a/w 14-15: print direction

1 midnight bloom

2 paisley sophisticate

3 tapestry

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s/s 14 runway analysis: color

assignment #4 moodboard - jon millerclick image to enlarge

Cornflower Blue: This color exists in perfect balance between the very soft pastels of previous seasons, and the saturated cobalt blue emerging as a key color for Fall 2014. This shade feels fresh and clean; a perfectly clear prairie summer sky. The transitional nature of this color makes it the perfect vehicle for expression across a wide range of customers. Depending on how it is finished, styled and what colors it is paired with, Cornflower blue can feel demure and ladylike, or edgy and urban.

 Deep Safety Orange: This fully saturated color is sure to be noticed. Though this is a low-chroma version of a more traditional safety orange, it is still very bright and seems to radiate off the wearer. A slightly more red hue prevents this color from being too garish, but it is still not going to be the first choice of a more conservative or even moderate customer. Though in the runway looks above it is featured as the dominant (or  only) color, expect most Deep Safety Orange uses to appear as color pops, or within prints with light backgrounds.

 Considering the nature of the modern female consumer and her need for fast new trends each season, it is not surprising that quickest trend to change (color) is being manifested in two seemingly opposite directions. Though upon closer inspection of the two key colors for Spring/Summer 2014, there are also many similarities to be found. Both feel bright and airy; representing a joyful exuberance and a desire to be fully aware and present.

Of the two, Cornflower blue will emerge as the most important color for Spring/Summer 2014. As mentioned, it is easily wearable with the potential for universal appeal. It is important to note that the most common way this color is being kept modern is by pairing it with inky black details such as notions/trim and accessories.

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a/w 14-15 material forecast: silk satin

adaptable elementsclick image to enlarge

Designer Haider Ackerman presented a directional yet wearable collection for S/S 14 that is applicable to thecontemporary male customer moving forward into A/W 14-15. The common aesthetic element throughout the collection was equal parts 1950’s smoking leisure and blousey Arabian formal; silk satin and brocade were featured as a dominant material. Appearing in a range of warm blues, reds, greens, and yellows, this element is adaptable to a wide range of customers and can be utilized in varying degrees to meet their individual needs.

This fabric can be seen as a more wearable and organic iteration of the metallic trend from previous seasons but is more approachable to the average male customer. Silk satin is a classic holiday material, but depending on color and placement can easily be translated as a seasonal essential for all A/W months. For more adventurous customers, expect this fabric to be used as the main material in blazers, button ups, and pants. In more measured doses, it will be used as trim detail on collars (particularly exciting are the shawl style blazer collars featured above), accessories, shoes, and shadow stripes.

The color palette and silhouette used by Haider Ackermann can be easily translated for fall with the exception of the bright yellow which would be switched out for a more Autumnal mustard shade. When using this material, the silhouette must be kept masculine and classic; tying in to the 50’s and early 60’s trends dominating for A/W 14-15 is essential.

 

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vaquero spirit: a/w 2014 men’s accessories

boardclick image to enlarge

Almost by magic, each season disparate designers from around the world are drawn to a common cultural influence. In recent years this has included at times Moroccan,  African, and Indian. For Fall 2014, it appears this inspiration will be coming from closer to home. Several designers featured (to varying degrees) looks inspired by Vaquero fashion in their Spring 2014 collections. The Vaquero are Mexican cattle herders that came to prominence in California in the 17th and 18th century. Inspired in equal parts by Spanish and native American culture, they are the root for what eventually became the traditional American cowboy. However, even though the fashions worn by Vaquero were rugged and functional much like their cowboy decedents, they also featured bright colors and lavish embellishments.

This trend works particularly well for accessories as it can appear costumey in too large a dosage. The variety of elements that make up this trend can be manipulated to function across a wide range of items and appeal to a variety of customers. On the simpler end of the spectrum are aged thick leather accessories such as bags and belts. Expect mixes of light and dark brown vegetable dyes, as well as leather tassels, long straps, and tooling. Hardware will be in aged silver and brass. Bright embroidery and embellishments will appear on languid jewelry and draped scarves. Neckerchiefs and bandanas offer a more masculine touch and are already a must have accessory for Fall (this trend item is being included in nearly every men’s Spring runway show, regardless of the individual aesthetic of the brand). A handful of designers went full force with this inspiration, and even included sombreros in their collections. Though this is not an item that would appeal to the a meaningful amount of customers, sombrero details (such as tooling and embroidery) will be worked into more wearable hat designs, and sombrero novelty prints will be used on fabric accessories.

Though the Vaquero trend is still percolating, given its sudden emergence in Spring 2014, it is expected to explode for Fall. The details lend themselves to a layered style for Autumn and will allow for greater sales. It is also expected that many of these accessories will have gender neutral appeal, and will be purchased by female customers who are shopping with male partners or friends.

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pitti filati:on the grid

on the gridclick image to enlarge

Reported based on observations during my visit to the  Pitti Filati yarn show in July 2013.

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pitti filati: light bulk

light bulkclick image to enlarge

Reported based on observations during my visit to the  Pitti Filati yarn show in July 2013.

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trend confirmation: soft rebel

soft rebel confirmclick image to enlarge

A reported in mid-May, prior to the menswear Spring 2014 collections, Soft rebel trends are being featured prominently on the runway. Predicted color and silhouettes are heavily represented, as well as permutations of the general aesthetic.

One additional element that seems to be becoming adopted within this trend is the appearance of Gueyabera shirts, which fit in nicely and open this aesthetic to additional cultural inspirations.

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italian summer: the gathering

the gatheringclick to enlarge

This is part three in an ongoing series examining trends seen in Italy during a Summer merchandising program through Parsons.

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trend confirmation: floating color

floating color confirmclick to enlarge

Though initially reported as part of a 6 part series exploring this emerging trend in womenswear and design (link 1,2,3,4,5,6), this trend direction has quickly spilled over with equal influence into menswear. Most aggressively displayed in the prints and body paints of the Versace SP14 menswear show, floating color details were also seen in countless additional collections.

The two forms most typical in the development of this trend exist in tandem, but do seem at odds with each other to a degree.

In the E. Tautz, Versace, and No Editions collections, we find these colors appearing as splashes; irregular and seemingly random organic shapes. Some reminiscent of paint splatters or madly slap dashed paint strokes, others almost like amoeba blown out of proportion and infecting their fashionable host.

Best visually represented by the Paul Smith look above, the  innovators on the other side of this developing trend are moving forward more in step with my original forecast. They utilize strong, bright, saturated colors as a way of geometrically breaking up the human form. The end result seems almost cold and mathematical, but with an artistic energy that is simultaneously revitalizing.

It is hard to not relate this developmental iteration of the trend to the early 20th century De Stijl movement in design. However, where De Stijl reveled in the serenity of bringing extreme order to the design elements filling our world, the shapes emerging in the floating color trend seem to do the opposite. Yes, they do still cordon off designs into color blocks. but where De Stijl created order, floating color is more of a chaotic visual assault. The tools may be the same, but the hands that hold them are different.

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italian summer: delicate white

delicate whiteclick image to enlarge

This is part two in an ongoing series examining trends seen in Italy during a Summer merchandising program through Parsons.

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