Just ahead of NYC’s first snowfall this winter, Fashion Group International (FGI) released their Spring 2015 fashion trend predictions based on what hit the runways earlier in Fall. FGI’s Marylou Luther conjures up a future filled with repeats of past season’s trends along with throwbacks to the 1970’s and 1960’s. It’s also a future filled with more black and white, techno-color, nature-inspired ensembles, prints, sport riffs, military and safari inspired looks, comfort-cuts and technology. Almost every designer was having a ‘70s moment. FGI cited Tommy Hilfiger and Saint Laurent where iconic rocker look-a-like models (Is that supposed to be Jimi Hendricks?) rocked fringe, suede, denim, flare-legs, Boho dresses, peasant blouses, psychedelia, wide-brimmed hats and crochet. Heidi Slimane even took the 70’s a step further with Taxi Driver inspired shrunken jackets and micro minis sure to sell out immediately. FE was particularly enchanted by Peter Dundas’ take on the the 1970’s at EmilioPucci with exquisite embroidery mixed with macramé, fringe and florals to stay in the moment.
Dries Van Noten stood out with his 1960’s A Midsummers Night Dream and John Everett Millais’ Ophelia hippie inspired fashion trip in lush, exotic wildly printed fabrics. Van Noten combined ethereal with extravagant touches of lightness and intricate fabrications true to his Antwerp roots.
Anna Sui, of course, never leaves the 1960’s
Marylou noted several designers heard the call of nature in their collections. Lanvin wove fans and florals into his ensembles while Alberta Ferretti and Marchesa fantasized about nymphs willing to pay full retail. At Burberry Prorsum, Christopher Bailey sent out a collection titled “The Birds and the Bees,” calling up visions of the British countryside with wildflowers, tulle wasp waist ties and the best hats since Pharrell, molded to look as though they had done duty through many spring rain storms. Flowers sprouted all over the 2015 runway.
Marchesa was like an overgrown garden of luxurious floral fabrications,
while Oscar de la Renta (RIP- always the gentleman and class act) and Way Zen for J Song florals were elegant in black and white. Marylou cited the “haute
We recommend you also peruse Thom Browne’s deconstructed view of nature.
Designers continue to look for inspiration from the art world: Picasso, Braque, Klimt, Matisse, Whistler, Malevich, Koons, Twombly served as the anchor for Spring 2015. Many designers mentioned various artists in their notes. Donna Karan based her collection on graffiti prints, Undercover looked to Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych from The Garden of Earthly Delights and Anna Molinari for Blumarine’s muse was artist, Martial Raysse for spring. Always the narcissist, Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel served as his own artistic inspiration by using his own painting transferred onto a silk print coat and matching boots. Militaria is back again which makes FE happy since we like strong buttons, shoulders with epaulets and men in uniforms. Designers hearing the call this spring include Marc Jacobs, Sonia Rykiel and A.F. Vandervost (inspired by a fantasy of a female pilot parachuting into foreign land.) Four star general of militaria and safari Ralph Lauren brought out the big guns in khaki and olive, bellows pockets originally intended for shells, and compasses accessorizing safari shirts paired with full evening skirts.
Tom Ford, who used to make his money designing sophisticated sensual takes on sex at Gucci, changed his business model at his namesake line to capitalize on pop culture images of sexuality easily translatable to the stage, music vid or VMA awards. Women who don’t follow the Bjork code of conduct for female musicians love this stuff. Fittingly, Ford’s version of spring is dominated by lingerie- pasties, bras, etc.. Ford isn’t the only one using sex to sell. There’s Altuzarra, Acne Studios, Louis Vuitton, Karan, Givenchy and Dolce & Gabbana. It’s somewhat disturbing that designers in 2015 feel they have to interpret the vision of women as bedroom objects to sell clothes. Their only update on this throwback is their women are now in high heels and not barefoot.
FE feels compelled to mention Zero + Maria Cornejo’s refreshingly opposite stance on the Spring Sex Kitten which Maria Cornejo explained, “I wanted things to be more pretty, more naive…. Fashion can be so super-vixen. And women have proven ourselves; we don’t have to look like men. It’s nice to be more feminine, more delicate. There’s a frill, would you believe?”
Sport-inspired clothes continue to trend. Marylou noted a spirited showing of mesh, neoprene and swishes on various runways. Adidas by Stella McCartney presented an energetic collection of models in various states of motion. Alexander Wang’s homage to the sneaker set the trainer trend and Burberry couldn’t keep trainers out of the garden. Wang continued this sports theme at Balenciaga, where he scored with mesh. Rick Owens, Kenzo and Versace also played the mesh game. Trackie pants keep trending on, especially at Norma Kamali and Opening Ceremony. As do shorts in the form of boxers at DSquared, basketball shorts at John Patrick for Organic and bikers at Carven.
Fashion’s fascination with technology continues to develop at Chanel, BottegaVeneta, Haider Ackermann, Stella McCartney, Rag & Bone and Lanvin. Good thing these brands are strongly grounded in classics so the looks will never be obsolete. Wearable technology is the best way to approach consumers, but designers are still trying to sort it out. The latest developments included chainmail knits produced on a 3D printer from nylon powder at Pringle of Scotland, raised surfaces programmed into fabric by steam at Issey Miyake, and Undercover’s coats and jackets appliquéd with mirror frames that play cartoon videos.
FGI’s color forecast includes white,black, techno-color, sunrise tones a la Marc Jacob’s dawn, cloudy, misty pales, sunset oranges and radiant reds as well as olive and khaki. We did see a bunch of pink, blue and green too. Stripes may underline summer ( Altuzarra, Van Noten, Chanel, Yigal Azrouël, Diane von Furstenberg, Victoria Beckham, Yeohlee, Creatures of the Wind, Suno, Paul Smith, Antonio Marras, Balmain, DKNY and Naeem Khan), but gingham was the outspoken score for Spring and Summer 2015 (De la Renta, DVF, etc.) Think 1950 Brigitte Bardot. Plaids in those sweet spring shades were trending. It’s so 1960-70’s sporty, modern Cali, and this is Michael Kors’ home territory.
Prints always emerge after the snow melts, signaling the birth of Spring. 2015 mixes nature with future, showing not just the obvious daisy but screen prints, digital prints and photo prints. Following Mary Katrantzou’s prior season’s technological prints and resolutions of such, Chanel, Theia, and Ralph Rucci sought to interpret the mechanics of the print in a computer assisted manner. Katrantzou, for her part, has reverted to nature looking to the sea in a mind blowingly beautiful way. She even worked in the shifting of continental shelves in her opening looks.
Spring 2015 is about texture. Popular fabrics include lace, crochets, brocades and 3D fabrics of jacquard weaves with raised surfaces often glistening with gold or silver threads. There’s also satin, perspex, vinyl and plastic and denim freshened up with beads or appliqués. Intarsia knits, rib knits, argyles, tweed knits, mesh knits and crochets also give traction to Spring. Spring weight leather repeats again in patent, striped, latticed and color-coated. Suede also makes a comeback with an urban vibe this season. In the modern age mass production fabrications take the opposite direction and become more exclusive and artisan. Marylou mentions Chanel’s “cement dresses” (as Karl terms them) of leather tiles painted to emulate the street; Alexander McQueen’s “beading” made from tiny pompoms, individually threaded on transparent silk; Fendi’s tattered organdy cut to look like feathers; Van Noten’s fabrics that look as if they were pieced together from brocades but are actually jacquards woven in one piece; Prabal Gurung’s silk organza, hand-embroidered with flat topographical ostrich feathers and Swarovski crystals. Pleats and ruffles are the flirty side of spring where they winked to buyers at Thom Browne and Haider Ackermann. Valentino resist the trend with his vertical ruffles, which Marchesa showed in a vertical direction. Betsey Johnson’s bridal looks included tiers and tiers of ballerina ruffles.
Americans have fetishized The Shirt. At Ralph Lauren, the shirt went on safari, and Michael Kors ingeniously merchandized one with gingham requiring consumers to purchase the accompanying full skirt to complete his lifestyle look. Long shirts, dba tunics, did time on the runways at Yeohlee and Christophe Lemaire. Shirts moved in on dress territory. Since Obama is still in office, shifts won’t go away. Trapeze shapes are also in vogue since no one can stick to a diet. Ditto the reason for kimono-cum-wrap dresses. In recognition of DVF’s 40 years of the wrap dresses, many designers paid homage to this leg accounting style. Skirts go to all lengths; Mini, above the knee, below the knee, midi, maxi. Many designers offered several lengths. We saw ‘50s full skirts and fans at Dior. Asymmetric skirts are strong, diving diagonally from waist or thigh to hem. Lyn Devon’s new takes on the pareo was hot. Body part of the season is the leg. Showing them off are slits, short hems, shorts, especially cool here are Rick Owens’ shorts with scarf-leg side extensions. Pant legs widen, from skinny to palazzo and also include splits. Decorated pants show off in prints, patterns and beading. Pantsuits look fresh for evening.
Jackets and coats are cropped, sleeveless, wrapped or soft blazers. Jackets take assertive forms adapting the shapes of bombers, motos, and sport jackets. Coats traverse lengths and styles from minimalistic and knee hovering to street-sweeping maxi, from wrap to trench from patterns to prints. Harkening back to the 60’s and 70’s, the caftan seeks to sell to the cocooning customer who works and entertains at home or would like to. Jumpsuits are get glam-ed up like something Michael Douglas would wear. Grecian draperies and ballgowns got some play and would be a welcome relief from rompers.
Accessories you must have come 2015 include DIY belts and obis, although we are still buzzing over that Burberry wasp waist tie. Bow tied waists are another trend. Small bags are back to relieve strained backs. Also making a comeback are mini, cross-bodies, buckets and backpacks. Long, slim clutches were out in force at shows and in street snaps. An oversized pocket functions as a bag at Marc Jacobs., whereas message bags worked at Chanel and Anya Hindmarch. In this age of conscious environmentalism, sadly crocodile, python and leather are the favored media. Opt for the new colored bags instead. Footwear included impractical practical shoes in the form of wild child flats, platforms and flatforms, gladiators and crazy Birkenstock sandals. There will always be the sneaker. Chunky chokers, full-on jewels, folklore necklaces and statement earrings are where you’ll spend your money. Bracelets stack the wrist and/or the forearm and four-finger rings make for lovely self-protective jewelry.
Hats were in the Spring forecast. Browne’s collection grew from his request for a turban from collaborating milliner, Stephen Jones. We may pass on the handbag hats but the fanned sunnies were spectacular. Hair and makeup was normcore. FGI noted the wet look at Altuzarra. and flyaways and messy buns were seen all over. Wigs allowed for the fantasy to be real with Tom Ford’s half-hearted tribute to Debbie Harry and Marc Jacobs’s homage to the bowl cuts of Joey Ramone. Braids will never die but will be intertwined with colored extensions at Marco de Vincenzo and messed up at Michael Kors.
Makeup also took a vampy direction at Saint Laurent with heavily-lined cat eyes and at Vuitton with black rimmed eyes and lashes drawn with sharp points. Marylou listed her best bets of Spring and Summer as 70’s flare legged pants, 60’s mod minis, sportswear as RTW, kimono wrap and shirt dresses especially striped or in gingham, colors ranging from sunrise to sunset, fabrics in lace, brocade, denim and suede, floral prints, smaller bags, flats and spring boots. In sum, designers sought to protect their cash flows by giving consumers more of what they want and expect while increasing market share with cult- inspiring accessories. It’s a Basic Bitch world.