Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fall/Winter trends for 2012/ 2013: what doth the sartorial crystal ball predict?

Ken de ji: this is how you say KFC in Chinese. That’s what I learnt from one of several business/ bag factory trips I made this summer. It’s been a crazy intense summer of random work as an ‘extra’ on Chinese films and adverts; camping in remote beaches when even at night it is 31C– and by camping, I mean Hong Kong camping, so there were toilets and restaurants nearby, natch; junk boat parties followed by karaoke where I totally KILLED that Ghostbusters theme song [who you gonna call...?!]; etc. So, not much blogging lately.

Somewhere between the time I was a stand-in for Hillary Rhoda on an Estee Lauder TV commercial [clearly I was the natural choice seeing as I am a 5’8.5” frizzy blonde and she is a chiseled cheek boned 6 ft brunette supermodel that looks like THIS] and my umpteenth visit to Guangzhou to peruse bags and check on our orders, I had the pleasure to visit HK fashion week [see the fantastic photography that accompanies this blog] and took the liberty to immerse myself in trend forecasting seminars. Just like Hong Kong’s art fair it’s worth visiting just to see how the fashionistas dress. Lace cape? Check. Sky blue jumpsuit? Check. Bowl-cut hair to swing about in Bieber-like fashion? Check. I left coveting a portfolio clutch and gold brogues. Not from the suppliers' presentations, but from what the stylistas were wearing.

And so behold the sartori`l gems I gleaned from attending Stylesight’s amazing trend forecasting presentation, led mostly by a fiery red-headed trend editrix to rival Grace Coddington. [I kid you not, the first trend seminar I went to that day was hosted by a rival trend forecaster that forced the normally ice-cold and stoic fashion crowd to do a MEXICAN WAVE. TWICE. I have never seen so many batwings and capes billow to full effect before. The awkwardness in the room post-wave was deliciously palpable. Amazing. But I digress…]

These trends move across fashion, interior and product design and often reflect wider socio-political trends. This coupled with a general sense of instability in our economic and environmental surroundings, characterised by extreme current events has led to what some call a modern version of the renaissance era - a rebellion against the establishment, increased awareness of our environment, and an emphasis on knowledge gathering and individuality. This leads to the vibrant power that courses through FW 2012/2013.


Eco-warrior/ soldier: political instability, social unrest and natural disasters creates a trend of fighting through adversity. Military influences, green shades.

Geomatrix: characterised by asymmetrical, unisex, flexible designs composed of abstract silhouettes.

Ethnic punk: The result of technological multiculturalism where punk from the 70’s is mixed with Middle Eastern influences. Increasing globalisation via enhanced communication leads to unusual blending of fabrics and colors e.g. embellished leather with tweed, structured bags, heavy accessories, bright colors and dark undertones. tribal theme continues through animal prints, but also being reinterpreted as more wearable stripes



No mixing of different palettes.

Beauty: red, important in nails , lips, hair.

Sensing matter: skin, earth colors. Beige, red. Nuances, cinnamon, mix with grey

Wild craft: traditionally seen as non commercial green up and coming color

Digital dimension electric blue. Whites in winter mixed with blues


 Red: berries, rubies, aubergine, ginger colors for hair. Lingerie: red and skin color mixed.

 As a big mood enhancer.

 Fire, smoke inspiration: prints graphics, shadows, ombres. Red used with lots of different textures: lacquer, bouquet, rusty, added value. Red in knit. Thick coarse yarns. Also in men’s market. Denim also becoming red.

 Youth in London, NY, in bright red denim – can be whole jeans or small bits. Rock and roll, Mick Jagger as the muse, for menswear here.

 Designers: Kavakubo. Comme des Garçons,. Yohji Yamamoto

 Rei Kawakubo – Comme des Garçons, store in Paris is all red.


 Brown used to be seen as ugly.

 Lots of evidence of brown and yellow – mustard seed, honey, rich mustard – on women’s items, top and bottom.

 Sandwash, washed with salt, vinegar, frozen fabric, weathered.

 Designer: Prada


 Handmade, very pronounced, e.g. knitwear [big revival], hand knitted looks. Yarns from recycling. Rustic. Surface interest/ texture.

 Revisiting old crochet with new tech, doily look.

 Green in lingerie.

 Craft and embellishment. Crystal, fine ribbon. Return of patchwork denim [not a fan] but look at recent denim Chloe shirts etc. Mix denim w/ suede / diff blue shades.


 Exhibit of Kapor in Paris.

 Crazy proportions/ Voluminous: Extremely big or skinny fits.

 Long languid skirts, shirts like tunics, elongated, exaggerated.

 Knitwear: bigger stitch, gauge.

 Men: drop crotch harem pant. [CHORTLE]. Women: Gaucho returning.

 Men: longer tunics, skinnier sweaters.

 Inspiration from Scuba: legging. Structural, architectural cuts. Slim, thin silhouettes.


 Texture and skins.

 Fur: fake or real. Long hair fur for men and women. Modified to look unnatural [fur bags] – artificial material. Chemical fur, dyed in new colors. Bright curvy fur [Prada].

 Gorilla look or gillet.

 Key item. Deer skin [insert inappropriate Bambi quip]

 Other animals: insects, etc inspiring prints. In beauty: spotty eyelids. Snakeskin cnlored in blues/greens

 Pony, sharkskin materials [real or print] – Alex Wang

 Example designers: McQueen. Cavalli [who always does animal print].


 New silhouettes.

 Pleats and draping: multi-layering, playing with fabrics, paneling. Angles, geometric cutting. Reflects digital trend. Women: cuts emphasize hips, [think pleated trousers]. Flattering.

 “Design with patterns, rather than creating patterns for design” Yohji Yamamoto.


 Death of formal wear [suits w tie gone].

 Revolution: from day to night. Less is more, simplifying things, parka.

 T-shirt is woven [as opposed to knit].

 Parka returning especially for women

 Green, small military details. One pc suit. For men – reinventing cargo.


 V important in women.

 Entering menswear market [apparently?].

 Lingerie: power mesh and organza.

 Beauty: ethereal, pure complexion, subtle color, iridescent texture [mineral inspired].

 Important in various forms of interior/ product design e.g. mobile, vase, furniture: across interiors and products.


 Can create intricate patterns, prints, create 3D patterns.

 Tech is changing aesthetics. Motifs. Futurism.

 Futuristic line, angular, zipper, magnetic closures, pleats. Using materials: silver, reflective, temp adjustment, functional.

 Geometric 3D details. Angular, laser cut pockets

 Designers: Jil Sander, Stella McCartney, Derek Lam, Gareth Pugh.


Main color trends for FW12 under 4 headings:


 Clear, clean aesthetic, pure colors

 Oriental influence, east is the new west

 Evolution of digital. Digital prints that copy inside of comps.

 3 diff color groups: TONAL

 Fuchsia and softer pink – link to past blog

 Turquoise and soft blue

 Strong yellow and soft yellow

 Skin colors, more taupe, less nude. Neutral color usage.

 Fuchsia with a touch of turquoise

 Men: blues, turquoise, black color mix

 Interior market: blue, yellow, taupe

 Transparency continues with color injected.

 Angular shapes softened by softness of colors.


 Bringing black back in summertime. Mixed with diff colors: burns, decay. Beauty in decay.

 Surface and textural effects. Nothing clear: opposite of clarity.

 Based on dark and neutral colors.

 Colors: gun metal, eggplant, storm blue. Neutral dark color with light color accents. E.g. grey with caramel and touch of pink. Junior market: lighter palette, accentuated with muted blue and charcoal. Men: grey. Interior: still life colors -Black red caramel.

 Color combo dramatic, widow, black celebrating life [out of death comes life]

 Different shades of ashes


 Esoteric, dreamy

 Revival of gypsy, hippie, free, nature

 Connected to nature, meditation and yoga. Anchored in honey hold, melon, citrus, optimistic colors: Combining green and orange reflects flower, nature

 Mix withy blue, navy, black

 Blue, sandalwood, rose w yellow

 Sunset colors: oranges, ochre, touch of aubergine for contrast

 Men: grey, aubergine, pale pink, yellow

 Feminine color penetrates male market. Teal, navy, accentuated w touch of ochre

 Interior: natural material, painted wi intense almost synthetic color, mix of two tones


 Youth culture [London]

 Aspect of punk, music.

 80’s punk: freshness to youth culture,

 Took nautical color palette, added green + yellow, very graphic+ vibrant multi color

 Denim blue with 2 shades red and cream

 Multicolor, primary colors blue, yellow red,

 More red, white blue

 Men: khaki, hunter green w other green + touch of yellow. Pink mixed w grey

 Junior market: multicolor palette red pink, blue


 Trace evolution of color

 SS12: vibrant . FW12: beige khaki. SS13: softer, acidic

 Reds SS12 evolve into a darker, muted Bordeaux/ wine

 Purples SS12 to SS13 disappearing, become muted lavenders, natural mauves.

 Blue SS12: Turquoise coming back

 Green: SS12 bright greens, teal to softer green to vibrant turquoise SS13

 Pastels: becoming less sweet and more neutralized

 Grey continues to be important: soft ss12 to strong for ss13

 Brown: important, but now ss13 more softer


 Yellow: many shades, nudes, taupes

 Pink: light to fuchsia for men and kids

 Greens: emergence of teal

 Blues: navy, indigo

 Faux black:hunter dark green. Grey muted green.

So in an [au courant] nutshell: Wear something sheer, red and voluminous. Think an intrepid Red Riding Hood.

Toodles. I have a pool party at the Venetian tomorrow that I have to prepare for. I always welcome any excuse to wear neon....