From New York, we moved on to London Fashion Week, where show attendees found relief from NY’s sweltering summer. But it wasn’t only the weather that was a little more tepid in London: following a slick, commercial season from New York, in which clear trends rippled through and newness sung out, some of London’s offering seemed overly-familiar. Certainly there were stand out moments: experimental embellishment at Peter Pilotto, sailing away with J.W. Anderson, evolution at Mary Katrantzou and a masterclass in texture and form at Jonathan Saunders.
Drawing on data from every garment style and colour shown on the runway, the quantity and sentiment of online mentions for each trend and designer, and exclusive retail analytics, our latest report exposes the Top 10 trends which represent the biggest commercial potential for the coming season. Here are the highlights:
1. London’s color palette
Designers in London continued Spring 2014’s love affair with head to toe whites, which formed Amanda Wakeley’s entire collection and were at Joseph, Temperley London and Pringle of Scotland. Although a crisp and sporty palette, it was a relief to see color begin to soak through in the cyans, cornflowers and cerulean blues at Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Kane and Matthew Williamson. Bold reds, so popular in New York, won votes too – from Topshop Unique, Preen and Antonio Berardi – but pinks were ahead in the polls with support in bubblegum tones from Christopher Raeburn, coral at Markus Lupfer and hot magenta at Issa. Perhaps the biggest shake up in color from London is the use of Autumnal shades of ochre and sienna from J.W. Anderson, Antipodium and Jasper Conran as well as maroons, olives and khaki. Seasonal they may not be, but those in search of new directions will find them here.
2. Online’s favorite designer
All eyes were on Burberry, and specifically Christopher Bailey, to see whether the creative director of a globally revered brand can pack the chores of CEO into their schedule. And of course, Bailey and Burberry could. The entire staging of a Burberry runway show is put on an industry-wide pedestal – the celebrity guests, the social media and online hype, the music and the desirable product. It was only the latter which perhaps suffered this season – the garments were a slightly madcap combo of saturated shades of lilac, moss green, acid yellow and peachy pink. There were fitted denim jackets, some trimmed in marabou, giant pailettes, sneakers (on a Burberry runway!) and bowling bags – all of which spoke to the 90s theme. Layered and tiered tulle and summer suede played into the summer texture themes also so strong in London. It was a bit wonkier, a bit less ‘good taste’ than we’ve come to expect from Burberry. But did it work? The brand still managed to get the week’s highest number of online mentions. From the spectators around the globe who are devout brand followers, the verdict was Bailey can keep both jobs.
3. Theme: 90s Sports Day
London is still deeply enamoured with sports luxe. We found bomber jackets at Antonio Berardi, tube socks and sheer panelled sweaters at Joseph and curved seams and neon swimwear at Threeasfour – all sports lexicon the retail industry is now well-versed in. The best new direction for this casualwear came in 1990s interpretations: the stripe-trimmed sweaters, cami dresses and flippy skirts of Topshop’s party girls, the sheer layers, bias cuts and spaghetti straps at Richard Nicoll and in those sneaker/midi-skirt/denim jacket combos just as likely seen on next season’s front row as in the Sixth Form common room.
4. Theme: Down the decades
Where New York decisively picked the 1970s as its most-referenced decade, London couldn’t decide so had a bit of each. Matthew Williamson, House of Holland, Tom Ford and Peter Pilotto gave the 1970s a turn, with glam rock, psychedelic and disco references calling upon sequins, flares, crochet, big shades and bigger hair. Others – Markus Lupfer and Orla Kiely- seemed more driven by the 60s, with shift shapes, boxy tops and big patch pockets. Giles couldn’t pick, so went for retro specs, tasseled loafers, cape sleeves and bib fronted shift dresses in a kind of 40s/60s mash up and Kane rifled the 30s/50’s references. As any of us know who’ve tried a piece of each when offered a delicious array, it has potential to end in a headache. Merchandising advice to retailers is choose decisively!
5. Garment: Wide legged
New York and London wholeheartedly agree that legwear will expand for SS15. The strongest pieces were at Jonathan Saunders (scrunched and bow waisted), Temperley London (swinging culottes), Paul Smith (loose fit city shorts) and Matthew Williamson (high-waist flares). Those that experimented with block colored culottes for SS14, be brave and embrace prints, more fluid fabrics, shorter lengths and more dramatic trousers.
6. Garment: Shirt dress
An unassuming piece, the shirt dress is equal parts prim and don’t-care. It will work well for Spring 2015 then, in fluid forms or in crisp white sportswear renditions. Daks, Marios Schwab, Christopher Raeburn and Holly Fulton all backed it, and so should retailers spanning the mass to luxury markets. The garment will carry the season’s prints well and can be used to upsell accessories with its styling versatility.
7. Print: Stripes
The love of sporty casuals and retro themes sees stripes get a double whammy of attention this season. Designers haven’t shied away from all over looks either – Giles’s striped pyjama suit was accompanied with matching footwear. Preen went crazy for cricket stripes, with trims gracing nearly everything in their range. Peter Pilotto offered a look bound for commercial success, with the asymmetric panels in a skater dress’s skirt carrying varying stripes to good effect.
8. Theme: Texture
London built upon the layers New York laid down, going full pelt for tiered dresses and skirts, peplum flounces to tops and sash-like swathes of fabric across column dresses. There were bursts of knife pleats peaking out from within skirts and gowns carried cascading frills. So intrigued were London’s designers by surface texture that this is where the most creativity lay: in laser-cut leathers, in clever quilting worked into sportswear, in appliqué forms amassed and exaggerated lace. There is plenty of inspiration for retailers here – the knife pleats, tiered skirts and dresses and perforated surfaces may be the best place to start.
9. Surface: Let it shine
The electric sheen of metallic fabrics was seen on numerous runways around the city, in disco form at Tom Ford, in space age party dresses at Markus Lupfer and carrying the 90s/Millennial theme home at Richard Nicoll. Patent leathers, hi-shine plastics or lurex-infused natural fibres, these glittering surfaces were used across all clothing weights and forms.
10. Print: Flora & fauna
Florals were given their summer outing in cornflower, delphinium and cow parsley form at Mulberry, spliced and patchworked at Preen and in hand-drawn scrawls at Issa. Eudon Choi went for ditsy blooms and House of Holland opted-in with their psychedelic and vibrant style. For those tired of the flowers, foliage prints were popular in London too – at Christopher Raeburn, Whistles and Jonathan Saunders leaves were given the limelight.
Download the full London Spring 2015 Trends report for free right here.
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