The Autumn/Winter 2017-18 collections have begun to reach shop floors all over the world and production teams are busy designing for the next Autumn/Winter 2018-19 season. Meanwhile, majority of the export houses are currently in the process of shipping away their Spring 2018 collections, besides the runway presentations of the same season which also concluded just last month. In the midst of these activities, we decided to take a breather and reflect upon what trends shone through as the winners for manufacturing in Spring 2018, which in turn will help us prepare better for the impending Autumn/Winter 2018-19.
While the fashion industry is always diverse in its demand, and trends often vary depending upon the market, there was still a very clear delineation towards a theme for heavily feminine value additions. As predicted by our Spring trend coverage, there was an overall demand for frillier, ornate designs that will soon trickle to the streets come Spring 2018.
European and middle-eastern buyers exhibited an inclination towards brushed cottons and light denims like lyocell or tencel; while the American market was a fan of big ruffles and pretty blouses, explained Kshitiz Chandra of Array Clothing.
Apparel Resources fashion team spoke about reclaiming the essence of femininity a few months ago – how the intensely political climate is affecting the way women open up to ladylike fashion details as a form of modern rebellion… Hence, it is interesting to finally witness the trend’s omnipresent reach across mass retail.
Chandni Malik, Design Head of Delhi’s Pempro Exports, who often works with US-based clients, avers that for them the season was all about yarn dyed stripes and checks. Fabrics with a bit of added fandangle such as smocking and some shiny satins were perceived as the most valuable in their market. For silhouette directions, she explains that their natural tendency towards blousons, especially very feminine styles, received great response. Details like ruffles in tops and tiers in dresses sold like hot cakes.
Bestseller of S/S ’18: Ruffles, Tiers & Fabrics with Sheen
Trend to Watch for A/W ’18: Reworked Shirts & Shirtdresses
However, on a more neutral note, there is also a burgeoning demand for button-down shirts and dresses. It would be fair to ascertain here that this demand for button-downs and just a plethora of reworked shirting in general will continue to grow immensely throughout the upcoming A/W 2018-19 collections. Since the trend is still in its infant stage for summer and there are so many details yet to be explored, this will definitely be a trend to keep in mind while designing for the next season.
Stripes came to the fore as a common favourite across different markets and while many chime in for the trend on its own merit, others reinvented the classic with fine embroidery and floral overlays.
Mumbai-based True Fashion’s Tina Sadh also explained that even though both stripes and checks were huge for the season, it was definitely the bold and bright awning stripes on white bases that sold best. Apart from these patterns, solids/basics with patchwork embroidery and even some light kantha and chenille work are doing well.
For the key silhouettes, she says that jacquard shorts in bottomwear, exaggerated ruffles as well as statement sleeves, like bells and balloon styles, took the crown for summer.
Bestseller of S/S ’18: Bold Stripes & Embroidery
Trend to Watch for A/W ’18: Strong Shoulders & Statement Sleeves
A focus on sleeves and shoulders has been seriatim on the international runways for a few seasons now. It is a detail that is very easy to emulate and instantly adds novel value to the garment; hence, it is predicted to repeat its growth in the next season as well.
From a more direct-to-consumer point of view, Arushee Chaudhri, an in-house designer at Hemant and Nandita elucidated that prints is an evergreen bestseller for the Noida-based label and were received well. Apart from that, asymmetric hemlines, varying sizes of ruffles as well as Edwardian-era’s superfluous details in fabrics like lace, nets, tulle, and self-fabric turned out to be their biggest crowd pleasers.
Bestseller of S/S ’18: Light Fabrics & Garden Florals
Trend to Watch for A/W ’18: Trans-seasonal Outerwear
We spoke about layering at great length in our Spring 2018 trend coverage, and outerwear in light breezy fabrics will be one of the key pieces in the forthcoming season. Ridhi Bagga Malik of Istri Clothing augmented the argument, saying that apart from the usual stripes and embroidery which were a huge hit, it was the sheer blazers that outperformed everything. Breezy outerwear in fabrics like organza and light chanderi with a bit of gardenia-inspired botanical florals embroidered on them was her bestselling item of the season.
This trend of lighter outerwear that can be worn across different seasons and in-between changing weather will continue to gain momentum in winter. Fuelled by climate change and the customer’s expectation of garments that are versatile and not one season-specific, this will be a segment to watch out for the future.
While Spring 2018 is being shipped off, it doesn’t hurt to take a look at what is on the shopfloors right now – the Spring 2017 assortments.
According to Ruchi Verma and Sonali Ghosh, Design Managers at Spencer’s Retail, items like light denim dresses with slight washable embroidery, pinstripes with floral embroidery, the collarbone-baring Bardot necklines and fit and flare dresses in knitwear were some of key bestsellers that defined the summer season. With the younger clientele, there was a very quick pick up in pretty blouses, like Victorian styles as well as hyper feminine additions like frills, tiers and ruffles.
Bestseller of S/S ’18: Powder Blue & Soft Pink
Colours to Watch for A/W ’18: Shades of Yellow & Orange
In terms of colours, yellow was a surprising winner, an orange-yellow mix tone, olive and ochre yellows were all-round chart-toppers for both girl’s and women’s assortments on the Spencer’s floor. Looking at the next season, fashion forward colours like marigold yellow, softer tones of pink and shades of purple that range from lilac to electric aubergine will become instrumental when people design for Autumn/Winter 2018-19. Next winter will truly look at colour with a more open-ended approach and straying away from boring black to take a few bold colour risks will definitely pay off.
Apart from the main directional trends, some of the styles that did well this season and can be explored more for Winter 2018 will be adding variety in checks and going beyond basic gingham towards colourful madras patterns and smart plaids. The next season will be less about femininity and more about endless comfort and utility; so it would really sweeten profits to think about how you can add multipurpose and versatility to garments whilst keeping them snug and comfortably cosy.