The $2.3 trillion travel industry in the U.S. is impacting more than the aviation and hospitality industries. Escapists are also seeking new fashion that reflects their taste for travel, exploration and discovery.
Swarovski sums up that desire for travel in its Spring/Summer 2019 collection aptly called “Wanderlust.” Giorgia Musa, senior trend and color forecaster for Swarovski, said newfangled concepts like yoga cruises, city camping, immersive spiritual retreats and companies that literally test DNA to tailor trips to the traveler’s ancestry, are changing the way people travel and inspiring new styles of dress.
For the collection, Swarovski examined four main reasons people travel today: for culture, freedom, adventure and leisure. “There’s a reason behind travel today,” Musa mused. “It isn’t about catching a tan on holiday anymore.”
Here, Musa reveals how each theme offers apparel, footwear, jewelry and home goods designers new ideas inspired from the textures, emotions and personalities of faraway lands.
The overall sculpture of places—from architecture and city grids, to art and urban installations—inspire this colorful and graphic trend. “Art is becoming a lifestyle, it isn’t exclusive. Art is everywhere,” Musa said.
The theme introduces three new colors to Swarovski’s palette: buttercup yellow, lilac and majestic blue. The latter plays a prominent role in each of the four trend concepts for Spring/Summer 2019 as it represents the sky and sea. Plus, blue is found across every culture, Musa noted.
The new colors are complemented by bright pops of fuchsia, fern green, tangerine and light coral.
For fashion, Musa said reflective and metallic materials highlight the “desire for self-reflection.” These flashy materials are juxtaposed with interlocking patterns, stripes and color blocking. Fringe steps away from 1920s flapper looks and grows bolder as designers seek ways to show the mobility and flexibility associated with travel.
Transparent colorful heels, optical illusion line art and graffiti patterns bring a sense of art school cool to footwear. Straps will become increasingly important on sleek footwear shapes, while heels become more sculptural.
Musa said jewelry will continue to be influenced by millennials’ “selfie culture” which will drive a greater emphasis on oversized statement earrings. Playful settings inspired by mobile art, galvanic metals and bright vibrant crystal colors will appeal to a younger audience.
Based on the carefree spirit of ’70s surf culture and the coziness and communal feeling of surf lodges, Musa explained that this trend captures millennials’ desire to reconnect with both nature and one another.
Washed out colors like lilac, denim blue and mint green are paired with retro pops of orange, yellow and light coral.
That retro story is carried through with floaty florals pulled from the ’60s and ’70s, T-shirts with retro lettering (and feminist messages) and quirky playsuits and jumpsuits, Musa suggested. Neoprene, water sport fabrics and zippers trickle into everyday fashion as designers add functionality to designs.
In accessories, Musa said to expect to see the soft backpack return as a nod to nomadic lifestyles. Lightweight, waterproof footwear like rubber slides add practicality to a traveler’s wardrobe. However, she said this trend also calls for natural elements like raffia and rope designs.
Ankle bracelets are a perfect fit for the beachy trend. Jewelry with shell motifs and charms that tell a travel story capture the essence of wanderlust, but Musa noted that styles should be delicate, light and transition from beach-to-street with ease.
“Women are seeking adventure,” Musa said, adding that 58 percent of solo travelers are female.
For Swarovski’s grittiest trend story, the company imagined a lone female motorcyclist on a road trip. Designs are focused on the craftsmanship and authenticity of different cultures, rather than a generic idea of travel.
Key colors for Adventure include ivory cream, topaz, summer blue and majestic blue. However, Musa said the trend is defined by layers and texture. Here, wrap-style clothing, denim and clashing prints are paired with romantic prairie fashion and Asian flowers. The goal, she added, is to create a mix of cultures.
A Spanish influence comes through with leather fringe, boleros and short capes, while blanket style coats and water-resistant puffer coats offer a sense of protection.
Musa suggested that Western boots, desert boots and hikers suit the theme, as well as over-the-knee motorbike boots with heavy hardware. These edgy footwear shapes are softened by the introduction of youthful (and practical) waist bags, slouchy bags and backpacks made with lightweight materials.
Millennials may not be able to afford their own yacht, but thanks to the growing sharing economy, they’ll round up a group of friends and rent one for a week. And they’ll need fashion to match, Musa said.
This sophisticated and classic trend smacks of high-end travel, secret hideaways and Riviera glamour. Majestic blue is essential in this seafaring story, while sky blue and lilac mimic the colors of sunsets. The new Dove Grey Pearl from Swarovski—a color requested by Chanel—makes its debut here.
Pearls are key for fashion’s exaggerated embellishments. Musa said clusters of pearls are poised to cover garments. Slinky keyhole cutouts, extreme lace-up, twisted materials and outwear that toes the line of beachwear adds a sexiness that’s missing in the other trends for the season.
Overblown prints on kimonos—the new caftan—are important, as well as fluid pajama-style pants in flowing stripes and metallic silver.
Belts worn asymmetrically keep the eye moving. Half turbans exude old Hollywood, while oversized and embellished sunglasses offer privacy. Monogrammed and personalized hats and travel accessories add a touch of fun and whimsy.