Fashion is all about what is going to happen tomorrow and what will be cool tomorrow. To discover what will be “in” in the near or far future, one can always look back, as “you can’t really have a future without having a past”.
We have put together a guide of the main fashion keywords of 2016 and laid out some predictions for the future of fashion.
Co-ed fashion shows
A very interesting phenomenon that was introduced in the fashion industry in 2016 is the concept of merging menswear and womenswear shows. Many designers and brands have opted out of the idea of having two separate shows and featured all their creations just into one. It is interesting that this phenomenon has emerged just as events such as New York Fashion Week: Men have appeared, which focus only on menswear. It appears that just as they appeared, these events might disappear. During the latest edition of Milan Fashion Week, household names such as Bottega Veneta or Calvin Klein were absent. Reuters noted that “Men Fashion shows are slowly airbrushed from the calendar and rebuffed into women’s events, almost like an accessory”.
It is quite strange how the menswear world, which had taken off so big a few years ago, is now going down so rapidly. We also noticed that many fashion shows play with gender in one way or the other. For example, it’s either men wearing “women’s” clothes, or offering androgynous styles, which makes one wonder whether “men’s” shows and collections should be oriented by biological sex or cultural interpretations and norms of gender.
The menswear world is definitely seeing a decline and shrinkage, not only in fashion per se, but also in their publications, for example Details magazine closing down recently. The current cultural, political and artistic global landscape is putting men in a rather uncomfortable position. The pressure is not of a single kind and comes from different directions. On the one hand, there is an emerging “feminization” of men, but at the same time, there is a strong stigmatization of this feminization, but at the same time of creative masculinity. These contexts give birth not only to stronger polarizations, but also to a narrowing the cultural and creative space in which men can play.
See it, buy it!
One of the most popular fashion catchphrases of year was “see now, buy now”. This concept, which might revolutionize the fashion world in the future, was initiated on a large scale by Burberry. The British brand announced in February that it will abandon the fashion calendar, as well as season-bonded products and will release two collections a year, which will be available immediately in stores. Tom Ford was a designer who shortly followed the “see now, buy now” trend and was followed by many more.
When trend forecaster Li Edelkoort announced in 2015 that fashion is “obsolete” she definitely saw what was coming next. In her manifesto, the Dutch trend forecaster was saying that the classic model of fashion was not working anymore. She was comparing today’s fashion world with a caricature of what it once was. And, in a way, she was right. Fashion today, in the classic sense of the word, is, as Li Edelkoort was saying, completely out of touch with the general population. There is only a small group of people who actually watch fashion shows, expect the clothes to be transformed for the stores and then buy them. Most people don’t care about this system anymore. Therefore, it only makes sense that once the clothes are on the runway, they will be in the stores: this cuts costs and offers immediate gratification.
And, speaking of “see it, buy it”, in the July 2016 issue of the InCompany by Attire Club magazine, we featured a great new concept called “The Magic Mirror”. This is basically a mirror that lets you try on things digitally. Basically, you pick a clothing item from a web app, you place yourself in front of the mirror and see yourself in that particular clothing item. We definitely see a lot of potential there, as this could revolutionize online shopping and it could even allow you to try things on from the runway as soon as you see them in a web livestream in your bedroom.
Not a new concept, but definitely one that’s going strong, eco-friendly fashion has been one of the main fashion buzzwords of 2016. Eco-friendly clothing has started with the idea of dropping synthetic materials that take thousands of years to decompose and using only environment-friendly materials such as hemp and cotton, but now it is taken to a whole new level.
The new word that is starting to be on everybody’s lips is “biotechnology”. Clothing based on biotechnology are not only eco-friendly, but they can also have health benefits for the wearer, such as instant and constant skin hydration.
On Attire Club, we are always passionate about the merge of fashion and technology and therefore, in our InCompany by Attire Club magazines, we have featured numerous articles and interviews on biotechnology and wearable technology.
Circular fashion refers to reusing and recycling garments that were not bought in stores. H&M has claimed to go 100% reusable, and other fashion giants such as Zara, which launched its first green collection as well as Stella McCartnery, who published its first environmental profit and loss report are on board.
The circular fashion movement is definitely a great one, or at least it can be.
However, the reason why we see circular fashion as a big direction in fashion is not only because clothes are getting recycled by big labels, but also because we definitely see a strong move towards reusing things, which is very well seen on websites such as Etsy, where many people sell clothes or décor made from old pieces of fabrics.
Also, the fact that the number one most googled fashion question of 2016 was “how to cut a shirt’s sleeves?” is proof that people are not so fast on throwing away clothes.
Other concepts that are strongly related to circular fashion are “slow fashion” (Slovak designer Richard Rozbora talks a lot about it in the December 2016 issue of the InCompany by Attire Club magazine) and “premium fashion”, which both revolve around the idea of having better clothes, both construction-, fabric- and designwise, that last longer and will serve you better.
After analyzing the current context of fashion and discovering what is going on the world of clothing and tying it to our cultural landscape, we definitely see that fashion is still connected to society and reflects is well. This time around, however, it’s not a very conscious reflection though. The tense time in which we live call for a movement of things that is faster and faster. And that is not necessarily going to be an advantage in general in the long run, as this acceleration is in big part driven by fear.
We are probably going to see huge, dramatic changes in the style landscape in the future and, even though these things have not really started yet, the changes will be quick and drastic. The people from the fashion industry will have to adapt to the new context and still hold the reins and be in control of their creations.
Fraquoh and Franchomme
P.S. We want to hear from you! Which of these trends have you been part of in 2016? Where do you think fashion will go in 2017? How do you contribute to the continuous movement of fashion? Share your feedback, questions or thoughts in the comments below! For more articles on style, fashion tips and cultural insights, you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!