The story of Spring 2018 was enchanted with woman empowerment galore while Fall 2018 explored sporty utility and a logo-infused self-love. For the impending Spring 2019 season, the thematic direction takes a combinative turn with a multifaceted approach to femininity.
Brands have to address a consumer profile that entered adulthood in a digitally political landscape with more access to historic imagery and information than ever before. Questioning binaries like gender roles and identity comes naturally to them. Notions that were ‘facts’ to earlier generations are now invalid cultural constructs.
Thus, when you speak specifically of gender, the idea isn’t to steer one way or another but it is to simply find a unisex mid-point. While gender fluidity is not a new concept, it is safe to say that this change is not a passing trend but a lifestyle movement that will impact business in the longer run.
However, gendered collections aren’t out of the picture completely. Elodie Abrial, Director of Women’s Wear at Le Bon Marché says, “At Off-White’s recent pop-up in their shop, some items sold so quickly that men were prepared to buy pieces from the women’s and vice versa,” but she also cautioned that the older generation is still more set in its ways, adding, “We really have two separate departments and the big majority of our customers still go shopping in the usual way.”
Beyond gender, the earlier seasonal calendar has also gone for a toss. Ginny Bajaj of Kimo Clothing corroborates, “We do a lot of transitional collections; for example, before summer begins, there is a high summer line which fills the space between winters and summer wherein a lot of velvet tops and dresses are working this time. Similarly, there are festive and post-summer collections as well which have their own set identity.”
Analogous to this, tailoring is going to get more mobile, even as topstitching and statement stitch lines continue to be important in the more athletic-bent segments. Thanks to the blurring lines between one’s personal and professional life, workwear will get its much-needed playful renovation.
GET OUT AND PLAY
Less hours in the cubicle also means lifestyles with more vagrant routines. This means the market is ripe for everything light and minimal but haptic at the same time. Touch sensitivity and materials that give a handwoven feel like visible weave lines and raised slubs are set to take the centre stage.
This theme will also explore body art in a major way. Taking the self as a point of artistic expression, body art will inspire print and its stand-out appeal will redefine how you approach mobility in construction. Deconstruction, but in a muted form, will be the way to create new style lines and collar shapes. Think diagonal fastenings, readjusted seams to deceptively achieve a jumbled fabric look, and split sleeves to achieve this look.
“Taking what’s already there and transforming it into something new and fresh again is the ultimate mantra! It’s what the cool kids in London’s East End are doing,” adds Paulina Szmydke-Cacciapalle, a Fashion Sustainability Researcher.
The world of ships and expansive oceans are inspiring everything, from details to prints and styling for Spring 2019. Speaking of prints, surfing and islandic totem motifs, palm trees to sunset hues are all game for the season.
In terms of details, ropes, knots, sails, basically anything that serves as an easily recognisable reminder of the seascape works. Travel is a growing industry, so this trend falls in line with the entire getaway vibe, but of course the inspiration is not limited to resortwear but is rather more prominent for summer lines. “For the middle-aged consumer, everyone cannot create hyper-trendy ZARA-like pieces. This is where practical trends like centre tie-ups, pussy bow blouses and self-ties save the day,” adds Ginny Bajaj.
A trend that is quite a few summers’ old is gaining more prominence in 2019. The entire lingerie industry will be an inspiration for the ultra-feminine womenswear designers. Its materials, softness and risqué appeal will get modified to be turned into actual garments that are carefree and easy-to-wear as well as in layers.
This theme will include French negligees, something between a ’20s boudoir and faux kitsch retro lingerie, silk pyjamas and satin everything. The idea is to make minimal but luxury offerings that can be worn every day from morning to night.
To add value in this Jeanne Damas style theme, designers can add slight corsetry, girdling, oversized volumes and experiment with Bardot or square necklines. Some exemplification of this theme are silk vintage blazers, waist knot high-waist trousers, girdling jersey bustier, delicate jumpsuits and robe-like dresses.
Athleisure is now omnipresent but it is getting more urban and sophisticated. Technological progresses will increase the demand for clothing that performs better. While everything is getting lighter, the idea here to make fuss-free clothing and shift elegance to keep anything from becoming static.
This does not necessarily mean the end of joyful chaos. Instead, fashion archives are being looked at again and a ‘new focus will be placed on precious details, forgotten skills and faded delicacies of the past’, according to a Peclars Paris trend report for the season.
Youth apparel will favour old-school styles with a clean modern finish. A contrapositive of this is that we are again taking a nostalgic journey to the ’90s grunge scene mixed with ’80s colourful sultry looks.
This movement also has a flip side in styles, which take a nostalgic trip back to the early ’90s grunge scene. This theme has a major impact on outerwear. The most popular silhouettes for which will be reimagined trench coats, wind breakers and parachute parkas.
Bright safety colours like orange, bright blue, yellow and green will dominate. Most outerwear shapes will take a sportswear turn and inversely outerwear shapes will inspire tops and dresses. Think patchwork nylon pants and parachute style cinch waist dresses with utility zippers and statement pockets.