H ello and welcome back.
So far, what has been coming out for Pre-fall 2019 and from initial offerings of Fall Winter 2019 has been intriguing. The proportion of rather safe fare that was noticed will be discussed in greater detail in the next article. The more adventurous designs, however, have see a subtle morphing of existing concepts and executions. Much is familiar that have been covered here previously, and, of course, something else noticed will add to this observation.
We see a continuation of previous themes this blog has covered before, with some long-standing approaches such as the Franken-assembly of materials patchworked together (thank you Michael van der Ham, wherever you are). Ecology and sustainability will ensure the 70s/90s blocking effect remains as designers continue to explore and exploit the benefits of utilizing what would once have been waste to find new innovation in design. The oversize influence is still around in places but seems to be static, with a little less prominence this time around, especially as the 90s and early 2000s establish their anticipated return (with a heavy dose of 90s Helmut Lang). And while some designers still hang onto busy patterning mixtures, mish-mashing overload and applique, that approach seems to be competing with an uptick in monochoromatics, increased use of solids, blocking and more geometric print array and texture...along with an increase in plaids.
The Spring Summer 2019 segmenting and detachment plus use of string and straps as modern expressions continues. The subconscious associations this blog covered also remain; that is, we are still enduring and working through all that still, so it's not surprising to see the evolution work itself out in many incarnations over and over. It's kind of like replaying an incident over and over in order to make sense of it and process. Another detail is emerging within the overall imbalance we feel that is translated as asymmetry: subtle folding, be they acting as a layer or worked into slouching drape. It seems like a logical step as fashion will slowly make its way from harsh and severe engineered cuts and panels to softer, more artful draping that we first started seeing back in spring collections, and folds are a design bridge in between for those who had more hard edges in prior collections. It's the softer version of a sharp line that still retains the finality of a hard line, but the curve it brings is the incarnation towards releasing what has been, like a softening of one's convictions.
From a behavioral view, there is only so much a person can do when maintaining a tough stance. After a while, the energy peters out and we give way to what we fight or defend ourselves from. We swing from man-made protective hardness to the embrace of the flow. But folds...well...as a symbol it's not what they are but what they have that cannot be seen. Folds hide things. They keep secrets. They keep their internals private. We have to investigate to find what's in a fold. It could be nothing, it could be a surprise. Whatever it is, it's hidden. In modern design, it appears, when looking at prior design executions, that folds tend to show up when we happen to be in a period of awareness that there's more to whatever is happening than what meets the eye. Current political intrigue holds promise of this, for example. Goals and ambitions of groups making more public stances have this as well. The public versus private as we seek truth, to uncover that which is hidden, to know the unknowable, or to recognize that there is unknowable...all this can trigger a manifestation rendered symbolic, even if only subconsciously.
These, integrated within solid forms and stoic panels were seen so far in collections from 3.1 Phillip Lim (here), Cedric Charlier (here), Hussein Chalayan (here and here), Jil Sander (here), Louis Vuitton (here), Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini (here), Phoebe English (here), Preen by Thornton Bregazzi (here), Rasario (here), Valentino (here) and Y/Project (here). This is not limited to big players and this blog likes to look at all sources because these days influence can come form anywhere thanks to the power of social media. Thus, along with these examples we include recent London College of Fashion graduate Jiali Lu (here) and emerging design talent Sladjana Grujic (here). They blend in yet add dimension to the forms, and act to conceal while provoking interest, even if subtly so. And how true it is in life as well, as we seek answers, information and resolution, all not from what we know but from what we have yet to find or learn about. The transparency of previous seasons betrays us these days; we know nothing is transparent any more. All we want to know is truth, and it's there, somewhere. It's in our social folds.
As more collections are released, especially collections for the Fall Winter 2019 season, we'll see what else we have that may be new. Given that fashion is anticipating some "chilliness" in the world, we might see a slow-down of sorts regarding newness. Ah, but that's too much said that will have to wait for the next article.
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