Disruptive dynamics, disregard for convention, customisable brands and the rise of the ‘nodel’ are a few of the fashion trends we can look forward to this year. Trend forecaster, Jackie Burger, looks at the year ahead.
What would you say are the top five trends/catchwords or phrases that will define fashion in 2017?
Disruptive, deconstructed, eighties, fluidity, audacious.
What upcoming or established local designers do you think will be making waves in 2017?
Pichulik, Chulaap by Chu Suwannapha, Mille Collines, Lukhanyo Mdingi and Adriaan Kuiters & Jodi Paulsen. They have a strong visual narrative grounded in our culture conveying a powerful local aesthetic.
What will the look and style of models be?
Apart from androgynous looking and trans-models, the newest and exciting development is the rise of the “nodel” – a movement of “non-models” challenging atypical and conventional castings and selections.
How do you see the trend of neo-trans and gender fluidity in fashion developing in 2017?
In the past year it has definitely gained momentum with more designers embracing gender fluidity in their collections, mimicking the shift in fashion which calls for an acceptance of style without boundaries, codes or structures. This is strong reflection of how the youth is dressing now and part of the millennials challenge to rigid classification and pre-packaged looks.
“The newest and exciting development is the rise of the “nodel” – a movement of “non-models”…”
There seems a strong move to more vibrant and flamboyant styles on the runways, how do you think this trend will translate on a local front?
It speaks of a new fluidity and a no rule, offbeat approach to dressing at large. The zeitgeist calls for an upending attitude to convention, resulting in innovation and fresh creative ideas which have definite universal appeal.
How will e-commerce affect our shopping habits?
It affords the consumer ease of shopping, instant accessibility and mobility and delivers on the all important value equation, especially with price comparison websites on the increase, leading to less brand loyalty. In addition, digital-centric retailing offers the shopper online versions of the stores complete with expert style advice. My concern is desensitized, mass consumption devoid of emotional and sensory interaction needed to cultivate considered and sustainable consumption.
Do you feel there will be more of a shift towards supporting local and boutique stores and designers as opposed to big fashion retailers?
We have a greater democracy of choice and will continue to “shop around”. The key differentiator will be the ease of shopping, the brand experience and the credentials of the offering – i.e. uniqueness, customised and personalised brands and increasingly the presence of a sustainable philosophy.
What are your thoughts on fast fashion in 2017?
The rhythm of the fashion industry is in flux with luxury designer brands relooking the timing of their collections as well as their business models, which impacts on fast fashion that usually follows on the heels of the catwalk collections. In order for both to survive, differentiation or co-creation is needed. H&M is a perfect example of a brand taking the lead in such differentiation, offering the fashion loving customer informed choices ranging from fast fashion to co-creation with leading designers, as well as driving an annual Conscious Collection.
How will social media affect our shopping habits?
It has become a major marketing tool for brands to target instant responses and create immediacy. With our celebrity obsessive shopping culture, it is an instant vehicle to canvas sales and to creating desire. The most notable driver has been influencer-marketing: a powerful social media strategy allowing brands to reach new audiences based on a credibility association exchange.