Thursday, January 21, 2016


By Guest Contributor

Experts Highlight Four Fashion Trends
for Spring/Summer 2017 

Key Spring/Summer 2017 trends (Photos courtesy of WGSN)

20 January 2016 - The 47th edition of Hong Kong Fashion Week for Fall/Winter (18-21 January) organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is being held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. 

The four-day fair brings together more than 1,500 exhibitors from 22 countries and regions to showcase the latest fashion designs and products. During the fair, more than 30 events are being held, including runway shows, fashion showcases, seminars on fashion trends, thematic forums and networking events. 

Greer Hughes, Senior Analyst of WGSN Mindset, a leading fashion forecaster, identified four trends for next year’s spring/summer collection during yesterday’s seminar entitled “S/S 17 Macro Trends & Fashion Forecast”. Ms Hughes described the four trends as Digital Wave, Edgelands, Encounter and Pause.

Digital Wave
a modern take on 1980s style 

Explaining Digital Wave, Ms Hughes says designers who are inspired by post-Internet art are taking 1980s design elements and reinterpreting them in a modern way. Lo-fi (low fidelity) numeric motifs are blended with hi-fi digital aesthetics to create a “digital wave”.

Ms Hughes points out that the Z Generation is characterised by its mistrust of the establishment, unwillingness to collaborate, quest for the real and authentic, and individualism. Responding to the attitudes and views of the younger generation, the latest designs display a new “coolness and free-spirit”. She says some United Kingdom and American brands are repositioning themselves by launching unisex products with digital patterns and other innovative design elements.

She says the mix-and-match of the retro and the new will be the trend. Inspired by 1980s Japanese styles, oversized cutting, hourglass waistlines and baggy silhouettes are among the themes of the 2017 spring/summer menswear and womenswear collections. Taking inspiration from 1980s over-sized colour blocks and retro posters, the key colours are bright, loud hues such as yellow and white. 

Photo courtesy of WGSN (Click to enlarge)

reinterpreting rural craft 

Ms Hughes says many designers, as they move to the countryside to escape the crowded and worsening living conditions of big cities, found inspiration in the rural lifestyle and fused urban and country elements in their creations. She says Eastern Europe is the main stage of this new cross-over trend.

She says such designs often feature handicraft elements, such as Lithuanian knitting styles, and that the emphasis is on the atmosphere of the countryside, with its soft, rustic tones. For womenswear, dresses made with faded, heavy fabrics are matched with sneakers, creating a unisex look. Garden and floral patterns are used in menswear designs.

Photo courtesy of WGSN

a cross-cultural summer 

Ms Hughes highlights cross-cultural integration as a key trend for spring/summer 2017. She says the proliferation of social media as well as the increased enthusiasm to see and explore the world has made multiculturalism an important trend for the season, with Cuban and Caribbean cultures as the main sources of inspiration.

Mango yellow and different hues of blue and green reminiscent of the sun, the sea and beaches are the key tones, she says. Bright colours, body-hugging cutting and fine details are featured heavily in womenswear; cotton and linen are used in menswear to re-create the 1950s big-collar shirt. Eco and sustainable elements are also a focus, with designers introducing recyclable green materials to their creations.

Photo courtesy of WGSN

low-key luxury combining technology and minimalism 

As technological innovations bring rapid changes to our lifestyle, low-key luxury that combines technology and minimalism becomes a trend. She points out that cool colours such as white, black and gold are the key tones of the season, while high-tech lightweight fabrics are used to create a feeling of transparency and fragility, without overlooking functionality. 

She says the new luxury has little to do with extravagance, and is therefore characterised by cool colours and minimalist design, but at the same time accentuates meticulous tailoring, comfort and functionality. The comfortable, functional sportswear designs from this season are an example, she said.

Photo courtesy of WGSN


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