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Season-less collections are the blueprint for the future of fashion

As the concept of seasons become a thing of the past more than ever before, season-less collections emerge as the latest buzzword for designers and high fashion brands worldwide.

The Fall/Winter 2018 season is intrinsically based on the concept that fashion is season-less and meant for all seasons…, a trend driven by the booming markets in the Middle East and Southern Asia going hand-in-hand with major climatic changes worldwide.

Springtime blazers featured alongside military coats just as effortlessly as pastels dominated the runways set against moodier winter colourways. The industry is waking up to the notion of ‘reduce and reuse’ as consumers shift their psyche to purchase pieces that last longer in their wardrobes than insensible fast fashion purchases.

Another prevalent theme, across fashion capitals and collections, is the captivating effect of social media and the rampage for big likes. In an attempt to tap into the increasingly online-obsessed and heavily-addicted consumer generations whose motto seems to be ‘connected 24×7’, designers went all out with their theatrical antics.

Dolce & Gabbana certainly takes the award for being the most ‘extra’ in this category, wherein the brand unleashed an army of drones flying out on the runways sporting the latest handbags from the collection.

Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing, known to wear his love for social media engagement on his sleeve, went as far as to introduce an exclusively created Snapchat filter for Balmain and cleverly encouraged the audience to make use of it.

The collection, completely instagrammable on its own, owing to its hyper-holographic and dazzling aesthetics, proved to be a digital hit across social networks as soon as the show went live.

In another instance, designers such as Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, who shy away from digital interaction, presented a collection high on larger than life silhouettes boasting of cascading tiered constructions and disproportionate shapes, which ironically proved to be pro-social media.

To sum it all up, like it or not – there is no running away from the digital era and its wide reach, and in order to make your business work, it is a must.

Juxtaposing instagrammability with grit, glamour, unconventionality and styles meant to last all season long, designers heavily introduced glossy and holographic surfaces, wild print patterns, and boomerang worthy fringes, amongst other avant-garde concepts.

AO & FFT analyze the recently concluded Women’s Ready-to-Wear Fall/Winter 2018 and pull out the top 10 set to impact the future of fashion globally.

GLOSS IT UP

Alberta Ferreti, Balmain, Chane, Fendi and Simone Rocha

Sparkling sequins, glittering crystals and dazzling metallics have been on the forefront of fashion since the past few seasons. This has called for new ways to approach the subject of sheen and shine.

Designers and high fashion brands alike lent a high-shine treatment to their fabrics of choice, in order to inject copious amounts of gloss to their collections.

Be it vinyl, PVC, leather, latex or SS’18’s high trending plastic, water-repelling materials dipped in popping brights, surfaced as a huge hit for the approaching season.

INTO THE WILD

Balenciaga, Dolce & Gabbana, Max Mara, Roberto Cavalli and Tom Ford

Animal prints have been around for so long that they have carved out a niche for themselves under the ‘classics’ category.

Though their presence may be felt strongly or mildly, depending upon different seasons, there has been no one time when the strong print has been absent from the fashionscape.

For Fall 2018, designers presented a heady dose of zebra and leopard to tiger and cheetah in an assortment of wild stripes and spots.

Depicted head-to-toe without abandon or mashed up against each other as conventional motif placements, the fierce print made its way over calf-length dresses, wrap-around sheaths and a slew of flowy silhouettes.

MODEST FASHION

Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Dior and Erdem

Designers and brands have been fast to pick up on the modest dressing trend, presenting looks that promote covering and layering up, without compromising on the style.

Hints of modest fashion emerging as a trend can be traced back to previous seasons with major players such as Dolce & Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger, Mango and Monique Lhuillier releasing collections that focused on concealed dressing.

Longer hemlines, higher necklines, oversized layered silhouettes, dresses worn over shirts and stockings, all signal the growing demand of covered up clothing and the rise of a new era in fashion.

SILK ROUTE

Andrew Gn, Gucci, Peter Pilotto, Richard Quinn and Toga

Creamy, soft textures with a metallic brilliance come to the fore this season with a shift towards luxe materials such as silk. A multi-sensory experience permeates through the fluid nature and softness of grain present in the opulent fabric.

Any boudoir associations of the material were skillfully put to rest by designers who reintroduced the fabric in dresses, handkerchief-hemmed skirts and scarves.

Prints that tapped on a retro and vacation feel emerged as a unified underlying element across product categories.

SILVERSCAPE

Alberta Ferretti, Balmain, Huishan Zhang, Paco Rabanne and Valentin Yudashkin

Think sci-fi, think cosmos, think psychedelia… there is something set to appeal every segment and taste this season.

There has been a collective fascination towards metallics and reflective details which continue their crusade into the colder months.

From Balmain’s holographic power suit and Off-White’s dresses that mimicked tin foil, to Paco Rabanne’s sequin soiree, the message was loud and clear – futuristic and shimmery details are going to be at the forefront in the approaching seasons.

Despite the resounding theme of silver shine, Huishan-Zhang, Emilia-Wickstead, Ulla Johnson and Alberta Ferretti kept things restrained by introducing modest silhouettes and layering techniques.

TWEED ROUTE

Altuzarra, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Huishan Zhang and The Row

The traditional heritage fabric has been given a modern makeover for Fall/Winter 2018, wherein designers and brands have discovered alternate ways of styling this material for maximum commercial viability across categories.

Styles such as the oversized translations at Matty Bovan, Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs, classic suit looks at Altuzarra and Adam Lippes, and asymmetric renderings of the same at The Row, leave open a wide assortment for the coming season.

FRINGE BINGE

Balenciaga, Cushnie Et-Ochs, H&M Studio, Ports 1961 and Prabal Gurung

Boomerang-worthy pieces are a big hit this season with an umpteen number of designers going all out with fringe-y details on the runways. Garments featuring long, hair-like threads crafted out of beads, high-shine gossamers and hairy wool, made a recurring appearance, over long coats and jackets, dresses and trousers.

Ports 1961 and Issey Miyake went for an unkempt look with hairy woollen pieces while Balenciaga channelled in the millennial vibe through a vibrant fluorescent palette. Cushnie et Ochs presented feathery versions lining the hemlines of dresses whilst Prada on the other hand, took plastic (which was also a key S/S ’18 trend) to another level by incorporating it into dresses.

FLORAL GARDEN

Alberta Ferretti, Andrew Gn, Anna Sui, Gucci and Preen

Florals since forever have proved to be a big sell-out for the fashion and retail industry. Florals are a key defining motif and can never go completely out of style, so in each season, designers and brands try to shake things up in order to breathe new life into the classic print.

This season, the shift is majorly observed in terms of these flowery motifs taking on a moodier mood and merging with other patterns. The pattern appears in all shapes and sizes and cultural contexts. A strong presence of oriental floral motifs was observed alongside micro splatters of budding blooms.

SUNNY SIDE UP

Angel Chen, Bottega Veneta, Elisabetta Franchi, Emilia Wickstead and Rochas

Yellow appeared on Pantone’s Spring 2018 forecast and to validate the same, each collection had at least one all-yellow outfit in its collections offered for the Fall/Winter 2018 season.

Call it mustard, marigold, honey or lemon, a myriad of hues offer a cheery respite from the moodier tones set by the social unrest dictated by protests, politics and turmoil.

The street style crew claimed its allegiance to the colour with head-to-toe looks swarming the streets.

And with the focus increasingly shifting to the Middle Eastern market, the diversion would prove to be a massive sell-out as yellow compliments the brown and wheatish skin tones perfectly.

LEATHER TRENCH

Miu Miu, Huishan Zhang, Miu Miu, Moschino and Moschino

Be it a coat or a dress, leather found its new favourite silhouette for the balmier months.

Blending boldness and fierceness together, not to mention the extra amount of warmth imposed by the fabric, leather dresses/ trenches offered a much needed respite from the overboarding of velvet and satin that have been doing the rounds in the recent past.

Patent, matte, Napa or glove leather, the material presented itself in a slew of different finishes and textures in a modern take on conventional silhouettes.