The style report is prepared by Cynthia Aaron, Textile & Materials Specialist, FIDM Library.
The future is now, but it’s not what we expected. From loud and in-your-face, to quiet and Zen-like, extremes are the future. A shift from a “me” to a “we” sensibility is taking place. Collectives are working together to design new processes and new materials as a catalyst for change. New pathways to design and manufacturing include being aware of our carbon footprint. Incorporating science with tissue, lab-grown leather is making strides. In the future, lab-grown meat, chicken and fish may change the way we look at and consume food. Maker groups and workshops forming worldwide are a DIY reaction to 3-D printing and coded processes. Sewing classes, knitting groups, and GIY (grow your own) kits utilizing thistle, mushroom mycelia or straw are gaining importance, as our world continues to change and new, more sustainable practices are needed. Technology, art, and design are integrating to create new innovations. Our spoken languages are morphing into Emoji emote-a-con visual language that people of all nationalities can recognize instantly. An instant world but a maker world: the extremes are infinite.
On a macro level fantasy plays a part as designs take on fantastic shapes and dimensions, but retain functionality. The powerful combines with the ordinary in survivalist military details such as hip and chest pockets, layered and faux fur collars, and zippers and plackets with snap closures. An industrial work style informs a relaxed and retro look, in tailored shapes with a homespun feel. In another mood, history influences clothes as armor, taking its cue from the Japanese samurai warrior in wide-legged pants and kimono shapes. A dramatic and opulent mood sees a romantic, historical past of the Renaissance in thick and padded textures, and cloaked and hooded shapes. Colors range into deep shades of purple and black and textiles are aged to look time-worn and classic. The dramatic carries through in sci-fi details of strange shapes and alien-like forms.
Knitwear is seeing a transforming of the traditional into 3-D whimsical and architectural designs. Chinese red and blood red gain the spotlight and suggest passion. DIY details hinge on either a punk story incorporating rips and tears, and safety-pinned details or an intricate embroidered and embellished look. Textiles are also covering extremes—high tech and sleek or layered and plush.
Androgynous is now the norm, as men and women are dressing more alike. Both genders can choose fashions in a variety of shapes: trapeze, maxi, cropped, full, ultra-wide or flared. An artisan, oversized silhouette utilizing up-cycled and craft-inspired materials creates a DIY feeling. Re-worked classics such as the herringbone overcoat or the military-inspired bomber coat lends a vintage appeal. Hybrids, such as the hooded anorak looks futuristic in hi-tech fabrics, while providing protection from sun, wind and rain. Forties vintage-feel biker jackets are updated with shearling details, and military looks in wool have a tactile mood. Relaxed lounge suits in knits for both men and women with company branding details (logos) puts a new angle on “casual.” The casual mood supports loosely-tailored wrapped and oversized coats that can be tied with fabric belts, and roomy joggers cut in luxurious materials. Funnel-neck textural sweaters become tunics, and ponchos create a sporty yet soft layering. Denim is used in its raw, un-processed and rigid state in ultra-wide trousers. Beautifully tailored components, such as checked blazers, high-waist cargo pants, minimal suits and woven T-shirts are timeless pieces not soon replaced, but kept as ageless pieces for years.
Aging techniques give materials a timeworn and historical aesthetic which translates into objects that look like they have a past. Weathered copper used for furniture, accessories, and housewares and darkened wood suggest the texture of antique objects. The opulent is toned down to produce a faded and worn appearance, which in turn looks relaxed and inviting. Decorative objects have a metallic patina resembling organic substances in their blue-green and burnt orange color spectrum. Designers’ branding on surface textures for products such as small electronics (toasters and blenders), and luggage take brands to a new level, where company logos or custom materials help to increase recognition. This kind of branding extends into the automotive and architecture realms, as well. Bamboo for furniture, accessories, and raw materials, is showing up from discount retailers to high-end design houses. Mix and match tiles lend a collage-like look to bathrooms and kitchens which focuses on flooring and wall surfaces in a playful way. A holistic approach to lighting-that of using it to promote wellness- is seeping into interiors. Color is jumping over boundaries and going into areas of custom color, and invention of new colors. The next frontier looks to be that of ‘growing’ color.