From the FIDM Library: Style Report Winter 2016

February 8, 2016

An escape into the wilderness as an antidote to city life provides the tone for our near future. At home, as well as on the move, luxurious comfort is key. DNA testing is creating a more personalized approach to skin care.  

Apparel manufacturers are producing 19 billion smart garments, or “wearables” a year, and the number is growing.  As processes become more reliable, and people grow more dependent on smart technology, these garments are in demand, and not just in the active market. Technology’s merge with fashion will one day be so common that these garments will drop the “wearables” label and will simply be called “fashion.”  Sustainability plays a key role in the design and manufacturing process, as consumers desire products and materials that are durable and environmentally friendly. The trend for personalized beauty has prompted skin DNA developments by dermatologists and beauty product developers. Customers are advised on serum brands that specifically target their needs based on DNA testing. As a counterbalance to our tech-induced reality, more people are exploring the wild areas of the world, such as nature preserves and woodlands. Living off-grid is becoming more common, and escape from city life as we know it is inspiring an exodus into untamed lands, discovering our wild inner natures in the process.   

Design is in focus, with recycled yarns and pulped fibers creating new shapes and textures. One-of-a-kind and architectural approaches look to patch-worked pieces in denim with raw, frayed edges as detail. A contrast of soft colors and distressed surfaces merge pretty with rough. Hardware as embellishment on softer jersey fabrics increases the clean and timeless lines of young women’s casualwear. Formalwear is informing lounge wear in long lengths and elegant drape, restructured proportions, and loose, deconstructed, oversized shapes. Recycled materials become more sophisticated, in reclaimed yarns for knits, unique color mixes, and space-dyed effects. The wildness of nature inspires a way to look at life away from computers or television screens.  This sensibility is reflected in weatherproof synthetics and shearling, and the rough, earthy quality of modern country styles and sportswear. Daytime metallics in autumn tones, wintery blue and silver give dresses a party vibe. Camping themes bring to mind time in the woods on Girl Scout trips, and maxi dresses and textured coats lend a magical air to the occasion.   

Luxurious fabrics, and a timeless simplicity speak to blurring boundaries between loungewear and office wear, comfort dressing and evening attire. The 1950s influences, offer a look back at simpler times and classic silhouettes. Cut-and-paste collage graphics adorn sweatshirts, sweaters, and shirts. Monochrome colors such as grey are infused with Shadow Pink or Purple Haze. Concrete grey plaids and a soft industrial sensibility (generous pleats and folds, layers, architectural shapes) give movement to staples such as suiting and overcoats. Outdoor clothing merges with streetwear creating a rugged appeal for the city dweller. Faux fur replaces real fur as more consumers align with ethical issues. Layered utility pieces are versatile for city and country. Nightwear moves into daywear, with robe-like silhouettes, shawl-collars, jacquard and silk fabrications, and pajama-inspired shirts. A nocturnal influence is seen in surreal prints and graphic imagery for evening. Protective details from riot gear and flight suits create functional tailoring with removable pockets, armbands, and hoods. Pile fabrics such as suede and velour add a tactile quality that plays into the mood for luxurious, comfortable pieces.  

Industrial influences in furniture and lighting reflect 20th century design, in nostalgic, matte finishes, geometric shapes, and hardware as design detail.  Filament bulbs add warmth and a vintage feel to lighting. Upholstered furniture forms a “personal retreat” where sofas, chairs, and loungers create a protective environment, where bulky and layered cushions provide luxurious comfort, and a sense of safety and security where we work, eat, and relax. Tactile surfaces of cane, raffia, and twigs, inspired by pool-side designs mix with textured fabrics, bringing an outdoor, garden sensibility to the inside. Handmade-look pendant lights and accessories evoke a forest setting, and overlapping and layered tables, chairs and materials lend a sculptural feel. Deep, saturated color, blended with strong blues and bright yellow tones, offset gray as the main neutral focus. Craftsmanship is important in materials and finishes, and natural, textured fabrics and accessories. Rich maroons, reds and the pairing of black and gold create a royal presence in tables, desks, ceramics, lighting, and upholstery. A move toward darker tones infuses metal and marble surfaces, reminiscent of woodland settings. Deep forest green is a prominent color for indoor and outdoor settings.


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