The trend cycle continues to move slowly but designers have plenty of tricks up their selves to drive us towards new pieces that could potentially energise sales in 2019. Some are straight carryovers after successes in SS18, others are revivals or evolutions from previous seasons. There’s little that we can actually say is brand new, but the clever use of colour, materials, details and prints help add enough newness to (hopefully) offer compelling reasons for consumers to shop next season.
Blazer with everything
Is the blazer the new bomber or biker? It could be. Designers have backed it heavily for the new season with the item turning up – as expected – as part of a pantsuit, but also as a standalone piece to go with cycle shorts, ultra-feminine skirts, over dresses, with jeans or even as a standout items for evening. There really is something for everyone here including S/B and D/B, slouchy or structured, shoulder focus (either squared off or wide-but-wearable), in luxe materials like silk satins, brocades and sequins, and in fine woollens or the humblest cottons.
Maxis for all
The maxi dress has become a summer favourite for the 35+ customer and for SS19 there’s plenty to choose from for those who feel some of the shorter and more bodycon paths the season is taking just won’t work. But the maxi (or almost-maxi) could also have appeal for a more youthful customer this time with 70s retro working well for the festival, vacation and even the more quirky bridal market. Scarf prints, skinny jerseys, Amish-influenced pinafores, polo-collared maxis, goddess dresses and boho almost-caftans should also help to satisfy almost every taste level.
The slip dress and camisole top are star pieces for the season ahead but they’re frequently more than just the usual slither of silky material with lace inserts, zips, ties, asymmetric cuts, thigh slashes, layering (looking just right over a slim tee) and more. Team both dresses and tops with a blazer, while slip tops with pants that have a more sporty or utility edge add a striking masculine contrast to their feminine softness.
One-shoulder is the new cold-shoulder. The one-shoulder dress or top has taken over from the ‘Bardot’ as the neckline of the season and can be found on tops, dresses and jumpsuits. Likely to make a big impact on the occasionwear/bridal markets and also for high summer separates, it offers huge potential if next summer turns out to be as hot as this one was (we all live in hope). Use them to show off draped sheers and metallics, to play creative games with the season’s favoured ruffles or to add a sports edge in patterned, fitted jerseys.
The fringe is the star detail for the season and is used to add some sizzle to otherwise simple dresses, to jackets, tops, coats, shoes and accessories. And there’s no single rule about what these fringes should be. Tiers of short fringes? Tick. Elongated fringes that go from neckline to hem? Tick. Detail fringes on sleeves? Tick. Edge fringes on bags? Tick. Interpret them in tinsels or leather, beads, plaited yarns or… well, however you like.
OK, shine isn’y a key item as such but there’s so much of it and it makes an impact on so many other key items that we had to include it. Sequins lead the way, either as allover statements on tops, dresses, skirts and jackets or as decorative detail. But don’t forget shimmering metallics whether allover lamé or fine metallic threads woven against a matte ground. Satins also make an impact on the tops market (the satin blouse or shirt really is a key item for the season) but can be found as skirts or even cycle shorts too.
Cycle shorts were a top seller in the mass-market for the blistering summer of 2018 and designers are revisiting them for SS19 but trying to make them appeal to a wider market than just the sports-minded (and super-skinny) youth market. Cut ever-so-slightly wider in satns, they feel more wearable and with a mini skirt or tunic top layer over them, they become a supporting player rather than the major focus. They’re part of a general shorts obsession for the season with leather shorts back to enjoy their time in the sun (fitted or slouchy, looking great in snakeskin) alongside cuffed utility shorts, tap shorts and Bermudas that are so long they’re virtually cropped pants. Shorts work for day or night so find them in shimmering lamés as well as durable denims, power colour satin as well as linens and cottons.
It’s a big time for trousers… or at least designers are hoping it is. They’re aiming to shift us from our reliance on skinnies, boyfriend cuts and flares to tapered silhouettes with fullness focused at the waist and cuts that taper down to narrow ankles. They come with higher-than-we’re-used-to waists (paper bag waist details are popular). There’s even a hint of jodhpur styling with volume cut more sharply into a narrow leg from knee level. The big question is – will consumers play along?
It’s as if it were the late 90s again. Roomy pants with cargo pockets, topstitch detail and zips, zips and more zips make powerful style statements that underscore the overall casual feel of many of the collections shown during Fashion Month. Elevate these pants for dressier occasions by teaming them with silk slip tops, the season’s sheer blouses or a luxe tailored jacket.
Jump to it
Forget the silky evening jumpsuits of recent years, this trend is all about utility. The mechanic’s overall is the starting point. At it’s most uncompromising it comes unbelted in heavy cottons and denims but adding a belt and some slightly lighter materials adds a feminine edge that boosts its commercial appeal. It can also be made into a blank canvas for some of the season’s key details such as utility pockets, statement drawstrings and power shoulders. And it will work well in tie-dye, power prints or the shimmer materials that are key for next spring/summer.
Dresses, tops, skirts and even trousers feel the tiered effect as cascading ruffles, layers of plissé silks, and tiers of fringing add a playful edge to summer evening pieces in particular. They also act as a way to highlight the season’s intense colour stories and its fondness for clashing prints. But don’t restrict the look for after dark. Uncompromising some of the eveningwear may be, but a tiered skirt in printed cottons works equally well for hot summer days.
High-low hems, asymmetric detail and clever cutting add extra oomph to skirts (and let’s face it, they need it in a womenswear market that’s becoming increasingly casual and dominated by pants). Drapes and flounces, ruffles, bustles and trains have a retro edge that’s made ultra-modern by the use of clashing prints or through teaming them with simple tees and flats.
The tiniest minis really will have a moment in SS19 and while it’s a trend best kept for Gen Z and Millennials, at least there’s plenty of choice if a micro mini just isn’t on. Think wrapped, pleated, fringed, shimmering, fitted, zipped, utility, layered and more. Importantly, footwear drives the mood. Teamed with high boots or strappy sandals they’re super-sexy, but flats and trainers keep them more grounded and wearable.