Fashion trends for 2012

Trend forecasting is a tricky business that requires expertise, resources and input from industry professionals from all over the world. I mean, it’s no coincidence that fashion designers, buyers and everyone else in the industry is on the same page from season to season – this stuff requires collaboration. But it’s no conspiracy that everyone knew grey was the new black a few seasons ago – these things get mapped out in advance, so that everyone can plan, prepare and sell the clothes that are going to be trendy.

As fashion designer Annching Wang wrote in her blog, the clothing on the worlds’ backs cannot simply be left to chance, right? Wang attended a trend forecasting seminar held by the Worth Global Style Network at Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week and explains how this trend forecasting actually works.

“What WGSN does each season is break their trend directions into three. Since I have been keeping up with WGSN, this has been the case. Each season varies from the next in concept, but there are always three distinct directions,” writes Wang.

The three distinct directions that have been forecasted for 2012 include the following:

  • Primal Futurism. This style is inspired by the creation of worlds being built rather than evolved and it references mythology, futurist structure and primal instincts brought together through high design.
  • Cinematic. Fusing romanticism, colour and characterisation to create poetic, sensual looks.
  • JPEG Gen. This “fashion direction” emphasizes speed over process, absurdity and edited storytelling and we can expect to see random images placed together and witty designs.

Wang couldn’t give too much away about the upcoming seasons’ fashion trends (which is understandable, seeing as companies pay top dollar to attend fashion forecasting seminars), but here are some other up and coming trends mapped out for 2012:

Socks and stilettos

Wearing bunched up socks with high heels is a huge trend that can already be seen on the runway. This might be a bit hard to pull off during the day in hot-as-hell South Africa, but you can definitely invest in lighter socks so that you can wear this combo during the cooler evenings.

This trend isn’t something new either – women have been wearing socks and high heels since the 17th century. Back then, however, women were severely punished for wearing ankle bearing high heels (this was seen as a “tool of seduction”), which is why socks were worn with the heels in the first place – this was seen as normal, not a fashion statement.

Nowadays it’s slightly odd to see someone wearing scrunched up socks with high heels, but this is going to become increasingly common thanks to the pages of Vogue where big names like Prada and Mui Mui are showcasing interesting sock-and-stiletto combos. The cool thing about this is that you don’t have to go out and buy new shoes or socks to pull off the look – just match your colours correctly and voila!

Return of the 1960s

It’s not really fair to call the “return of the 1960’s” a trend since it’s been building for the past few seasons. Since 2010, designers such as Louis Vuitton and Coco Chanel have been incorporating cinched waists, side hats, gloves and other polished, glamorous looks in their collections.

If you’ve always liked the styles and tastes of fashion icons like Marilyn Monroe, Catherine Hepburn and Grace Kelly, now is the time to start flaunting it. The new looks are so similar to the designs worn in the 1960’s that you don’t even have to buy new ones. Start digging through your mother’s old wardrobe or head over to your nearest second hand store to find sweet deals on skirts, dresses, blazers and hats. Remember to pair your look with a string of pearls, cat eyeliner and a small clutch bag.

Eco fashion a movement, not a trend

As Carly Strjsic, Canada’s Market Editor for Worth Global Style Network and freelance trend forecaster predicted a year ago – eco fashion is a movement, not a trend. As consumers move towards eco-friendly lifestyles, designers have become activists for environmentally friendly fashion. This movement will continue to influence fashion trends, giving consumers more options with regards to sustainable fashion in 2012.

The Live Eco team


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