This week saw the inaugural AW12 and SS13 Megatrends seminar from leading trend forecasting service and creative platform experts, Stylesight. I am fortunate to be working with the trend specialists from a brand strategy perspective, so it was an honour to be invited to attend the seminar in New York at the iconic Times Center to understand the finer detail of what the platform had to offer its clients this season.
Trend forecasting is an interesting business; it is built on artistic insight and cultural intelligence as opposed to scientific fact and evolves at a less measurable rate than a more quantifiable business would. It was recently reported by Emma Barnett at the Daily Telegraph that the industry had a potential global market value of $36bn. With clients from Zara to Prada, it is also worth noting that the industry, and a company such as Stylesight, influences every aspect of the fashion and style spectrum of business, from design to retail, having a knock on effect and subsequently shaping a billion dollar global market.
Ever the trendsetter, Nicola Formichetti draped his models with ethereal layers of transparent vinyl for the Mugler show in January
Senior Vice President of Trend Forecasting at Stylesight, Isham Sardouk presented an analysis of the overarching influences that set the stage for the AW12 season and inspired the concept phase of design by highlighting ten essential points and ideals that we will see come to life at the end of next year. Here are his key predictions on what will be on trend for AW12, interesting from an industry standpoint and helpful if you want to be ahead of the curve!
1. Go Tonal. "No more tutti-frutti" - it is predicted that we will move away from clashing colours and will only use colours that compliment each other and belong to the same family
2. Red is the new black. Isham lead with a quote from Rei Kawakubo, "Red is as strong as black". There is set to be a big focus on "raw energy" and intense textures and colours. Red will be prevalent in denim, beauty, hair and lacey lingerie
3. The beautification of brown. It is predicted that we will be adopting the more charming elements of brown such as amber, saffron yellow, honey, caramel in clothes and beauty
4. Artisanal craft. There is expected to be a strong indigenous tribal feel through stitching, the "hand-made" look, patchwork and embellishment
5. Super size me. Leading with a reference to the Anish Kapoor Paris exhibition, Monumenta, oversized clothes/exaggerated proportions in contrast with skinny is predicted to be a big look for AW12, with a strong focus on styling the silhouette
6. Wild animals. Remaining on trend for AW12, long real or faux fur as pieces or embellishments will still be present
7. Subtraction cutting. The importance of designing with patterns rather than creating patterns for design
8. Elevated sportswear. The lines are set to blur even more between formal and casual wear. Making the silhouette as pure as possible for a clean and minimal look with digital dimension
9. Get transparent. Clarity and transparency for everything from fabrics to makeup is set to be a strong theme
10. Go Digital. Referencing the art of rapid prototyping and citing Iris Van Herpen is set to be a core trend of the digital dimension in addition to the use of digital/futuristic material such as aluminium, circuit prints, neon etc.
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