Trend Report S/S 2020

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When it comes to predicting what the fashion trends for 2020 will be it all comes down to micro and macro trends. These are exactly as they sound, with micro trends taking a backseat and only forming a very small part of the trends for the season and macro trends leading at the forefront. Of course, every designer will take their own path and may choose to completely ignore the trend forecasts or focus more on one than another, just like the weather, forecasts aren’t always gospel! But if there’s one overarching statement for all of the micro and macro trends it would be “The Best of the Decades.” Pulling together the best shapes, iconic fabrics and colors from all decades gone by and creating a super-grouped trend for 2020. While the best of the sixties brought us Bridget Bardot style, the seventies Bohemian Chic and the exaggerated proportions of the eighties, we’re going to be seeing all of these infamous fashion trends from eras gone by, mixed up together in the melting pot. 

The silhouettes are daring and bold meaning 2020 fashion isn’t for shrinking violets. Some key shapes include the return of the puff sleeve, we predict in a very over the top way, while peplum is also returning for its spot on the runway but with a slightly softer look. You’ll be seeing Ruffles everywhere, even on closet basics like a plain T shirt will have the volume turned up with a large asymmetrical ruffle or six! They’ll be sharing the limelight with Skater skirts and high slit cocktail dresses, sure to be best sellers with Gen Z and millennials. Thanks to the eighties influence, all metallic pieces will be a key colorway, something we can see translating into accessories very easily, who doesn’t need a statement metallic pair of pumps or laptop bag?! Tie dye from the seventies is coming through as ombré and dip dyes flowing from light to dark. Over with the details, distressed hems are winning over pristinely pressed and sewn finishes, particularly on tailored garments where usually they would look unfinished and out of place such as jackets, blazers and shirts. 


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Pulling together tradition and contemporary styles, Genesis shows us how we can explore our roots and the questions surrounding prehistoric life thanks to the advances in technology. Its name sake shows there is a religious undertone which comes through in cross symbols and monastic knots. Rustic patchwork sits beside cracked earth patterns, distressed ageing and skeletal motifs. Bringing in technology, the fabrics are high tech and fashion forward, unusual gels and sponges and using unconventional materials in conventional ways. Key techniques include pin tucks, gathered draping and laser cutting to create dimension. The silhouettes are classically simple, wide leg pants, tunic tops and dresses and geometric shapes. The colors of Genesis focus on fossil tones, rustic reds and browns, a pop of bottle green and all kinds of terracotta shades.


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The Flash trend represents everything to do with eighties nightlife and underground grit. You can expect an explosive color palette of reds and purples, clover greens, celestial blue and rock star prints created with boldness and tenacity in mind. If it isn’t Instagram worthy, it isn’t right for the Flash trend. Iconic stars from the eighties are influencing this trend, particularly Madonna’s outfits which really defined the decade as well as a pull towards the dramatic nature of ballroom dancing. Not forgetting the rest of what the eighties had to offer including sci-fi inspired designs and encouraging revolution which ultimately led to the existence of punk. As far as fabrics go it’s synthetic all over, treated plastics, coated cottons, dark washed denim created in tandem with the silhouettes of the eighties, bold shoulders and hot pants.


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Dose is a trippy look at the psychedelic sixties, delving into that decade and pulling out acid tones, optical illusion prints and clashing colors. 3D printing plays a large role in Dose and is perfect for the consumer who loves customization through their shopping experience as well as physically on their garments and accessories. If a garment calls for ribbing or other textures, these are digitally printed to create an effect rather than a physical texture. Dose follows mostly a synthetic path, using creative dying processes through powdered pigments and using mostly overlooked materials like reflective film, fleece and harsh netting. The key colors include all shades of neon highlighters, metallic grays and primary red and blue.


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Ethos brings with it a new acronym to add to our dictionaries, the opposite of FOMO, this time it’s JOMO – the joy of missing out! Ethos takes us off the grid, finding pleasure in secret treasures and alone time. Recharging our batteries be it indoor or outdoor, Ethos is all about tranquility, calmness and a time to reflect. Patterns and textures take inspiration from the spa, such as pumice stone and hot stone, as well as nature and pleasure seeking activities that take place in nature such as checks and gingham that conjure up images of a blissful picnic in the park. Mimicking the picnic idea, straw and wicker pieces are pulled into accessories such as straw hats and woven basket bags. Labor intensive techniques and craftwork are important as well as plush yarns like mohair, ultra fine structures that take great care in order to create. As far as silhouette is concerned, it’s athleisure all the way. Inspired by outdoor activities like hiking, clothing is oversized or has a slouchy fit, perfect for staying comfortable while moving and relaxing. There is an emphasis on how imperfectly perfect nature can be and this can be seen in sun bleached techniques. The key colors include scenery tones pulled from nature, lush greens, pale greens, sky blues and earth toned neutrals.

Article Commissioned by Mod'Art University of Shanghai

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Fashion designer, fashion design consultant, fashion design consultancy, tech pack expert, tech pack specialist, garment technologist, freelance designer