Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fashion Access show & Peclers Paris 2012 trend forecasting

Earlier this week I received an invitation to the Fashion Access trade show in Hong Kong. With ebullience I immediately accepted. Shyeah, so it ain't no ticket to Gucci or whatever, but one has to start somewhere, right? [I have had the fortune of attending a couple of Yves Saint Laurent shows in HK, but that's another story]. Fashion Access is a 3 day international fair for accessories such as leather items, handbags, shoes, jewellery etc. This is where brands/ buyers come to source their items, so inevitably a place they don't want the general consuming public to access lest they see the real price of that cute leather black clutch they're flogging at 10 times the original price.

Playing with volume always adds interest to an all-black ensemble

I spent the greater part of the fair restraining myself from requesting items that were irrelevant to our business, or asking for shoe samples in my size etc. I suppose it was the fashion equivalent of dieting, where leather bags were the equivalent to carbs in my fash-atkins diet. However, I did indulge in a few sartorial treats, if you will.

Trade shows typically host several fashion shows

Leather bags galore = fashgasm
The other great aspect of trade shows in Hong Kong are the free fashion seminars one can attend. I chose to attend the Peclers Paris'/ Style Central SS'12 Women's Fashion Trends for RTW and Accessories. A style forecasting company and progenitor of trends, this was one I was excited about. Having deferred (regrettably, and probably indefinably) a place at the London College of Fashion in a masters of Fashion Marketing, any chance I get to attend style oriented seminars/events/shows I indulge in.

In a world of icy skeletal editors and fashionistas, our host and presenter was a surprisingly and refreshingly warm and down-to-earth stylista. The main points she made followed four trend groups:


  • Modernism, minimalism, characterised by angular, boxy designs as exemplified by Celine, Dries Van Noten, Catherine Malandrino.

  • Styling is a relaxed, deconstructed formality as seen in loose blazers, trench coats, pleated skirts. [I was all 'totes agree' when she said that. Totes. TOTES. Best new addition to our vernacular. Up there with WTF and himbo (male bimbo). But I digress...]

  • Fabrics are stretchy jersey fabrics, thermal regulating materials, silks, linen mixes. Natural color leathers mixed with canvas materials.

  • Inspirations are centered on the new safari styles, desert glamour, sexy nomads, the luxury adventurer, a very seventies direction in terms of minimalist prints on voluminous shapes.

  • Jewelry tends to follow a desert gold.


  • Inspired by the idea of poolside glamour in the summer with notions of escape, vacation, bejewelled, jet set opulence, California cool.

  • Colors are muted pinks, blues, turquoise, orange being the new pink. White offset with flashes of warm tones and navy.

  • Designer references include YSL's minimal white silhouette and Stella McCartney.

  • Postcard prints on fabrics, dresses make an appearance, as well as other repetitive prints that are reminiscent of the sixties.

  • The notion of Kinetic Geometry is introduced, with geometric prints and optical illusions also appearing in fashion. especially stripes, as currently seen at Prada.

  • High shine and shimmery fabrics appear.

  • Accessories are black and white retro with canvas, off white and beige cutouts.

  • Sporty, California girl chic is another strong trend, leading to the mix of beige and primary colors (a trend I personally love).


  • Inspired by notions of delicacy, softness, old fashioned and an idea of slowing down.

  • Colors are candy pink, pottery blue, menthol.

  • The woman is an eclectic aristocratic, refined. Very feminine products.

  • Silhouettes show soft structures, long, pleats. Discrete, delicate, fitted with small structured touches e.g. tux collars. Baby doll dresses, preppy look, with a slight hint of rock and roll. Floral romance as seen in combinations of blue and white. Ruffles.

  • Prints inspired by antique porcelain designs.

  • Retro 40s silhouettes also making an appearance.

  • Accessories are sweet, flirty, soft. Color schemes for accessories are gold, black, navy and white, very Chanel.

  • Denim is very in, and not just confined to jeans but showing up on coats, tops, dresses.


  • The importance of the "BRIC" nations as growing consumers: Brazil, Russia, India and China.

  • Colors are darker in this group, dark, grey, purple, green, gold.

  • The woman is urban, active, sporty, amazonian. The idea of an urban warrior expressed through sharp chic: peaked shoulders, jackets and trousers mismatched.

  • A theme of American Indian/rock/ ethnic folk cultures crossover touches - leather skirts, fringes, crossover tops. Prints, colors inspired by animals - See Stella McCartney's digital prints. Jewelled dresses. All making an urban ethnic trend modified for city wear e.g. feather touches, beads.

  • Color blocking - exotic art deco. Shoes becoming more like sculptures. Reptile prints/ fabrics (grey snakeskin is literally one of my favorites, adorning a sizable portion of my wardrobe.)

She also showed some pretty awesome fashion illustrations and drawings of clothes that showed such perfect technical detail. It's difficult to predict what people will wear in a year or two's time, but I love watching the development of trends as they wax and wane. For example, lens-less thick glass frames look cool now as an acceptable 'ironic' trend (for those not into fashion it's more like 'dude, WTF?'), but is it simply a modern re-run of the eighties big glass frames, that will someday meet the same 'laughable' fate?

And with that, I must bid you adieu.