Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Predicting the future - what will you wear?

Last week, Jack (director of Lucire) and I were asked to judge and mark the presentations by Massey University's 2009 fashion students predicting trends for 2010/11. Their presentations were intelligent and thought-provoking. It was clear that they had researched widely, not just on worldwide clothing trends, but on politics, technology developments and the global economy. While nobody can ever forecast the exact trends that will be picked up in the future, theirs were calculated guesstimates, and were very much in line with my ideas and predictions for the next couple of years.

While some students communicated their trend predictions better than others, the gist of it was this:

What we will be seeing in 2010/11 in catwalk trends, and in 2012 in street trends will emerge as refined versions of the trends we are seeing today. Just as 2008's grunge/rocker look developed into the glunge/slasher trend that we see in 2009 at Rodarte and Dion Lee, styles will not change dramatically, but will come forth as sophisticated developments from existing styles.

Rodarte Spring 2009

The current resurgence of the 1980’s luxe rocker, with leather, rips and studs will develop into a trend of lady-killing opulence for 2011. Alexander Wang could be credited with spurring this trend in his Fall 2007 collection. After Wang, every designer worth their salt began sending leather pants down the runway. It took a while to filter down, but now both leather and pleather trousers are available on the high street. 2011 will give us a more gentlemanly approach to this trend – think Gucci’s look in A/W 08 channelling Keith Richards and Jimi Hendrix, or Rhys Ifan’s character Gavin in The Boat That Rocked. Whereas now we are just beginning to feel velvet again, 2011 will bring it to us in a big way – expect to see it worming its way into menswear as well. Military and matador jackets will be rootled out of dusty cupboards, in fact anything with embellishment will be crazed over. 2011 will give you leather boots that jangle and fabrics that glisten.

Alexander Wang Fall 2007

Gucci Fall 2008

The Boat That Rocked

There is a certain degree of contradiction in many trends we are seeing today – particularly noticeable at Australian Fashion week for S/S 09/10, where loose flowing fabrics were roped in with heavy leather belts, and feminine florals were balanced out with heavy heels and patent footwear that screamed dominating sex. 2011 looks like it will be a concoction consisting of all things girly, garnished with a dash of intelligent punk in this contradictory trend. The fetish feel of the future will be a lot more subtle than today’s standard, morphing from our current dominatrix undertone to a loftier “I’m sexy but tough - don’t mess with me” attitude for 2011. See Balmain Spring 2009 for a peek in on the new look.

Bec and Bridge at Australian Fashion Week S/S 09/10

Balmain Spring 2009
With the hullabaloo the world is making about the dire straits our planet is in, it is no wonder fashion is developing a conscience. We are already seeing a rise of the eco-trend, with organic cottons, bamboo and other sustainable fabrics being more widely used. 2011 will see an explosion of this trend, with the development of sustainable fabrics and a refinement in the design of eco clothing. This new movement is all for earth’s preservation, and it is important for us to show others how much we care. We are going back to our grass roots and competing to be more eco friendly than our neighbour. Back in our grass roots the colour scheme comprises of browns, creams and hints of nature’s sky blue. Deep forest green and the greys of the storm clouds also feature. Fabrics are loose and sustainable in organic cottons, linen, re-used rubber, and plastics. The look is bookish and intellectual; the character is a traveller of the world, and stems from Burberry’s spring 09 and Marni’s resort 2010 collections.

Marni Resort 2010

Burberry Spring 2009
These trends are merely a forecast and a framework for what is to come in the seasons ahead. Not all catwalk looks make it onto the main street, certain designers are always going to throw something at us that is left-of-field, and there will always be erratic micro-trends at street level to surprise and inspire us. Let this be a guide but not a restriction to the adventurous directions in which your wardrobe can go.
Images from style.com