Ready-to-wear buyers may be frustrated by the lack of direction seen on the Spring ’16 catwalks of New York Fashion Week—with pants hiked high as often as they were slung low and designers eclectically jumbling inspiration from every decade—but lingerie and swimwear labels would be wise to take note of two trends in particular: swimsuits as daywear and nighties worn as dresses.
“It’s not only a question of wearing jeans with a stretch top; it’s also a way to have a casual facility to put things together the way you want. That’s what’s happening at the moment,” she explained, speaking Monday at Interfilière New York, a one-day event showcasing fabrics, accessories and production capabilities from 48 international mills and manufacturers at The Altman Building in Manhattan.
Let’s face it: The success of athleisure wasn’t built on Lululemon yoga pants alone. As Berry said, the rise of casual clothing was down to consumers declaring en masse “I want to wear what I want to wear, when I want to wear it.”
And so, fashion brands answered the call for comfort. Now it’s time for lingerie labels to follow their lead.
“It is the world of the individual,” Berry emphasized, noting that in the world of intimates, products are often pigeonholed into categories, like sleepwear or beachwear. “It’s so rigid sometimes. We have to break it up. We have to revolutionize.”
But that’s not to say brands have to reinvent the wheel; rather, they simply need to look at things in a new and fresh way. To that end, Berry outlined four key themes guiding the market in Spring/Summer 2017.
The great outdoors is in. “We’ll see a fantastic explosion of natural things,” Berry predicted, pointing to the intricate designs and fluttering fragility of insect wings as a source of inspiration for the season. And roses, whether laser-cut into lace undies, appearing as 3-D appliques on bras or digitally printed on kimonos, will reign. Meanwhile, moody hues of black and navy blue that call to mind a starless night sky will allow for graphical expression.
Continuing that feeling of being outside, Berry looked further afield and suggested designers would be inspired by the cosmos. “We’re looking for novelty in organic design,” she said, adding, “There will be a lot of development of different transparencies and layered effects that create iridescent new colors.”
Back on earth, a melting pot of cultures and ages has resulted in what Berry has dubbed “The Ageless Wanderer.” “Two generations so wide apart—Millennials and Baby Boomers—are arriving at the same point,” she said, whether that’s dressing in a similar way, playing sport or being as inspired by graffiti as a beautiful poster from the French Riviera of the 1930s. After all, age ain’t nothing but a number.
“One of the major elements of the last couple of months is that wireless bras have become a big bestseller everywhere, not just for small sizes but also for bigger sizes,” Berry noted, adding, “It has to be as light as you can get it. Lightness gives us the idea that everything is fantastically easy.” That’s where technology comes into play, to revive classics in a way that’s modern or create a fabric that’s glossy yet transparent at the same time. “We’ll see lots of new proportions where transparency and structure come together.”