From the FIDM Library: Summer 2016 Style Report

July 27, 2016


A new market for on-demand services is changing the nine-to-five lifestyle. The ease of digital connectivity enables last-minute needs, such as babysitters, or fast food delivery. Schedules can be rearranged as needed, using a multitude of apps, to accommodate work or play. Influencers and creators are increasingly sought out as a way to promote brands. Influencer discovery platforms, such as Ghost Codes organizes these individuals into buckets, with categories such as “beauty” or “fashion,” and enables users to find brands that mesh with their own aesthetic. Social apps allow users to find influencers of interest, to view stats and track past activity. Video sharing services, such as Twitter’s Vine allows users to create original content, to remix and share mini clips. This sharing of original content has potential for creating cultural trends. Technology is enabling more flexibility in our lives, and that flexibility is carrying over to the way we identify ourselves.  

Creative Careers

Generation Z’s, “We don't care how we define ourselves and neither should society” is a growing refrain. Boundaries are becoming increasingly blurred: Gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and employment. With the Creative Class challenging traditional workplace roles, the growing norm is dual occupations. An accountant/ florist, or a designer/musician.  A global online talent exchange further taps employment flexibility, with the opportunity for freelancers to bid on jobs and complete them remotely.  The consciousness is expanding for creativity, and the need for self-expression. Anyone can create, from youth to baby boomers, with the help of the internet, and the information gathered there. Gone are the days of apprenticeships and years of training. Conscious Creatives are putting design first, and adopting sustainable materials and textiles. Products of higher quality, and that last longer are purchased. Repairing garments instead of replacing them is a turn away from consumerism as we know it. 

Women in Tweed

A nostalgic take on English country living, plaids and tweeds, cotton and soft knits reflect the British countryside. Colors have an autumnal feeling in deep mustard, rich brown, and sunset red. Continuing the outdoor look, a cotton coat with patch pockets, zips, and snaps shows its practical side.  Quilted jackets in lightly padded cotton canvas, detachable sleeves, and hoods adds versatility.  Wide leg trousers in lightweight stretch wool fit across the hips and flare at the hem. Pair with a tweed or plaid boyfriend fit blazer for a slightly masculine look. Throw on cardigans in fine and mid-gauge yarns bridge the seasons. Motif embroidery adds an eccentric touch. Oversized, V-neck sweaters are an important layering piece, modernized with side splits and deep rib trim. Shirts have a masculine air, in fabrics combining shine and matte. Stripes in solid and sheer textures contrast with piping and monogramming details. The kilt wrap skirt is updated in soft crepe, with knife pleats and splits. A feminine twist adds a softly tied belt at the waist.

In contrast, gender-neutral bomber jackets are a key item, with a new detail- a faux fur collar. Side-seam splits for trousers are a detail emerging among influential fashion brands. Paired with oversized sweaters and matching separates, this is a new direction for classic shapes. The genderless look embraces funnel necklines, plush pile faux fur fabrics, and color-blocking. Denim is inspired by past decades, in finishes, silhouette, and detail. Five-pocket skinny and straight-leg fits continue. A 1990’s throwback, the voluminous leg moves into the spotlight. A darker charcoal-black color adds to the array of all-American vintage colors available. Colors are pale, soft gray, gray-green, dusty purple. Pinks are faded, with an historical appeal, or bright, with washed-out grays giving a sun-bleached “dyed” look.  Amber, coral, orange. Dark tones elevate bright tones; black, navy, deep greens. Highlights include acidic tones of sour yellow and green. Optic white heightens the contrast even more.

Merlot Men 

Form, function, and comfort initiates design.  Easy-fitting silhouettes reveal a casual mindset in work or play mode. A modular approach to the “intelligent” wardrobe coordinates pieces that work together without guesswork in a self-contained, ergonomic approach to dressing. The tech and fashion gap grows smaller, as fabrics with technical properties are integrated into everyday pieces, including metallic, which adds some spark to tonal outfits. Texture is inspired by space exploration, in finishes that mimic planetary surfaces.  Oversized shapes, soft jerseys, and comfort-stretch materials balance smart design with practical. Worldly influences are shared for a new definition of traditional ideas in tailoring, silhouettes, and graphics. A sense of luxury is conveyed when embellishments such as embroidery, and artisan details are added. Disparate prints worn together create a global “luxury” look. A mixture of geometric prints and repeat patterns move toward the eclectic. A cultural vibe lends itself to tunic shirts and exotic prints. Sportswear shines in bright colors and a watery sheen, with water-resistant properties. Satins and metallic surfaces bring to mind the nineties’ club scene, and plastics infuse a modern twist. Sporty mesh and pleats add a new take on classic silhouettes, a roominess breathable comfort. Intense colors, beach themes, and tropical intrigue, such as hyper-real palm leaf designs, put new life into resort wear. Other motifs such as butterflies, moths, and tropical flora are inspired by scientific and botanical sources, adding an unusual twist to prints. The color ‘merlot,’ is seen in dressier tailored looks, leather, and knitwear. A range of other wine shades are trending, from shoes to auto bodies. Reds and browns and classic charcoal colors appeal to the modern man, with a nod toward the future.   

Interiors with Texture

Marbled swirl patterns bring movement to home textiles.  The swirls can be subtle for bed linens and curtains, or bold and graphic for cushions, rugs or bath items. Furniture also lends itself to marbling, as in the vein-like pattern of stone. Furniture surfaces can be laid out in a single slab and mimic real marble, but the color possibilities are greater. Upholstery is an affordable way to apply marbled patterns in prints, and printed surfaces, such as tabletops. Other applications are ceramics, accessories, stationery, packaging, and arts and crafts. Tactile textures involving natural fibers, is key across all surfaces. Design motifs are medium or small-scale, and abstract, geos, or classic lattice and florals. Vintage patterns inspired by the 1950s and 1970s, featuring geometric shapes and retro colors, in wall tapestries as well as decorative table tops and woven, embroidered or printed cushions that make for bright, vintage accents. A soft color palette with subtle contrasts and gradation, highlights graphic repeats, and playful contrasts. Colors radiate sun-drenched warmth, such as golden sand, which attempts to bring the outdoors inside. Pigments ranging from dark ginger to red mulberry, and rose madder to washed indigo, have a naturally dyed appearance. Spicy brights are balanced by nautical, salt-washed blues. Pinks are versatile and take on a sunny quality when paired with the palette's yellows or blues. Dark Orchid, evolving from purple into a sweeter magenta tone, is especially exotic.

Compiled by Cynthia Aaron

Categories: Library, Trend Watch