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Spring Summer 2017 Trends Vol.2

In volume two of my Spring Summer 2017 emerging trends analysis, I concentrate on dresses, outwear and knitwear. These are the three key product categories that monopolise companies’ development budgets exactly because they are usually the best performing categories.

Keeping with this season’s ‘anything goes’ direction, dresses came long, short, tight, voluminous, romantic, punky, sporty, evening-ready. Yes, a bit of everything! Similarly, outerwear came in a big variety addressing different dress-styles and lifestyles; a few styles were mature, others were very young. Knitwear was less prominent this season Vs previous seasons. Fewer pieces were shown, and those that did make it onto the runways were not game changers. But let’s see what I think was cool, and which trend still has a bit of life in it.

Dresses

Sheer panels and peek-a-boo teasing continued this season, with Victoriana touches still used to create an “out of this world” mood. Shirt dresses were still viable options as many women find them a cool alternative to the structured work dress. There were also cold-shoulder dresses around, wrap dresses, slip dresses…yawn

Vanessa Ives approves

Eva Green in Showtime’s horror series Penny Dreadful was exceptional. I bet you anything fashion designers all over the world have watched the series and were saddened to hear season 3 was the last one. Result? “Black magic dresses” as an homage to Ms Ives or to the cast of American Horror Story’s cast of Coven (season 3). The latter a much lighter version of darkness, suitable for pop culture princesses! Preen captured this mood perfectly.

Spring Summer 17 trends: black magic dresses

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Spring Summer 2017 Trends Vol.1

This season NY brands continued with their tested formula of unchallenging clothing; promoting less is more, and emphasising daywear. Thus, shows like those put up by Marc Jacobs stood out like a sore thumb. And yes, he has apologised for cultural appropriation…In London Christopher Kane showed the world that it is OK to wear Crocs with a £5K dress. I guess we still haven’t lost our humour. Maybe if we package it and sell it, it might help our struggling retail industry. In Milan, some Italian designers have lost the plot; pasta print dresses anyone? Thank God there is still Marni. And Paris, believe it or not, is becoming the capital of fashion innovation and excitement. The Gvasalia brothers are redefining aesthetics there; their exaggerated shoulder shapes, and oversized bags have completely taken over. They have become the epitome of cool. Did they do their social media research? No. Do they design what people want? No. They design what people didn’t know they wanted but are desperate to have. Do we have a lot to learn from them? Yes.

Most trends were repeats of last summer’s. There wasn’t really a brand new direction. The amalgamation of different aesthetics and historical references continued. Everyone is doing what they think is right for their brands to survive, and this resulted to a cheerful “everything goes”. Trust me when I say, no one really knows what the next big trend will be.

What also makes the lives of trend analysts even more difficult is the increase of number of brands. The sheer number of looks available is overwhelming. Especially if you want to give everyone a chance, and not only do the big fashion houses. But I love a good old challenge. Thus, after 4K images saved and analysed, I have put together a report, which I will break into three parts.

My aim is to concentrate on emerging trends, or those trends that still have a way to go. This is not a “what to wear next season” report, but a “what is on and will continue to be relevant in AW17 and possibly SS18”. Longevity is they key!

In this first part I start with colour directions, prints, and overall little trend nuggets worth mentioning.

Colour

Remember when you could very easily say which colour was The key colour for each season. Well, not anymore. This season we have had pastels, fluos, peaches, marigolds, oranges, reds, purples, violets, cerise, pinks, blues, baby blues, nudes, sands, khakis…phew….Check out the colour chart of the season.

spring-summer-2017-trends-colour-chart

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Spring Summer 17 Trend Direction: bags

Overall, Spring Summer 17 shows did not push the boat out. After all, these are not times for experimentations. Retail sales are losing out to other consumption choices, such as experiences (i.e. restaurants, holidays) and more personalised goods (smart phones, wearable technologies). In this challenging environment, many brands and retailers are too scared to offer new ideas, shapes or design directions. Wrongly so, if you ask me. I believe challenging times are the best to test out new product, and stand out against competition. Easy to say when you don’t have to look after the bottom line, I know.

But look a bit closer to SS17, and you will discover a few gems of ingenuity. A glimpse of excitement. And most of them came in the form of bags. Yes, you read correctly, designers are reinventing the wheel…well, at least the handbag wheel…Check below what grabbed my attention.

Fanny packs reloaded

Spring Summer 17 Trend Direction: bum bags

When I presented Kenzo’s SS16 bum bags as an up-and-coming trend, many wrote asking me to get serious. Well, I am really sorry to break the news guys, but it is really happening! If the idea of a zipped banana on your waist sounds worse than spilled porridge in your backpack, then look at how No.21 and Vionnet are interpreting the trend. Just like them, you can opt for a normal looking bag attached to a belt. The possibilities are endless when you are dancing in your little dress- that looks better tacked in with a belt-and all your valuables are within a hand’s reach!

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Using Resort 17 to design a strong transitional collection: Vol.2

In this post I continue with my recommendations and ideas of how we can spice up that tricky transitional pre-spring product offering that comes straight after Christmas Sales. I am still using Resort 2017 collections as a source of inspiration, but this time I turn my attention to separates, knitwear, and outerwear. I know that the latter two product categories can be difficult to tackle successfully when a brand is just coming out of winter, but as I will show you, not impossible.

Tops and bottoms on the other hand, can be very lucrative. After all, most of us are more willing to buy them full price as we consider them good value for money; we get to wear them more frequently and get more outfits out of them. Let us begin with looking at trousers and skirts that keep growing in popularity.

Trousers and Skirts Direction

Have you noticed how most of women wear cropped trousers now? This trend will not go away. It might be a bit tricky to sell them when weather is still cold but use heavier and stiffer fabrics for an update. Bored of this shape already? Then definitely invest in longer and baggier cotton trousers. A 90s throwback I can stand behind.

Resort 2017 inspiration: key trouser shapes

How many pairs of jeans can we sell worldwide before we can safely say we have had enough? How can you sell a new pair of jeans priced more than £70 on the high-street? Do our denim trousers fit properly? Ahhh if only I had a pound each time I was asked these questions. My answer for this season is: think straight leg, easy fit, and patchwork denim. The latter is very difficult to make tastefully so please be careful, and avoid stitching overload…

Resort 2017 inspiration: new denim trouser

In case you haven’t noticed women have started investing again in skirts. You have to have them, even if your Christmas selection sold really well. If you think that sequin skirts worn with jumpers is too risky for Spring, especially after the sparkle extravaganza of the holidays, invest in a different type of attention-seeking skirts. Look at these wrap, fringed and ‘torn’ little numbers.

Resort 2017 inspiration: key skirt shapes

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