Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Fashion week trend review: Pop art, Oriental influence and Romanticism

Here are a few more trend boards I've been working on since fashion week, this time showing the styling and garment shape/fabrics/techniques side of the collections rather than the colours and the prints(I'm working on print boards to post over the weekend). 

Three themes, consistent in styling and print, stood out to me as strong trends that could become quite commercial: Bright pop art, Romanticism and Oriental inspired. So I have done more in depth boards for these trends looking at print, colour and shape.

First of the three is pop art. With the bright colour palette shown in my previous post it doesn't come as a surprise that many designers at fashion week drew inspiration from the pop art movement of the 1950s. This trend also re-emerged and became even brighter and more exaggerated in the 1980's, a decade that seems to have inspired a lot of the SS16 collections. From mock Warhol prints at Marc Jacobs to plain garments with a solid outline at Edeline Lee and everything in between. 

Pop art Spring/Summer 2016 trend.
I am quite looking forward to seeing how the high street interprets this trend and will definitely be buying into it....bright clashing colours...garish geometric graphics....fun novelty conversational prints..I am so on board with this. Taking into account how intense global politics are at the moment I think we could all do with some colour and fun injected into our lives by fashion.


Theme number two involves anything and everything oriental inspired: prints, garments shapes, belt styles and colour palettes. 

Left to right: Rihanna, Chloe Sevigny, Sarah-Jessica Parker, Alexa Chung, Georgia May Jagger.
Back in may, New York's Met ball took on a Chinese theme. Ignoring the questionable cultural appropriation that followed in attendees outfit choices(i am quite sick of discussing culturally appropriate garments) I found it very interesting that China was chosen to inspire the extravagant outfits people wore this year. In the past few months China has been centre stage on the political and economic scenes with numerous headlines drawing in the world's attention. A nuclear deal/agreement with the UK(http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/21/xi-jinping-poised-to-sign-nuclear-deal-as-uk-seeks-to-clinch-30bn-of-contracts), a war threat towards the US (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/11630185/US-China-war-inevitable-unless-Washington-drops-demands-over-South-China-Sea.html), and efforts to include the Yuan as part of the global reserve currency (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-24/what-will-it-mean-for-the-yuan-to-get-imf-reserve-currency-nod-). China is having a pretty busy year so far so it is not particularly alarming that the designers at fashion week have drawn inspiration from this. 

Oriental inspired Spring/Summer 2016 fashion trend.

I want to re-iterate the point, as I have done on so many previous occasions, that fashion is not simply a selection of materialistic people designing overpriced garments for shallow socialites. Those people, of course, do exist. In actual fact fashion reacts to, and often pre-empts, what is going on in the world- not just in terms of aesthetic trends but on a political and socio-economic level. Many people dismiss fashion trends and feel they aren't applicable to their lives, that may be so(we don't all have the money, or the desire, to buy into every catwalk trend that emerges)but if strong trends all emerge at a certain time it is much more a reflection of the global climate than it is of a few designers just happening to have the serendipitous thought that silk kimono fabric is pretty and everyone should wear it. Apologies for the rant, it needed to be said.


The third key trend for SS16 is new romanticism. Originally a late 18th century- 19th century movement, it re-emerged in the 1980's and is making a second appearance for 2016.

Romanticism moodboard.

Such a beautiful alternative to the aforementioned pop art trend, new romanticism is delicate and tres feminine. A return to the romantic era with poet shirts, voluminous ruffles, sheer floaty fabrics, loose maxi shapes and soft botanical prints. 

New romantics Spring/Summer 2016 trend
I have spoken before about how skirts lengthen in times of predicted economic crisis. In times such as these, when we are craving security, we reference historical trends. The past is set and has a steady reassurance but the future is uncertain. Through the media, we are constantly bombarded with images of war, apocalyptic celestial objects and economic depressions...is it any wonder we feel nostalgia towards the romantic era and attempt to recreate it!?


Aside from the three main trends highlighted above, I have also identified several other styles/techniques that are increasing in popularity.

Firstly Ruffles- An offshoot of the romanticism trend. The designer collections seemed to opt for the more ruffles the better, particularly featured on maxi length dresses.


Working in a similar way to the ruffles fad, dishevelled garments, frayed edges and loose strands all featured heavily in each fashion week. Even the ruffles on the catwalk were created in a ragged way, oddly enough it all worked quite harmoniously in hinting at the impoverished poets from the original romantic era. This being said I would feel very reluctant to buy into this trend. I find it hard to justify spending a substantial amount of money on something that has been designed to look destroyed.


On a different note there was a surprising amount of denim on display for SS16. Although denim made a slight comeback in the AW15 collections through the 70's trend(button down denim skirts and flares)it is now out in full force. An increasing amount of techniques/effects are being applied to runway denim,probably done in an effort to prevent the garments being so easy to replicate at a commercial price point. Heavy embroidery and applique(Holly Fulton and Alexander McQueen) , patchwork denim(Rodebjer and Vfiles) and printed denim(Marc Jacobs and Giamba) all featured in a variety of collections.


I usually avoid making any comments on garments shapes as it is not my area of expertise and this is predominantly a print blog but I could not document the new fashion week fads with mentioning this strange garment front shape. Body harnesses inspiring fashion is nothing new, for SS16 harness structures appeared on the  runway in two forms-first the style shown here, a reverse racerback, and secondly a cross over type harness which I have chosen to include in my oriental trend board as it takes on a more geisha-esque look. I do quite like this harness trend as it provides a new more structural garment shape. This being said it could be slightly problematic for those who are a bit more well endowed in the chest department as these reverse racerback shapes either push your boobs outwards, where they take residence under your armpits, or bind them to your chest....neither is particularly flattering.

This loose ties trend perplexed me, I honestly can't figure out whether or not I like it. It reminds me of a combination of things; functional bows on oriental belts and kimono ties, the fastenings of a straight jacket and the awful tassel cargo trousers we all insisted on wearing in the 90's. 


Even though I'm on the fence about this trend, a lot of runway designers are fully committed to it. 


For some odd reason 2015 saw the emergence of an obsession with mermaids, maybe we all just got a little sick of all of the unicorn quotes( "always be yourself, unless you can be a unicorn, then always be a unicorn" sound familiar?). Coloured mermaid  hair became 'a thing' special thanks to Kylie Jenner and her ever changing hair colours. 


A shimmer fabric trend, reminiscent of mermaid scales, is surely a natural progression of this sea myth obsession.


When executed properly I really like this trend, the metallic blues and two toned pearlescent shimmer styles in particular. However, if done wrong, it can look like a metallic fire rescue blanket/like you've wrapped yourself in tinfoil.


Lastly comes an increase in designers including headscarves in their collections. I wouldn't necessarily call this a trend, it's more a conversation point or an opportunity for designers to comment on globalisation, immigration and the ever growing Arabic market through garment styling. It is still extremely interesting to see headscarves seeping into high end fashion collections as Islamic fashion and Western fashion has been kept separate for so long.


As always I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this post. Print trends will be coming soon :)


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