Five things trend forecasters are expecting for the future of Catwalks

As the first fashion month of its kind approaches, we are intrigued to see how these collections, created right in the throes of the pandemic, will take shape. 

“Designers have really shown resourcefulness and creativity for this next season. Despite restricted access to materials, designers have also focused on sustainability and used what they had to hand, along with producing items that were really versatile, and could certainly transition very easily to different environments.

From antimicrobial fabrics to the influence of game culture, our WGSN experts share what they are looking forward to seeing, and what they expect from this coming season.”

Lizzy Bowring, Head of Catwalks WSGN

“It goes without saying what the world has experienced this year, not to mention those in the fashion world, caught between canceled deliveries, seasons, and consequent loss of revenue. Yet the resilience of our fashion creatives has resulted in a considered change of pace with a time to reflect and reset values.  S/S  21 will bring a rebounding, energetic future, dreams fulfilled and some much-needed dreamscape storytelling along with a hefty dose of realtime product.”

Jenny Clark, Head of Colour WGSN

“I’m really curious to see how the brands have evolved their palettes and the influence Covid-19 has had on their colour choices.  Prior to the pandemic we observed a lot of bold and saturated colour and I am expecting to see a shift to softer feel good brights. I am sure some designers will use joyful colours to convey an uplifting spirit within their collections. Neutrals have been an important colour group for many brands. We expect this to broaden to a wider selection of tinted neutral tones such as Golden Harvest.  We also anticipate that core volume colours with broad appeal such as white, unbleached tones, olive and black will feature heavily in many collections to service the more cautious consumer. ”

Laura Yiannakou, Senior Womenswear Strategist WGSN

“WGSN have been tracking the rise in designers becoming really creative with how they are adapting to the demand for more sustainable product, from offsetting carbon emissions to reworking deadstock fabrics. We have big expectations of how brands will take it to the next level this season – as we continue to promote a more circular system for fashion at WGSN, we are constantly on the lookout for new trailblazers in the industry that will lead by example and support our ethos.

Lockdown has also accelerated the need for fashion that solves problems and is solution oriented. Beyond the aesthetic buzz of Catwalks, I’m excited to see which brands tap into this. We’re already tracking the rise of anti-microbial and self-cleaning fabrics, in addition to the focus on versatility – whether it be modular outerwear or a dress that’s been designed with multiple end-uses in mind.”

Hannah Watkins, Senior Editor Prints & Graphics WGSN

“Over the past few seasons, we’ve seen a somewhat slow decline in print and pattern on catwalks, as minimalism and solid colours have taken the limelight. Since the pandemic, with many events and holidays on hold, there’s now a real need to lift spirits and inject creativity and energy back into our lives, and in turn our wardrobes. Print is the perfect answer to this, and I’m looking forward to seeing how designers embrace current constraints as a creative challenge to inspire a wave of artistic prints.

Of course, resourcefulness and sustainability is going to be crucial, but again it will only prove to be another way of thinking outside of the box. Though I’m expecting the main message to be focussed around versatility and transeasonality (for the risk adverse customer that wants more bang for their buck), I anticipate designers will use bold prints for hero pieces to entice and uplift. We’ve already been tracking #joyfulexpression and #artinfashion, but I expect this to continue as S/S 21 will be a season of celebration.”

 Hannah Craggs, Senior Youth Strategist WGSN

“No doubt the industry continues to be in a period of flux, with designers and brands the world over taking a closer look at collections and viewing everything with an acutely attuned eye. As systems and working practices shift I am most excited to see how new technology is not only leveraged but fully embraced. Call it a rewiring, rather than a rewriting of the fashion industry.

We saw last month the launch of Sunnei Canvas, the all digital proposition during fashion month. Delivering a virtual runway show meets party / exhibition. As brands no longer look to gather the fashion community physically in one space (for the time being) and instead create memorable moments that hold appeal for press and buyers alike but also speak directly with their consumers. This approach  is not only more environmentally aware but also more socially sustainable too.

Real life experiences and opportunities to interact with fabric and fit are still important and certainly mustn’t be overlooked, however with the influence of 3D design and gamer culture emerging with ever more prominence I’m ready to see what comes next.”

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