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WGSN Unveils Autumn/Winter ’18 Trends

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Moving well on from just-out Spring/Summer ’17 trends, WGSN revealed what’s on the horizon for Autumn/Winter ’18—colors will be richer, fabrics more refined and looks will still draw from nature as an antidote to the digital world.

In a presentation at Intertextile Shanghai this month, delivered in both English and Mandarin, Helen Palmer, director of knitwear, materials and textiles for WGSN revealed four major trends autumn/winter two years out: Design Matters, Earthed, Nocturne and Infusion.

Each highlighted key callouts for the Asia Pacific region in particular, but the trends likely won’t be a far cry from what the rest of the world will be after.

Design Matters

Sustainability was at the forefront of this trend, as fabrics will increasingly come from natural and recycled materials. Tones in the palette are softened, with an almost “smudgy” grey cast to them, and “unusual” brights will round out the color set.

“The overall palette has a worn, industrial feel,” Palmer said.

Colors: Core colors will be blues, rust, pea and yellow with a slightly creamier hue.

Enriched Turquoise will be a key color for the season but it will be richer, working well for both streetwear and evening wear, according to Palmer. Grey Infused will play well with the season’s green tones—which will have a more forest-like quality—for both men’s and women’s. Chalk Pink stars as the palette-warmer with a look that’s more dusty and more transitional, moving from the spring/summer season into autumn/winter. Deep Blue will be a staple color for China in particular, but it’s repositioned for casual wear.

Fashion: The look for Autumn/Winter ’18 will be all about what Palmer called “Industrial couture,” a new approach to utility where casual wear is given more of a fashion makeover. Shapes will become softened and more feminine, but also architectural, think: contemporary utility.

Fabrics: Fabrics in this trend take on a refined industrial quality, with utility fabrics getting softer and more premium.

Wool will be a focus fabric, herringbone weaves with “tweedy” effects will make an appearance, heavier, blanket weight fabrics will see greater use and flannels will be military inspired, with a dense but soft look “perfect for tailoring and separates,” Palmer said.

Deconstructed classics that experiment with garment construction but maintain balance with the use of traditional fabrics will be key, and designers will start looking at blocking and piecing in a new way. Double cloths, wadded weaves, yarn and pattern mixing will marry in one fabric for a patchwork appeal.

With consumers’ increasing nod to sustainability, recycled fabrics will continue to be popular, but with more luxurious mixing, creating almost space-dyed effects in the fabric.

And as shoppers seek more and more athletic-style clothing that can transition into the workday, Palmer said, “We’ll see a more relaxed approach to dressing, fabrics and clothes that can be adapted for all times of the day or all kinds of pursuits.”

Interiors from the 1950s will play muse to menswear with softer pastel tones working their way into more fashion-forward menswear.

The notion of pretty but damaged will be key, too, with garments displaying stitching and embroidery that emulates repair and small details that create a more modern approach to decoration.

Earthed

The second of the season’s trends, Earthed, is just as it seems: a powerful, dramatic color palette inspired by nature.

The idea, as Palmer explained, is “nature as an anecdote for the digital world.”

Colors: Core colors come in fiery tones, saffron and orange with ochre undertones.

Red Garnet has been important in the Asia Pacific region for some time and it’s even more key going into Autumn/Winter ’18. Fire will be the season’s orange, inspired by both autumn and nature, but more intense to update the luxury market. Blue Flame, an almost violet hue, transitions from a core color to more of a fashion shade that will be popular for the casual and occasion wear markets.

Fashion: Town and country should be what comes to mind for this trend, with hunting, fishing and shooting will inspire suiting and mix of outwear with tweed for a casual weekend lifestyle look.

Fabrics: “It’s very much a story about tweeds, but a little more sophisticated,” Palmer said.

Leaves and foliage will make appearances in patterns and we’ll see rich, dense printed mixed yarns with an artisan, hand-loomed look that’s more sophisticated and more understated for this trend.

Menswear will target the “New Nomads” with a freestyle mixing of formal, sports and outerwear for a more customized, more personalized look. Forest rangers will inspire military-type fabrics, dark denims and accessories that are “more well considered and well designed,” according to Palmer.

Heritage checks will update classic outwerwear with bolder colors and scale in fabrics that are soft and blanket-like. Layered utility will be the military look reframed for something that’s more urban and performance fabrics like polyester and nylon will take on a more decorative overhaul for the season, like punched ombre.

Natural forms, like flowers and leaves, will be softened for a more camouflage look.

Velvets and piles will take on slightly more organic looks that are more natural in terms of surface, and silky and performance fabrics will also have softer surfaces like flocking, etching and moss textures.

The trend brings with it a continuation of faux furs and plush fabrics, and “luxuriant richness” in brushed woolens and weaves with floating threads played out in rich jewel tones.

Nocturne

As its name suggests, Nocturne, “Explores darkness from a positive perspective,” Palmer said. “It’s a mystical and dark trend that’s coming through.

Colors: Blues, night shades and purples will be key, with colors mixing in more sophisticated but dark and mysterious ways.

Amethyst—a big color for the season—is the trend’s purple, which works as a highlight color and pairs well with darker lapis for a “moody” combo, according to Palmer.

Night shades that are almost black but with a more bluish hue will help ground the season for winter, and reds will be reclaimed—more elevated—for the luxury market.

Cymophane (a gemstone) will be the season’s yellow, but more acid and golden for a more formal accent.

Fashion: “It’s very much a nighttime mood, like tuxedo dressing for daywear,” Palmer said, almost Yves Saint Laurent-inspired.

The trend takes menswear tailoring and updates it for a modern womenswear look.

Fabrics: Fabrics will exhibit intermittent light, with flashes of it appearing on fabric surfaces like in cotton and silk shirting, and patterns that have a sort of disappearing/fading effect on the fabric.

Tailoring will come with detail that reminds us of uniforms or martial arts gear in a dark and moody way, and convertible garments that can transition from night to day with ease (read: pajama shirt styles) come through for the season.

Quilting and padding will still be key but done in dark tones that will be accented with shine. Indigo denim remains important, though fabrics will be updated by soft foil coatings that lend more opulence to the denim fabric.

For womenswear, embellishments, decorative trims, yarns, beads, crystal and other like surface decorations will bring shine to garments, and on the more casual side, gothic glam looks will feature frayed, laddered and distressed looks to pair with statement pieces.

It’s decorative destruction, really. “It’s a new camouflage direction,” Palmer explained. “A combo of fabrics like vinyl, neoprene, rubber and leather. New, novel fabrics with raw beauty.”

Infusion

Infusion is the season’s very refined story.

“It’s a dynamic between classic and modern. A new type of luxury where smart materials mix with luxury.”

Colors: Soft grays, camel tones and warm retro shades color the trend.

Billiard Green is one of the palette’s most vibrant and lively shades that will work well with pinks and reds, according to Palmer.

Scarlet will be a core accent color that takes us into the Christmas and Chinese New Year palette. Browns have been less in fashion in recent years, but Palmer said WGSN has seen the color becoming more and more important.

“It’s great for high-end materials and really luxurious fabrics,” Palmer added.

Mustard will take on a more luminous quality than in seasons past, working well as both an accent and statement color.

Fashion: The ’70s influence will still be there, according to Palmer, but for Autumn/Winter ’18, more luxurious materials will update the trend.

Fabrics: Tweeds for the season will be slightly more retro and more interior focused, and fabrics in general will be a lot about everyday glamour.

“Simple garments but with more opulent materials,” Palmer said. Satins and silks will be worn head to toe as a fashion statement and even loungewear will have a more elegant style.

Velvet plays a key role in this trend, providing textural relieve and a sumptuous and relaxed feeling.

Menswear will be about minimal retro with soft colors and simple shapes, rich fabrics but simplified silhouettes.

Florals are still a mainstay, inspired by chintzes and upholstery fabrics for autumn/winter.

Performance fabrics will see a more luxurious update in this trend, too, and croquets, sheen and quilting will be key.

When it comes to dimension, adaptive pleats or manipulation of tech effects will be apparent but made in luxe, silky materials.

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