Saturday, 3 September 2011

What's Coming On The Runway? ... Fashion Week Forecast For SS2012

Everything has its pros and cons. In Fashion Week, the pro is it gives fashionistas more than ample time to plan their spring/summer wardrobe ahead and subsequently, fatten up those dainty purses (or credit cards, if you’re a rabid ‘cashless’ believer) so there will not be any blatant embarrassment at the checking out counter.

Sadly, for fashionistas who are living in a country, or more specifically a region where four seasons only exist in a) the name of a posh hotel chain and b) designer boutiques, having to wait for at least four months for the collections to hit the stores is certainly the biggest contradiction of all. Well, should the fashion websites take the blame for highlighting the collections way ahead of the conventional publications? Part of me says yes, and the other says, “I don’t think so”.

Yet, thanks to the technology today and the loads of fashion buying apps, one can easily have her favourite looks from the catwalk delivered straight to her doorstep months before the fashion editors start clamouring “buy or die!” in the editorials.

Moreover, the birth of the apps and well-edited online stores too have enabled discerning fashionistas from this part of the world to own those catwalk looks without having to pay extras (translation: exorbitant sales taxes), consequently reducing the waiting time for the stores to stock them. That said, wearing a Marc Jacobs dress from the soon-to-be-released spring/summer 2012 collection in the midst of fall/winter 2011 would no longer be an impossible deed.

Now, as we know it well that the Fashion Week is approaching, have you foreseen any concurrent trends that will make their umpteenth return to the catwalk? According to my hunch, the shapes of the 40s and up to the 70s are going to make their great comeback.

While I am not too keen on the pre-war and post-war looks as they exude less openness with a tinge of bitterness and mundane frigidity — more suitable towards the colder climes, the looks from the 60s and the 70s represent a new stage of modernism; an indefinite embrace towards a new form of liberty in fashion. Is there any possibility for the Bohemian chic to make its return to the runway this year? Just cross your fingers, wait and see.

Silhouettes aside, influences of Asia and perhaps, a smattering of tribal African touch may remain prevalent on the runways. Speaking of Asian influence, for years, designers have redundantly referenced the likes of India, China and Japan in their designs. Thus, it would be great if they could turn their attention away from these countries and channel the unique cultures from other Asian countries in their collections for the upcoming SS2012.

If Asia and Africa seem overrated, they can always turn their attention to millions of other unique cultural influences such as the illustrated walls of ancient Mayan temples; the intricate hand-woven textile by the Shan tribe of Myanmar, the colourful motifs on Iban clay vases in Sarawak and the rich goldthread-laden songket fabric of Malaysia, which are fabulous for eveningwear.

As in colours department, the bright ones will rule the way. Think of the classic jewel tones and dash of neon such as neon yellow, neon blue, neon orange and super bright pink (recently christened by me as Nicki Minaj pink).

For this season, colour blocking will certainly top every editor’s must covet list. Of course, there will be some serious, if not sombre hues since not every woman in business has the gut to show up at serious business meetings in the super playful Baroque-style banana-and-monkey ensemble from Prada’s spring/summer 2011 collection. Hues aside, expect loads of romantic organic prints in tow.

Ending my spring/summer 2012 fashion forecast is a parade of sensuous high-heeled shoes or sandals with generous sexy cutouts, heels with superb architecture approach (think Camilla Skovgaard and Lanvin) and richly adorned and detailed.

What’s more, the fabulous shoes are also paired with an array of handbags in supple, buttery leather and doused in fabulous colours. Judging from the success of the gilded obi belt in python by Gucci last spring, I have no qualms that it may resurface on the runway. After all, women these days seem not to be able to live without their belts on. Well, I mean no offense at all.

Finally yet importantly, do not forget to keep those exotic reptile hide handbags and purses with flaky (or patented) textured surfaces as they always come handy season after season. Thus, let us all do what we do best – close our eyes, keep our fingers tightly crossed and pray that any one of the forecast trends will appear on the runway very soon.

*Photos by Style.com

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