agreeable move to sustain the industry and sell products. So, what can we do to lure clients and shoppers to buy?
The answer is to offer them clothing as the hottest trend of the season. However simply stating “ clothes are big news in fashion” is not going to get the credit cards flashing and the tills ringing. It needs a name and sure enough having started a thread about the return of tailoring, and new elegance, the word on everyone lips is suddenly “ bourgeoise”.
Oh how great we’ve come up with a trend title which is actually pretty meaningless yet still provides a great hook for the clothes. The sharp realisation that in difficult times classic fashion and quality is better than disposable cheap pieces, points firmly in the direction of these clothes.
The interest and concern in fast fashion’s planetary land fills means that a renewed interest in lasting quality makes total sense. The other great guiding factor in the era of #metoo is a return to clothes which speak of confidence in women. The clear message that new collections are sending out is not being instant or tacky; and are put into context by the concerns of cheap throw away clothing’s impact on the planet.
There is also a strong element of gender neutrality in the classic woman’s wardrobe, which is a reflection of the ongoing discussion regarding gender fluidity. In fact the hottest and newest fashion trend story is about the timeless, classic and wearable; a welcomed return of a wardrobe full of pieces which are both functional in day-to-day life of the real world, as well as not having a quick sell-by-date stamped on them.
The highly successful collection Heidi Slimane sent out for Celine; the Burberry city looks of Ricardo Tischi; the success of Max Mara; the huge influence and success of The Row; the new vision at Jil Sander and Agnona- these and many other catwalk collections point in the direction of real clothes as a winning formula. Koche only showed great pieces from day-to-night, as well as using an amazing model casting to wear them.
This is also a major element within successful shows and campaigns of who wears the clothes; age, size, and ethnicity. These elements which make up the women of the world, now must be reflected in the presentation of the clothes.
Designers like Maria Grazia Chiuri at Christian Dior are selling their collections like hot cakes and it is all based around real clothes – admittedly not at real prices, but you get the idea. Jacquemus, one of the hottest designers in the world right now, presented beautifully elegant and seasonless clothes in terrific colours and good fabrics, with top quality finish.
In Paris I watched collection after collection, often away from the huge names; some new, some well established, all focused only on great clothes to buy; Gauchere, Akris, Auralee, Agnes B, Lutz Huelle, Rochas, Uma Wang, Nehera, ROKH, and many more.
Trend Round Up Gallery AW 2019/20
This season we can welcome coats which work, long and warm and are cut to go over other clothes; indeed a huge departure for many designers is an element of function, without looking towards workwear or streetwear.
There is adverse range of pleated skirts which come in versions to flatter a wide range of ages, sizes and lifestyles; great dresses, often surprisingly simple abound, especially after the rise of the modest dress.
The sudden realisation has dawned on both designers and customers that the dress is a one piece garment, designed for the busy life and which make things simpler. Blouses and shirts are a key component, and knitwear embraces everything from the simple roll neck through to the easy weekend chunky knit to the classic cardigan.
Above all there is the return of tailoring; the new suit and a slight formality to fashions pieces is somehow fresh and innovative, especially since we haven’t seen it for some time.
This isn’t 80’s nostalgia and the tired old revival of the power suit, it’s for a generation who were born after 1985 and who are heading towards their forties, it’s not nostalgia for a decade which they missed.
Tailoring and a new modern relaxed elegance includes all sorts of elements, it can be dress down, street or leisure; a soft luxury track pant, a draped hoodie, a fine rib polo neck, a lightweight nylon taffeta parka, etc.
The new story includes many pieces which have a proven track record of working and functioning well in the real world. The important element is that in styling terms, things are moving to a more urban, understated and less cluttered image, it is less obvious and more confident both in feeling and mood.
The idea behind this bourgeois story is cleaner, and it’s more grown up for the very young, and a huge relief for many of those who are already grown up. This is about clothes which build self esteem, reassure, and bring confidence to the wearer, it’s flattering to those who are fit, and kind to those who aren’t.
One odd thing about it is that it isn’t retro, although bits of it are, obviously it’s built around timeless pieces, but those pieces are decade flexible anyway. The trench can be 1940’s, 50’s or even 70’s, the pleated skirt spans decades as does a strong shouldered jacket. 1940’s or 1980’s? It’s neither, it’s a classic re-examined and remodelled for today and tomorrow.
So, how to sum up all of this and focus? Fashion has grown up, it’s become a woman. It’s time to forget labels , trends and the must have, it’s time to concentrate on great pieces, quality fabric and finish, and classic colours; be it ivory or black, camel or navy.
Buy pieces to keep, add slowly to build a fresh exciting wardrobe that really works, from good shoes to a great bag, from beautiful jewellery to fine hosiery, from a simple crepe shirt to a pair of well cut flannel trousers.
I’d say it was time to shop.