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Trend seminar: these are the four biggest trends for Autumn/Winter 2019/2020

By Marjolein Stormezand


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“The border between virtual reality and our own daily reality will merge”, said trendwatcher Christine Boland during the opening of her seminar “Mixed Realities” organized by Appletizer, which took place in Amsterdam earlier this week. It may sound like a prediction for a future decades away, but she was referring to the winter of 2020. “Human and machine are not opposites anymore. Instead, they grow closer and closer to each other. In this grey area where technology, artificial intelligence, fantasy and creativity meet, a new design language will develop, with its own vocabulary”.

Here are the main fashion, design and lifestyle trends for Autumn/Winter 2019/2020, according to Boland.

Smart Reformation

As the name suggests, “Smart Reformation” refers to the use of intelligent materials. Think design objects that purify the air surrounding them or garments that measure the wearer’s heartbeat or stops radiation from being absorbed. According to Boland, these items will protect us literally (by keeping us safe from outside “dangers”) and figuratively (by making us “feel” embraced in a fast-paced, ever-changing world dominated by technology). The trendwatcher predicts that the materials and silhouettes will be luxurious and advanced. Clothing that aligns with this theme will be modest and calm, to offer people a sense of protection against the ever-changing modern world.

Cybernetic Chic

Virtual reality, artificial intelligence, robotics and androids will continue to blend more and more with our analogical reality. People’s behavior will increasingly be influenced by social media algorithms. In such a context, how to define what’s real and what’s not?

Boland mentioned fictitious influencer Lil Miquela as the ultimate example of how the limits between “real” and “virtual” tend to matter less and less. She predicts consumers will get fashion inspiration from robots and vice-versa. Some of the keywords related to this trend, according to Boland: glamour, rebellion, femininity and afrofuturism.

Fabricated fantasy

The theme Fabricated Fantasy examines the relationship between fact and fiction. During a time when ‘fake news’ distracts us from ‘tough reality’, more space for fantasy emerges. According to Boland, we will be living in a “metaworld” full of surrealistic expressions. The film “The Shape of Water” was the main inspiration for this theme: extinct aquatic animals served as inspiration for prints, bursting the wall between past and present. Keywords for this theme are: eclectic, organic, historical, and mythical.

Off-Grid Settlers

The balance of the Earth is destroyed and the climate is changing rapidly. Floods and droughts may ensue, putting the lives of millions of people at risk. As concern surrounding the environment and the well being of people grows, many companies are striving to make their processes more sustainable and raise awareness about the need for a lifestyle change. This will be reflected on the designs seen in Autumn/Winter 2019/2020. According to Boland, both fashion and interior design collections will feature more recycled materials, and self-reliance will be the name of the game, with new materials such as seaweed, mud and even human hair coming to prominence. People want to go back to nature, back to basics.

Boland also emphasized that veganism is the fastest-growing lifestyle trend. But even those who still eat meat and buy animal products are becoming more conscious about the environmental impact of their choices. Many consumers are now demanding industries to use the entire animal instead of killing it only for its skin or meat.

Boland notices many designers are finding inspiration from the native peoples of the American continent when following this trend. Therefore, the theme “Off-Grid Settlers” refers to respecting nature and looking for new ways to protect it.

This article was originally published at FashionUnited The Netherlands. Translated and edited by Marjorie Van Elven

Pictures: Sportmax autumn/winter 2018, Prada autumn/winter 2018, Dries van Noten autumn/winter 2018 and Etro autumn/winter 2018 © Catwalkpictures.com

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Christine Boland
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