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Read on for my wrap-up of the trends, colors, prints, materials, and key items that WGSN is highlighting for spring summer 2014.
With the first trend, N.D.A. (New Digital Aesthetic), we question the possibility of the real avant-garde, a computer-based visual aesthetic for the 21st century. N.D.A. is all about merging virtual and reality. We're constantly on our phones, hardly engaged with the person in front of us. It's about how to make technology more human. So how does this translate to fashion? Well the trend can go sporty, minimal, or tailored. Waist emphasis is key, as are bold colors, sheer materials that are layered, and graphics. Prints to note are: stripes, dots, and photorealism. Translucent and mirrored effects are also seen with this trend. Irridescence and clear plastics take center stage for apparel and accessories. Color palettes include saturated shades, with blue, purple, yellow, orange, and green. Pastels with high shine and dusty casts are also key.
In the second trend, Next Nature, we're inspired by nature and we look at it in terms of the unfamiliar, and as we've never seen it before. It's a dark, sensual trend with a spiritual, ironic side. It celebrates life. There's a sexy focus on sustainability and ecology. Is influenced by the Next Nature movement, in which we'll be thinking more in terms of ecology, rather than mechanically. It's about how to make technology seamlessly integrate into our lives for a more natural approach. So how does this play out in terms of design? We'll see the tropical influence, but a bit darker. Also key are the Carnival spirit, matched sets, and bold, feminine looks.
In the third trend, Neo Geo, it's an alternative kind of newness that's not based on consumption but on making things yourself. This is where D.I.Y., D.I.T. (do it together) and upcycling evolves. It's inspired by a new geological age that promotes slowness and ritual. The Anthropocene is the basis for this trend. It's a geological layer that scientists have discovered. It's man made materials such as plastics and thinking about how future generations will mine the garbage that we've left behind. It's also about not looking at it as garbage but as an opportunity to create something new. In fashion, this means we will see such things as: unfinished edges, linen fabrics, and Moroccan, boho, or rustic influences. Prints and patterns are London-based trend forecasting firm WGSN is featuring three macro trends for womenswear for spring summer 2014. I was able to attend their trend seminar during MAGIC Market Week and fortunately, I took detailed notes.
Colors for next season
White is key in optic and off-white versions. White is the key neutral. Black and white is emerging for fall 2013 at all levels from mass to prestige. It lends itself well to graphic and color blocking looks. Baked earth tones are important for Neo Geo trend. Pretty pastels such as pitaschio and lilac will be prominent. Denim blue and synthetic watermelon pink/salmon are key. Orange is a standout color for spring sumer 2014. It can go Neo Geo or pretty and feminine. Red is also a color to watch, in mandarin red or saturated versions. Raspberry pink becomes sophisticated and tropical in Next Nature. Pink is used with black and mixed with patterns. Emerald is Pantone's color of the year in matte and shine. Teal lightens things up from the petrol tones of fall 2013. Cobalt blue replaces Yves Klein blue.
Print and pattern
Stripes are important in wovens and knits. Another version of the stripe takes inspiration from uneven layers of color. We'll see lots of tie dye with the N.D.A. trend, in addition to ombré and pixelated interpretations. Distorted, pixelated checks and stripes are fresh and new due to distortion. Digital bohemia brings a mirrored aesthetic (inspired by McQueen a few seasons ago) with fun depth and color. Jungle palm fronds, botanical prints, and tropical wovens are key prints. Florals and jungle motifs on dark backgrounds transition nicely from fall to spring. Abstract parts of the jungle (such as butterfly wings or parrot feathers) will be done in a photoreal/painterly way or zoomed in for an abstract effect. Fractured geometrics give a sporty or natural feeling. Camouflage has new interpretations in oversized, blob-like shapes.
Materials and finishes
Dip dye effects and space dye yarns are key treatments. The sweatshirt continues as a reverse loopback jersey in marled or heathered cotton/viscose. Sport mesh is done in vibrant colors, with contrasting trim, laser cuts, and active shapes. Synthetic yarn for an artisan effect puts texture in the Neo Geo trend. Pieced and paneled is an important design detail with mixed fabrics. Remastered tweed plays on the ladylike trend with lightweight and playful, bright textures. Engineered lace with geometric repeats are on trend. Metallic leathers and knits play off light with the N.D.A. trend. PVC and transparency are also notable. Leather is continuing for spring 2014, and is ideal for minimal looks with structured styling. The unfinished, raw edge is important for lace and jersey. Lacing details and corset effects seen at the fall 2013 shows and key for spring for Neo Geo, boho, and Western influences.
Trims and embellishments
Sparkle is notable in the form of sequin embellishments and rectangular sequins. Mosaic stones act as ethnic references to Morocco, Brazil, and Peru. Bejeweled embellishments and clusters of jewels are key for the tee, sweatshirt, and blouse. Embroidery and hand craftsmanship are important for Next Nature and Neo Geo. Solid and sheer paneling with sporty references will continue as seen at Yigal Azrouël pre-summer.
Key items for spring summer
The muscle tank can be done in a worn-in look or for a sheer, layered effect. The short-sleeve boxy woven is becoming even boxier for a cool feeling. The message T-shirt continues. The cocooning/boxy shape is sophisticated and taking some time to get used to. It has a curved back panel, rounded shoulders, exaggerated armholes, and high-low hemlines. It can be a long-sleeved raglan sweatshirt. Intarsia continues to be important. Colorblocking and material blocking (mixed materials) are key. The button-up shirt works with a return to suits. Shirts are sheer and there are contrasting collars and plackets. Lengths are still cropped. Open-knit sweaters and crochet are key. Color blocking updates knits. The turtleneck has a minimal sensibility and works for 1960s references. The cardigan in V-neck, crewneck, or draped works for layering and boy-meets-girl. The fit and flare dress is a key silhouette. The shirt dress with patch pockets and covered plackets is notable. The maxi dress works for Neo Geo. Straight or pencil skirts continue. Asymmetry is seen in wrap skirts, with slits common. The long skirt is a circle silhouette with high slits. Athletic dolphin shorts, Bermuda shorts and flat front tailored shorts are important. Relaxed midi shorts are more A-line. Cropped pants work well with ankle strap shoes. Carrot tapered pants are still happening. Slouchy pants (I adore these) are interpreted for a sporty influence. Trousers hit at the natural waist. Flared pants make a showing. The tailored blazer is seen as a staple item with details such as the shawl collar. The printed blazer pushes the envelope. The ladylike cropped, collarless, Isabel Marant-inspired jacket stands out. The baseball bomber jacket is another variation. The moto jacket returns and evolves with color and details. The anorak can be done in sheer or prints.
For more fashion trend forecasting information, have a look at my other spring summer 2014 forecast on The Key To Chic and follow me on Instagram and Pinterest for more photos.
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