For anyone who finds trend forecasting interesting, this information was taken from two different seminars, the first presentation by PANTONE and the second by The Doneger Group.  They both discussed the expected color and style trends (respectively) to take flight over the next 18 months.  Now, before I go any further I have always been somewhat disturbed by the word “trend.”  I have always seen it as something that people look to when they can’t decide for themselves what they want to wear and as a tool of corporate manipulation on the masses.  And, to some extent I still kind of do.  But I have been digging deeper into this concept, trying to make some sense out of it and see it for something more than the shallow idea of what I has always thought it to be.  As I learned in one of my classes a trend is “the pulse of the public’s psychology,” and when studying trends you actually discover more about human nature than anything else.  I have always had a deep fascination with what makes people tick, and despite the layers of differences I think at the deepest level we all want pretty much the same thing: to live according to our own choosing and feel a sense of freedom in our existence.  Back to the point, heres a recap of what each group had to say.

PANTONE – There has been a shift in consumer habits towards a more casual lifestyle based around home and quality with an increased appeal in decluttering personal space and maintaining a sense of organization.  These desires are reflected by a simplification of color palette to inspirations from natural elements that reflect a more rural feeling instead of a chaotic urban existence.  Materials are being designed with sustainability in mind, and have adapted an “eco-tech” look composed of unlikely combinations of metals, recycled polyester, and wooden elements.  People are finding solace for the soul in gardening and consuming homegrown herbs and foods.  This trend has been coined the “Rurban Revolution.” Although all shades of green are reflective of this movement, olive green is becoming a favorite packaging color choice.  Natural design motifs inspired by mushrooms and taking form in style and color.  A modern vision of global beauty is being played out with natural makeup colors that feature a pop of color.  The mesmerizing aesthetic of luminosity is reflecting a desired state of mind.  

Black – Is staying in the background and will either be subdued with a matte finish or highlighted with a high sheen.

Blue – Reflects eternal healing, is calming and quiet, and is expressed with a dark navy and lighter blues.

Red – Vivid orangey reds send the message of being energetically daring and playful.

Pink – Are shocking and dynamic with a soft edge.

Purple – Are seen in red-based shades and exude passion, complexity, excitement, and are enigmatic and vivid.

Green – All over the spectrum, but focused on olive greens.  Greens are restful, fresh, and unobtrustive.

Orange – Fun loving in bright lobster bisque.

Brown – Earthy charcoal browns.

Neutrals – A subtle, unpretentious latte.

Gray – Neutrality and longevity, paler and mid-tone shades.  Grey hair has even been seen in magazines and on the runways recently.

The Doneger Group – This presentation was led by David Wolfe who is the creative director of The Doneger Group which is one of the dominant trend forecasting groups in the style industry.  The main concepts he discussed were a revisit to modernism and an “amortality” embracing of all age ranges instead of being hyperfocused on the 18-32 age range which was previously thought of as the “ideal” market.  The fastest growing demographic is the 85+ which will be especially prevalent as the baby boomers move through their 60’s.  This is introducing a shift to “generational marketing” as well as a welcome back to the “woman” and a temporary goodbye to the “girl.”  Style is becoming “ageless” appropriate meaning it will work for any age range as clothing becomes more timeless and classy while still staying fresh.  Boomers are regaining the fashion control that they had when they were younger, during the 1960’s for example.  David took his fashion direction from last summer in St. Tropez which he considers to be the benchmark of where fashion trends begin.  Women were more covered up than they had been in previous years, opting for a more modest style rather than showing as much skin as possible.  Flats are replacing heels and platforms, and conservative taste is replacing the tart.  Simplicity and lady-like looks dominated the streets and “it” bags were replaced with status bags that were simple in style yet luxurious in quality and craftsmanship.  Drama was concentrated in the drape of fabrics forming a softly sculpted silhouette usually in bold colors.  Color took center stage as they showcase their power to make people feel better – with poppy reds, pinks, all blues, enlightening neutrals, mellow yellows, white lace, and black paired with white to show contrast in simple patterns and shapes.  Lace, all kinds of stripes, multicultural prints, and transparencies were the top fabric choices and denim popped up in the form of tiny shorts, usually matched with a more conservative top for balance.  Instead of the skinny pant, the appeal of wide-legged, fitted flare and tailored slacks is growing as well as the suit (which might be a hard adjustment for a generation of women who have never worn a suit).  To finish this off, he mentioned how the relationship of science are art is becoming deeper and how the development of high performance fabrics will be paving the way for even broader opportunities in the world of fashion.  Super fancy futuristic shiz here, think “mood-dresses,” light-up clothing, and 3D laser printers!


About Blair Urban

Originally from Orange County, now living and working in Los Angeles.
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  1. Alejandro says:

    Great synopsis, thank you.

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