What is fashion? Who defines it? And where does a trend start? These are all the questions that Rossella Catapano, a professor at the Accademia Della Moda (IUAD) in Naples, started her trend forecast at the Istanbul Fashion Connection (IFCO) on February 10, 2023.
Trend predictions are all about colors, styles and materials, and for Catapano, today’s trends need to take into account changes in the world and cultural needs. “However,” she cautions, “we must take different preferences into account.”
She also points to the fact that trends have an increasingly short shelf life – so-called microtrends, like giant platform shoes, for example, barely make it to a season.
On the reach of trends, she says “don’t underestimate social media. The speed of global information is crucial today.” With that, new icons such as fashion bloggers and influencers emerged.
Where does a trend start?
Catapano then answers the question of what creates a trend: “It’s the need to belong; the desire for conformity, which leads to the creation of fashion and social tribes”. In this context, she mentions gender-fluid clothing as filling a need.
In the post-pandemic world, Catapano reflected how homewear has become loungewear and dressing up also means being comfortable. In terms of materials, that means being lightweight. “Menswear is now relevant and trendsetting,” she added.
Sustainability is another area that stood out, but she cautions that we need to distinguish between truly green fashion and green washing. Circular fashion is a key word here, but the industry needs to be careful not to end up with just high-priced niche products. For her, only “vintage mania” is really circular. Being in Turkey, Catapano points to the country’s important roots in artisanal products. “We need to rediscover our roots and craftsmanship,” she says.
In terms of forecasting, “the best way to predict the future is to create it,” says Catapano. At IUAD, this means working on a mood board to collect different images for inspiration. Then follows the research and “feel the vibe” of the collection. Storytelling is also an important part of the process, especially for customer engagement.
The most important trend Catapano has seen is body positivity, which is here to stay, as well as going back to the roots. “That doesn’t mean copying, but studying and not losing your roots”, he sums up, advising young designers in particular.
Top trends in men’s and women’s fashion SS24
WGSN Trend Curator Kim Mannino previewed the trends that will influence women’s and men’s fashion for SS24 in a presentation at IFCO on February 9, 2023. in New York predicts two main trends with several subtrends and a key story with varied key forms. The company has a team of around 300 people to forecast and analyze the main trends of each season.
Key Trend “Protect & Connect”
“Protect & Connect” will be one of the top trends in women’s fashion for Spring/Summer 2024 that is built on a sense of community and safety. The ranges remain small and focus on quality. “Less is more,” warns Mannino.
In terms of colors, warm tones will dominate women’s clothing such as “Fondant Pink”, “Radiant Red”, “Ocean Coral”, “Nutshell” and “Apricot Crush” in the red palette but also the colors of nature with “Oat Milk”, “Ground Coffee”, “Pineapple”, “Seaweed”, “Nefrita” and “Green Fig”. “’Mightnight Blue’ will be the darkest color, there is no black,” says Mannino.
women’s fashion subtopics
Among the sub-themes are “Emotional Minimalism” with a focus on craftsmanship and neutral colors. In general, creations will be made to last for more than one season. “Boho Surf” for high summer is elevated vintage with a hippie edge coming back, great for “using up dead stock” according to Mannino.
“Minimalist Resort” will be a classic holiday sub-theme, supported by “Joyful Nautical” which generates a different approach to stripes, for example disconnected. “Here we will also find comforting textures,” says Mannino.
“Prepare Wear” will focus on clothing that protects from all kinds of environmental influences such as UV rays, germs and pollution. Adjustability is also key, with adaptable laces and features. “A one-size-fits-all sort of thing that should help with sizing,” adds Mannino.
Then there is “Earth Luxury” taking advantage of the fact that the pandemic has pushed people to spend more time in nature. As the name suggests, “Artisanal Touch” focuses on craftsmanship with a little embroidery and appliqués. “Thrift Cult” tackles the rise of vintage fashion and the fact that the second-hand look is becoming more commonplace. In addition, different colors and textures can be combined.
“Dressing the Future” focuses on dressing smarter, but losing, more relaxed silhouettes at the same time. “This is a hybrid outfit that works at home but also at the office/night, a kind of day-to-night outfit,” explains Mannino.
Men’s fashion subtopics
Menswear designs are also inspired by the natural world and there is a focus on not creating waste. The color palette is a bit darker.
The “Craftwed Workwear” sub-theme emphasizes denim and workwear, while “Future Classics” goes for a quirky look. “Horticool” emphasizes the connection with nature, while “Outdoor Prep” is a look into the world of active sport.
“Modern Nautical” combines stripes with off-white and “Natural Craft” is all about being creative. “Nostalgic Retro” follows a mid-century design, channeling the pre-digital era of the 70s and 80s with high waisted or baggy pants. Last but not least, there is “Raw Luxury” which focuses on stunning materials and textures as well as timeless pieces.
Sites of the Senses
The second key theme will blend the natural with the technical, thus connecting the physical with the virtual world. “Sense Scapes” will have an organic yet heightened digital look, whose vivid colors are inspired by the game worlds and the metaverse. “Pink Diamond”, “Pink Flash” and “Radiant Red” stand out here in womenswear, supported by “Mellow Peach” and “Parchment”.
“Fresh Mint”, “Sage Leaf”, “Tidal Teal” and “Adriatic Sea” play in the blue spectrum while “Gentle Lavender”, “Purple Swirl” and “Black” complete the color palette. For menswear, there are “Cyber Lime”, “Nutshell”, “Sea Kelp”, “Fondant Pink” and “Green Fig” in addition to “Astro Dust”, “Italian Clay” and “Terracotta” among the red tones. . They are supported by “Tidal Teal”, “Adriatic Sea”, “Cornflower” and “Pineapple”.
There are nine womenswear subthemes and seven menswear subthemes that follow the theme suggested by “Sense Scapes”: “Bohemian Alchemist” combines Boho-chic with astrology and spirituality, but is also a hippie throwback and therefore an opportunity to use deadstock.
“Solar Punk” is a sci-fi-inspired sub-theme that goes fantastical with intense colors and florals inspired by virtual worlds. “Scavenged Beauty” incorporates elements such as shells, stones, minerals and crystals, and even metal and macramé. “Synesthesia” explores sensory experiences with amazing colors and patterns, similar to “Otherworldly Glamour”.
“Tropadelic Office” uses sparkles in dark colors, while “Ocean Wonders” explores our fascination with the ocean, using distorted tinting and shading. “Serene Futurism” explores SS23 layers, soft pastels and delicate fabrics, while “Digital Dune” references the desert landscape.
For menswear, subthemes consist of brightly colored “Gaming Lounge”, earthy tones “Powered by Nature”, “Postmodern Safari”, “Tropadelic Office” and “Synesthesia”, as well as womenswear, “Pyjama Dressing”. and “Soft Function”.
Key Story: “Creative Confidence”
“Creative Confidence” follows lateral thinking and a circular design, which translates into innovative techniques and lush, ingenious women’s clothing. “Life can be difficult and that tendency is to stay as positive as possible,” says Mannino.
“Statement Simplicity”, “Indie Glow”, “Illusion”, “Satori-all”, “Find Your Way”, “Sartorial Sports”, “Amped-up Retro” and “Surreal Warping” are the womenswear sub-themes, while menswear can expand into “Main Character Energy”, “Enhanced Energy/Day”, “Vibrant Vacation”, “Nightlife”, “Redefining Masculinity”, “Retro Sport Resort” and “Pop Utility”.
The main shapes among the woven tops are the peasant blouse, the wraparound blouse, the denim shirt or the oversized shirt. In dresses, there’s the wrap dress, the body-conscious dress, the cut-out dress, the slip dress, and the modern occasion dress. Among knitwear, vests, crew neck, V-neck, turtleneck and cardigans surround the selection.
Skirts can be rolled, baggy, short or pencil skirts, while pants can be flared or flared. With blazers, light trench coats, utility jackets, commuter jackets or quilted jackets, there is variety in this segment too.