• I love fashion! Fashion is an art form, it is a style of practice, and can be expressed through many different channels. Be it colour, style, print and graphics, texture and materials or even behaviour. Fashion comes in trends, and we all know trends repeat themselves.

    In 2016 we saw the return of the flare trouser, mom jean, and even the new boyfriend jean amongst many others, such as the flared arm jumper.

    All the brands we know and love, either high street retailers or luxury, will all follow the same guidelines when going into design for the year ahead. They will use the trend forecasts released by WGSN to analyse, create and set trends to produce and then deliver the right products at the right time throughout the year. The architecture within a store/window display will also be heavily influenced by these.

    The forecast for Spring Summer 2017: Digital Wave, Encounter Culture, Edgelands and Pause.

    Digital Wave

    A celebration of the creative clash between future technology and analogue design. Style and culture clashes from the 1980s era provide exciting design references for SS17 surfaces and materials. Cutting edge high-fashion sees strong geometric formations, flashy reflective surfaces and electrifying colour breaks. As well as an experimental art school style approach with extreme improvisation for a cut and paste aesthetic, using upcycled materials and low-tech processes.

     Definition: Low-tech is the use of water-purifying and solar-heating within a design system.  

    This may seem hard to digest so I am going to break it down into bullet points for you, so you really get to understand what Digital Wave means for the (near) future of fashion.

    • Classic 1980s colours return
    • Mirrored metallic
    • Sharp geometrics
    • Customised collage
    • Ombré effects
    • Caged & micro-mesh construction
    • Interactive high-energy colour effects & contoured light
    • Art-school design approach upcycles photographic, poster-art or urban graffiti
    • Experimental 3D

    Encounter Culture

    As the world becomes more interconnected and cultures combine, the design world reflects a global cultural mash up of ideas and influences for design. Travel, exploration and discovery play a pivotal role in this trend. Eco-conscious and sustainable design will shine through newly explored and invented treatments of waste, recycled and found materials, enhancing the ecological side of design and fashion to new and diverse heights.

    Definition: Ecological and sustainable design is a process with the intention to eliminate negative environmental impact through skilful and sensitive design.

    The main things to look out for in this trend in Spring Summer are as follows:

    • High summer colour from sea, sand, land & jungle
    • Exotic nature explored extraordinary surfaces & elements
    • Shells from tropical vegetation, fruit and veg are replicated in carved & chipped forms
    • Patchwork patterns
    • Upcycled plastic
    • Weaving, binding and knotted fabric work
    • Basket craft & netting
    • Cultured patterns & tessellated forms
    • Coastal beachcombed look

    Edgelands

    The beauty of urban cities meeting pastoral grass lands. Where a backdrop of brutal architecture collides with a vast landscape. Rich in culture, marrying raw grit with poetic folklore. Key material and surface themes are explored here to create a nostalgic craft direction that speaks to the heart of the home, family and larger community.

     The characteristics, prints and colours in Edgelands are my absolute favourite, I cannot wait to explore this trend in the high-street.

    • Chalked & white wash surfaces
    • Exposed construction, distressed wood & eroded concrete
    • Suburban patterns & European folk
    • Tarnished, compressed or beaten metals
    • Domestic patching
    • Honest & simple
    • Industrial finishes
    • Faded patterns
    • Vintage feel

    Pause

    An exploration of the next technology will prompt designers to question boundaries between the human and the manmade. Technology begins to animate form and wearable tech to become fully

    integrated and enhance wellbeing. Amidst a glut of over-complex design, the perfectly formed and ultra-functional provides a readjusted sense of luxury for the season ahead.

    This for me is truly intriguing, we live in such a digital age that the combination of two of the biggest economies, fashion and technology, truly excites me. This will be a fascinating trend to watch and to see how designers and brands execute Pause in 2017!

    • Elegant colour palette
    • Cold colours such as white, blue & grey mix with a warm stone hue, apricot & deep coral & espresso
    • Use of bio-materials
    • Sensory design
    • Light elements produce a meditative & enchanted glow
    • Wood, marble, stone & resin
    • Redefined luxury
    • Second skins, product become extensions of the human body
    • Veiled translucency
    • Marbled tints

    Of course we all know that designers switch things up each and every season to offer new and exciting things for us consumers, but it is evident that there’s something about the industry right now that’s pushing boundaries and now really is the time to be yourself and make these trends your own, and put your own twist on things. Individuality is seriously on trend, so don’t be afraid to explore and try new styles and fashion crazes!

    Alex x

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