David Wolfe, Creative Director of The Doneger Group, visited FIDM this week to give a special presentation to the students on the forecasted fashion trends of Spring 2014 and beyond.
He started off his presentation with general trends in technology: ultra-modern architecture such as the Dubai Towers and the Full Moon Tower in China. He went on with a shot of the wind turbins displayed at the Chanel SS '13 runway show at The Grand Palais in Paris. That led to a discussion of other technological advances such as Google Glass, Tech Pets Virtual Pets, an industrial robot called Baxter, humanoids, and people like Justin Jeduca and Valeria Lukyanova who try to achieve the look of a plastic doll.
He said fashion is beginning to imitate all of this; it has finally hit the 21st century. "We are on the brink of looking at fashion as an expression of the future rather than the past. It's going to break fashion loose."
Mr. Wolfe said that the worship of extravagance is becoming "distasteful," which means that luxury brands will have to start moving into a new identity, "which is exactly what is happening at Dior with Raf Simons there." He continued saying their spring collection really doesn't reference anything Christian Dior ever did, "and it shouldn't."
Most of the 21st century is going to be about textiles, especially unnatural looking materials such as plastic, rubber, and vinyl. He explained that that is why there is so much interest in high-gloss materials: glazings and things that are polished. This is reflected in the stylish satin weaves and the new holographic bonding of surfaces to fabric; also, metallics. We've been programmed to think that the future is metallic, which is why metallics are now fashionable year-round, instead of just at the holidays.
Other upcoming trends are bold stripes (clean, graphic, and modernistic), extreme prints, and fabric innovations such as no-sew clothing techniques (molded plastic yarns). Also, look for an expanded color palettes that include nature's color scheme, neutrals, rich dark colors, bright bold tones, whites, and of course black. Sheer fabrics will become more acceptable, and everything that is a print right now will become a print on sheer.
The future is about shape shifting, contour, and fabric manipulation. Fashion is continuing in a body-conscious direction, whether the fabric is close to the body or moving away from it in the form of exaggerated silhouettes.
It's about newness. Mr. Wolfe said, "I love all of these clothes because I can't reference any period in fashion history when I look at them."