The Force of Fashion

As we decide on future plans, I felt it relevant to source information from a global expert, a trend forecaster and fashion & interior design futurist, who has been touring our shores thanks to Woolworths and the Design Indaba for the past few years, namely, Lidewij Edelkoort. She is deemed by TIME Magazine as one of the 25 most influential fashion experts of our time.

The ticket was pricey to attend her workshop titled the ‘Emancipation of Everything‘. I felt kind of invisible in the nearly sold out Artscape auditorium foreign crowd, but this workshop contained the content of everything I wanted to hear, see and even more importantly feel in acknowledging what was happening around us as we forge ahead into this new century with our creative business.

We are so blessed with our fashion design talent, it is quite overwhelming. As I watched the mixed media presentation consisting of photography and music unfold the trend forecast, my mind kept jumping to styling I had seen from our local designers. Truly a global collective consciousness.

This workshop was 5 hours, but I will try to summarise the trend forecast as far as possible in relation to our local designers’ interpretations.

Ageless Generation – Fashion is not separated by age category. Young wear old and old wear young, as boundaries dissipate. This is very apparent with the high demand for great vintage markets about in Cape Town in particular, with their spectacles and old accessories. Granny chic. I haven’t really noted designer affirmation on this but more so people styling themselves as such. High waist pants, pussybow blouse and wait for it… granny panties (yay!)

Granny chic 2

Gucci – Granny Chic

Return to basics predominantly motivated by people too busy and focused on their rising empires that dressing becomes of little importance – Minimal, simple and modest. Ethical fashion in neutral colours made of high quality fabrics and tailored to perfection. It’s not about fast fashion as people buy these garments in uniform for their wardrobes, looking for longevity in use.

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Durban: Jane Sews Artisan Clothing & Footwear

Rise of work-wear – As young entrepreneurs forge ahead and revive industrial operations, the direct contact with workforce will create a subconscious intrigue in appreciation of this dress code, with slight tweaks in fabric quality and trim details to provide a more fashionable appeal. As recently presented in Paris (2016) with a collection themed “Labour of Love, all work-wear was taken as inspiration. Work-wear has also finally given an area for bright colours to play a role.

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Cape Town: Street Lines Apparel Boiler Suit

Denim – As woven fabrics and indigos come to the fore, denim takes on a new role with detail, becoming fun as well as being adorned or embellished particularly with Asian motifs.

modish isalaat

Cape Town: Mod-ish Isaalat Collection denim adorned with traditional Afghan trim

Bespoke wear and confirmation of craft, a true acknowledgement of the capability of the lively Southern Hemisphere introducing itself to the North who are currently consumed with its internal crisis, and need to experience this new  bold, vibrant and eclectic sense of style. We can lead the north on trend seasons (Boutique SS16) – Every garment is seen as a work of art and  making your own clothes or having custom made clothing is an ultimate sign of luxury with social responsible consideration in supporting local.

The revival of white – White takes on a basic structural form and epitomizes a level of spiritual serenity. A oneness of mankind and inclusive society, forming certain universal religious connotations. Shirt dresses becomes a vital style concept for the future in various lengths and with different details, popularizing shirting fabric and moving away from the fine -knit fabrics. Accessorised with brown leather sandals and belts.

The feminization of man – men are now taking on a greater role of participation in their family, exhibiting a sensitive side.  This has also resulted in a greater fashion awareness amongst men, making it the fastest growing fashion market.  Consider gender merging and  colourful or floral prints in masculine garment tailoring.

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Azara Merge Collection Gender Fluid Streetwear

Certain trends that were mentioned that I would like to include as they are seen as relevant but not yet visible to me (the public consumer) as yet

  • Rich Chocolate Browns – paired with red (avant-garde) or white (strikingly attractive)
  • Freedom of Fibres from their roles (loosely attached to the surface)
  • Woven fabrics such as Madras
  • Pioneer styling – long pleated skirts in natural fabrics with plain shoes

I want to reiterate that this forecast highlights how relevant our local fashion designers are, particularly from home studios.  Not only are they a present value of the future of fashion but they are also pioneering a new concept of fashion marketing, which is relevant to true luxury, providing chains of local sustainability for the environment & of course economy. Immerse yourself in luxury that is right on your doorstep.

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