Trend Report for Autumn/Winter 2014-15: From Cosmic Fantasy to Handcrafted Retro

Look for reinterpretations of traditional fabrics updated with newly handcrafted looks, as well as extreme themes, such as punk, for the autumn/winter 2014-15 season. That's according to Catriona MacNab, chief creative officer of WGSN trend forecasting service, who gave an overview of three upcoming macro fashion trends Monday at Hong Kong Fashion Week: industrial evolution; modern myth and rendering reality.

Here's what to expect:

Industrial evolution
"Manufacturing is in a state of flux between digital and analog," said MacNab, which for young designers means using tools both new and old. Digital printers are melding with more traditional technology, and the hard geometry of the 20th century is blending with the soft forms of the 21st. The result is a "raw sartorial" look that revitalizes traditional techniques with new style and edge, and unexpected inserts.

We'll see features such as exaggerated crops and architectural edges, rolled seams and disconnected layers, with a trend toward both the artisanal and  the industrial, says MacNab.

There's a strong emphasis on outerwear and tailoring, with cellular structures created from quilting forms that are suggestive of armor.

Look for grainy fabrics with an urban concrete texture, dimensional effects and elegant geometrics. In women's you'll see the resurgence of the cinch-belt coat and all over print designs with single-color prints. Pattern shirting will be big in men's, along with monochromatic looks. In knits, you'll see geometric patterns  and industrial and urban themes.

Modern myth
"Creative thinkers have a renewed interest in folklore and storytelling," says MacNab, as comics, movies, films, and local mythologies are spreading out and taking on a more important role in global culture. The role of technology is key, as ancient fables are becoming intertwined and modernized online, she says.

We'll see this folkloric element in homespun crochet and international textiles and trims, lavish embroideries and what MacNab calls "cosmic couture," which will play out in 3D embellishments, heraldic iconography and mythical images.

Expect to see a resurgence of tweeds, but highly textured, colored and distorted. Enriched jacquards will be popular, and embellishments will be key, with apparel bejeweled and bestudded.

Some women's key items will include the A-line coat, with sleeve and body volume. It will be a big season for knitwear, trims and appliques, and lunar-inspired prints.

Men's wear will explore a "winter fable" theme with darks enhanced by powerful brights – folklore narratives told in ancient but luxurious opulence. We'll see soft-focus plaids and robe stylings with a regal feel. The tuxedo will get a makeover in jacquards and printed velvets, while ceremonial embellishments take center stage.

Military-inspired silhouettes, heirloom pieces, and vibrant colors will come together in casual wear for men and women.

Women's fabrics will include brushed plaids in outerwear, reflecting an ancient and well-travelled look. Expect tufted surfaces and eclectic faux furs with contrasting dye effects. Intarsias will be very important in knitwear, while some key men's items will include printed hoodies, and brushed plaid hoodie coats.

Rendering reality
"We photograph everything and share it globally," says MacNab, and that is having a direct impact on design and art, and how we see reality. Call it "urban disruption."

We're seeing images altered, layered and distorted  – and then stripped back to the original, she says. Digital effects are inspiring color. Classic pieces show subtle prints and subdued graphics.

Fabrics will include cotton shirting and lightweight jacquards, with more technical fabrics for men in monochromes and neutrals. Origami-style folds will make a key statement in women's, and sportswear gets a luxe makeover. Knits for women will be shorter, with boxy silhouettes.

In men's, expect thick layers of fabric and structured membranes, with woolens and worsted fabrics playing a key role. Look for preppy styles with retrographic layering, prints and patterns, overplayed checks and bold, pop-art looks and lots of play with typography.

Jordan K. Speer is editor in chief of Apparel. She can be reached at [email protected].
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