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Doneger Group Reveals Spring/Summer ’15 Trend Direction

At a MAGIC seminar in Las Vegas Monday, The Doneger Group presented big picture trends for Spring/Summer ’15 and highlighted the diverse directions fashion is going in.

The Doneger Group creative director David Wolfe said fashion is in the age of fracture, where simplicity co-exists with chaos and “extremes excite while the unfocused middle ground bores.”

Individuals are dressing in a personalized micro-niche of individual style, Wolfe noted. Hemlines are varied, shoppers are slowly easing up on skinny leg pants, and leopard print and modern elongation are common commodities.

The coming season will bring with it novelty nature motifs, fully-fashioned pants and girly skirts, and unseasonable weather will lead to a shift in seasonal style.

“Weather uncertainty has allowed brands to change over to the buy-now, wear-now model,” Wolfe said. Expect to see fall clothing in spring colors, and sheer skirts and sweaterknits shown in fall collections. Sleeveless tops, sheer dresses, sheer tops and sheer scarves will also be present pre-spring. “It’s all about weather savvy, seasonal apparel,” he said.

Quilting has also garnered considerable interest as consumers are keen on the idea of added structure plus warmth.

When it comes to color, the theory for the coming season is basic and ephemeral, and according to Wolfe, “Color could not be more diverse than it is at the moment.”

Pop-up brights like grey coats with vivid orange lapels and spontaneous color combustion will impact collections. Black, white and red will be the season’s big basics, and black-and-white stories will remain, but revamped. “This is the sixth season in a row that black and white is one of the top color stories,” Wolfe said. White will be the new black, and not wearing it after Labor Day has become a passé practice. The new reds are more yellowed and less blued.

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Orchid, tints, pastels, watercolors, blues, greens, brights and darks will finish out the ephemeral portion of the theory. “Pastels are becoming a significant trend,” Wolfe said. And the not-quite-white with just a hint of color are the way pastels are looking at the moment.

There is a major movement toward soft, blurry prints, which play well with pastels. Ephemeral blues should be worn paired for a chic look, and expect neon lime green to be present for a while, Wolfe said. The transitional dark palette will be made up of blues and eggplants.

Design direction will be simplified and overstated, with streamlined separates that look modern a la Audrey Hepburn, functional activewear, athleisure and normcore—the fashion that looks like it has not been designed, but is “terribly chic” according to Wolfe. “We are going to move into a more complete simplicity as a fashion direction.

The simplicity refuses to be boring, however, and overstatements include interesting uses of color, heavy decoration/embellishment, and dramatic, yet graceful draping. “For spring, watch out for all-over trimming and tricky geometric cuts that almost look impossible to wear,” Wolfe said.

In terms of textiles, those that are important for the coming season will either be brand new innovations or tweaked versions of old.

Innovations will include special effects like cooling technology, test-tube textiles, 3D printing, trans-season transparencies, glamorized leather, complex prints and chaotic prints. “The new thing to do is chaotic collisions of prints, putting things together in a way they never would have been,” Wolfe said.

Expect to see sweaters with texture created by a 3D printer and then knitted into the fabric, peek-a-boo patterns, mesh, exquisite fabrics with inspiration from activewear and new techniques and variations on lace.

“We’re seeing a surprising revival of iridescents in knits and wovens,” Wolfe added.

Textiles’ tweaked traditions will reflect simplified florals, wordplay and manipulated stripes that are done on the bias or mixed together or tortured. “Spring is going to like a flower garden in most stores,” Wolfe said. “Watch out for exotic blooms, palm leaves, bird of paradise and hibiscus prints.”

Mural size prints with one repeat per garment will also be key, and shades of gold will be both a color and textile story.

Inspiration for Spring/Summer ’15 will come from the 1920s, referencing both the actual decade and a rehash of the recent Great Gatsby movie. And 1960s retro with a nod to mod and Mary Quant will also play a role. “The 20s and 60s are colliding and they are both about the same thing,” Wolfe said. “Streamlined, art deco kind of simple shapes.”

But fashion will also mimic the future as transparency becomes increasingly prevalent in advance of the debut of the first transparent cell phone, and robot chefs in China and robot bellboys in hotels have inspired an influx of metallic color and fabric stories. Fashion’s future will be all about tomorrow’s transportation, Space-Age black and white, rainbow metallic, body liberation, apparel with power like a jacket with solar-powered shoulder panels, and imaginative fashion architecture.