And there we have it: after a month of roaming the globe (albeit digitally for much of the industry), the AW14 shows have come to a close. There were headlines and shock exits and celebs and blunders and sheer brilliance…but what really struck? Our method for pinpointing the biggest runway hits, revolves around analyzing consumer reaction and commercial data to understand the demand and timing of the new trends shown. Here, the top 10 represent those items which will make the biggest commercial noise in 6 months time.
1. Designer of the season
Fashion has not lost its drama – Karl Lagerfeld drove that point home with his elaborately staged branded supermarché during Paris fashion week, which earned Chanel the title of the month’s most talked-about designer. With 26,609 influential online mentions, Chanel beat Marc Jacobs by just 6.6% and Givenchy took third place.
2. The Palette
Pastels glided through from SS14 and into AW14 with relative ease, backed by big-hitting designers such as Gucci, Chanel, Chloé, Givenchy and Jil Sander. Turning up the heat a notch, was the vivid orange we’d seen popular in last month’s menswear shows. For women, designers including Giles, House of Holland and Missoni gave the high volume tone backing. And then there were the drinkable tones: the merlot, burgundies, ports and zinfandels – the lot set consumer taste buds alight.
3. Theme: Texture
Next season will be defined by surfaces, with a stampede of designers using tactile fabrics creatively. Be it fur, shearling, leather, high shine puffer or feathered finishes, layered texture is the defining trend of Fall 2014 and attracted the most online mentions throughout the month. Think oversized coats, cocooning silhouettes, functional detail and luxe finishes. Not only popular with consumers, retailers will become enamoured with this theme too: it encourages layering (therefore up-selling further items from a range) and will have strong visual impact both in store and online.
4. Detail: Embellishment
Embellishment got seriously visual for Fall 2014, with generous appliqué, power pailettes, heavy duty metalware and over-sized jewels. Motifs are kitsch, think celestial, regal, tribal or camp. There’s inspiration everywhere, in the metal armour at Chloé, the queenly gems at Erdem, the disco arrows at Carven. This is a light-hearted look which will get snapped up by the youth and trend-led markets.
5. Theme: Retrovision
Be gone stuffy vintage! In its place sits the far cooler and less fussy retro as designers in each of the four fashion capitals embraced 60s or 70s or mashed them together to create something very now. Shift dresses, shirt dress, A-line skirts, gently flared trousers and anorak outerwear, these ladies are more mod than boho. Gucci finished the look with a side parting, knee high tan boots and oversized winter shades.
6. Fabric: Fur
Is it endurance against the frozen northern hemisphere winters of late, or sign of thawing in the global financial crisis? Whatever motivated to homage to fur, both faux and fo’ real, designers went crazy for the stuff this season and 24,177 consumer mentions during the month echoes the demand. There’s a myriad of options here, with potential to use sparingly in trims on collars and hems. Or fluff up accessories, from muffs to stoles and even hairy shoes. But the real statement pieces lay in the vibrant and shaggy lamb fur sweaters at Balmain and the numerous patchworked fur coats – see Marni, Chloé, Saint Laurent, Aquilano. Rimondi, Diane Von Furstenburg and Thakoon.
7. Detail: Turtle Neck
Roll deep this winter: the turtle neck is back. In lightweight pieces forming the building blocks of layering, or in chunkily knitted sweaters, this trend plays into both the textured and functional trend as well as the retro revisit, making it a seasonal winner. Not currently well represented by retailers, inclusion of this item will mark a range as being very now, come Fall.
8. Print: Leopard
Leopard print peaked, and just when everyone assumed it was done, it’s come hurtling back at full pace. There were sightings of the animal in New York in red, grey and au naturel, then Milan and Paris really brought it home, with Sportmax, Acne, Céline, Chloé, Givenchy and Gucci all racking up notable inclusions. The 7,715 leopard print products currently retailing online can expect to be joined by a whole new pack this winter.
9. Garment: Oversized Outerwear
Coats grew. Really big. Designers across fashion month’s calendar decreed it’s go large or go home for outerwear next season. Chose from blown up bombers at Jonathan Saunders, large scaled capes by Paule Ká, voluminous metallic parkas at Preen or gigantic furs at Fendi.
10. Garment: Wide Leg
And just as coats grew, so too did legwear. Trouser shapes have become freer, more fluid and more forgiving for Fall 2014. Be they tailored and executed in suiting fabrics at DKNY, pyjama-dressing silkiness from Paul Smith or wide and cropped at 1205, the bottom line is to get wide in the stride.
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