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Suburbia, Tech and Desert Landscapes Shape Spring ’19 Women’s Fashion Trends

Fashion—like humans—is at odds with itself.

A fascination with technology and innovation is contrasted with a deepening desire to reconnect with others and self. Fabrics are technical and performance-driven, yet hand craftsmanship remains an invaluable asset. And in women’s fashion, there’s a battle between masculine tailoring and kitschy, playful femininity.

Fashion Snoops VP Melissa Moylan broke down these opposing stories and how they translate to fashion during the UBM Fashion women’s spring/summer 2019 trend webinar Wednesday.

The trends, she said, speak to macro trends that are resulting in designs that deliver emotional impact, embrace individuality and allow the youth generations to make an impact.


Geared toward a woman in an urban setting and who prefers tailored dress, traditional checks and clean lines, Summit exudes power. Think of the female version of Elon Musk, Moylan added.

The trend is a mix of hard and soft. Blazers (single or double-breasted) with strong shoulders in plaid, boxy camp shirts updated in sheer materials, transparent trench coats in floaty fabrications and light parkas with large pocket details make up the story. Hacked shirting that mashes contrasting stripes and “Matrix-inspired” add edge, while corporate blue, navy and gray serve as a sensible foundation.

Acne Studio

Sport leisure comes through as pops of color that are leveraged in ways that bring newness to classic pieces, Moylan described. Red, acid pink and yoke yellow are balanced by rose water, beige and soft blue. These bold hits of color are used as a sporty strip down a pant leg or a PVC belt.

Other important accessories include the Dad sneaker with a curvy and chunky outsole and reflective trim, duffle bags with a smooth leather body and the portfolio clutch with a zip closure.

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The Valley

This trend story, Moylan said, is for the woman that views life through rose colored glasses.

The concept is based on the silhouettes and prints that made up iconic 1950s and 1960s suburbia. Skirt that hit the mid-calf, retro patterns and checks, prim and proper pleats and a fun color palette drive home the story. Pink, an array of purple and sunny yellow speak to the young contemporary markets, while peppermint and pistachio green reinforce the vintage look, Moylan said.

Moschino runway show
Moschino Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

Key pieces include trench coats updated as sheer organza, slim midi dresses with casual crew necklines, polos with contrasting trims and the bra top—particularly for the younger market. A-line skirts with wrap styling return. And the pencil skirt makes a comeback and serves as an alternative to the mid-calf shape, a style Moylan said can be difficult to pull off.

The ladylike look translates to quirky yet feminine accessories. Mules with Lucite heels and squared vamps, slide sandals with gumdrop studs and sling backs with exaggerated ruffles play here. While cat eye glasses, top handle handbags with color block illusions and beaded totes enhance the story’s retro vibe.

Santa Fe

Inspired by the history of the pueblos and the desert landscape, Moylan said Santa Fe captures the feeling of connecting with nature on a deeper level. Soulful and nomadic, the story takes full advantage of the desert’s warm color palette spanning carrot orange, gold and red, to neutral adobe, manilla and soil. Pure blue, swimming pool turqoise and mystical purple add intrigue.

Slip dresses, asymmetrical dresses, and the twisted top offer a sensual feeling. Maxi skirts are key, updated with ombre dye effects and sheer materials. The drapey fabrics are juxetesposted to natural linen and suede, resulting in a nomadic refuge look.

Alberta Ferretti dress
Alberta Ferretti WWD/REX/Shutterstock

Matching sets, like long shirts and wide leg pants in bold patterns, oversized shirt dresses with fringe or feather embellishment, printed shell tops, pleated peg pants and relaxed fit Bermuda shorts (even in suede) reinforce the theme’s laidback feeling.

For juniors, Moylan said the trend may become more western with romantic blush tones, patchwork and prairie blossoms. Puff sleeve shirts, maxi dresses and slip skirts have opportunities here, she added.

Key footwear styles include slip-on shoes with artisan details like whip stitching, ankle wrap sandals with printed scarf details and flatform leather sandals with a suede sole for contrast. Raffia visors, head scarfs, woven totes with neat fringe trim round-out accessories.


Geared toward the woman seeking spiritual connection, Bodhi is based on exotic geometrics, crafted embellishment, beadwork, jacquards and mystical graphics. “This story is rooted in spiritual awakening, travel and discovery,” Moylan explained, adding that designs are influenced by Southeast Asian cultures, crystals and nature.

Earthy colors like lily pad and algae green, red, warm brown and maize yellow ground the story, while bright blue and vivid purple is used as accents.

Jean Paul Gaultier
Jean Paul Gaultier Pixelformula/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock

Must-have items include the twisted top (an update to the crop top), voluminous puff sleeve blouses and cuffed camp shirts. Bomber jackets made with jacquard are kitted out with cargo pockets, as well as parkas. The tomboy style is contrasted by wrap dresses with plunging necklines and midi skirts with open slit details.

Moylan said she sees the slip-on in animal print pony hair playing a strong role. Heeled mules with embellished uppers and ankle wrap sandal in metallic leather are adorned with jewel tone gemstones.

Bucket bags with a structured bottom and soft top feature unexpected side handles. Cross-body bags with color contrasting trim and tapestry clutches with beading and braided rope straps have an artisan effect, while chandelier earrings with long baubles and scarf belts with rope tassel fringe add an exotic feeling.