Seattle's chapter of Fashion Group International gathered members and guests last night at Zulily in Belltown to review fall/winter 2016 trends and discuss how those styles translate to the local marketplace. Bellevue boutique owner David Lawrence, Laura Cassidy of Nordstrom, Jenny McCullum of Seattle Magazine, and stylist Patricia Gorham joined me on a panel to dive into fall fashion trends and most importantly, to explore the furious speed of today's trend cycles. Is it sustainable? Are more designers moving toward a business model that would allow them to showcase merchandise and immediately make it available for purchase? If so, how are the sourcing and production sectors of the industry expected to keep up? The answer is complex and clearly still a work in progress. Gucci, Public School, Tom Ford and Burberry have all announced moves to push back the dates of their fashion shows to be in better alignment with the retail calendar. This allows brands to capture the excitement of runway presentations and translate it into sales.
Another topic of discussion last night was the athleisure trend that seems to be taking over every aspect of the fashion industry. Jogger pants for men, mixed media sweatshirts for women, and re-imagined technical fabrics for all means that this "trend" is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Any why should it? Athleisure is an entire lifestyle that Seattle wholeheartedly embraces and the casualness of the trend provides a certain level of sensibility for everyday wear. Yeezy and Beyonce have their fans well-groomed and ready to rock the athleisure trend, which, according to the New York Times, is estimated to be a $97 billion market - including athletic apparel, footwear and accessories.
The group also briefly touched on the current state of the Seatle fashion industry and made note of some exciting apparel production developments being explored by Seattle Made, and the importance of supporting independent designers through initiatives like the Independent Designer Runway Show in Bellevue. To hear about future events and learn more about Fashion Group International visit Seattle.Fgi.org.
Fall/Winter 2016 Trend Highlights
Romance - In order to design for today's strong, confident woman who also wants to showcase her feminine side, many designers are working to create a new juxtaposition between the realities of everyday life and the fashion fantasies that allow women to be inspired. Shown above: Alberta Ferretti, Saint Laurent, Christian Siriano.
Beyond the Boudoir - Intimate apparel continues to be, well, less intimate, for fall 2016 and beyond. Thanks to the sheer fabric trend being embraced by the fashion community, lacy bras and opaque underwear are now on full display. We are now seeing intimate apparel designs and details showing up everywhere from swimwear to evening gowns. Shown above: Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Roberto Cavalli.
The Artful Overcoat - Designers are roughing up the once fully glam evening jacket and taking it to new extremes with ornate rhinestones, unexpected and seemingly out of place patches, and mixed media messaging. Shown above: Miu Miu, Yohji Yamamoto.
Layered Textures - The mixed media trend for spring was just a prelude of what was to come. For fall 2016, contrasting textures dominated the runway and offered fresh pairings for the new season. Velvet, fur, fringe, leather, lace, satin, embroideries, embellishments, possibly all at once.
Shown above: Elie Saab, Dolce & Gabbana.
Metallics - Spanning many, many designer shows, the metallic trend lives on for fall in the form of dresses, jackets, skirts and even suits. Sure, you could dabble in the trend with a metallic shoe or handbag, but why bother when this trend is clearly made for those who want to be visually provoking? Shown above: Max Mara, Lanvin, Oscar de la Renta.
Winter Florals - Although typically reserved for spring, the floral trend will still bloom well into the fall/winter season. It's a trend that offers a soft balance to counter fall's plethora of structured styles. Shown above: Dolce & Gabbana, Alberta Ferretti, Moschino.