Towards the end of a calendar year, are the reflections on the trends, and of course the thoughts of what could be continued, well left or newly introduced to make the new year exciting.
What had 2018 offered?
Plenty in showcasing opinion as was about fashion. There was variety, there was creativity, and then there was novelty as well. It was more about international trends, with Indian designs of lesser note that grabbed the attention of domestic designers. Overall the year did make for interesting fabric-wear.
And what could follow in 2019?
What did not happen could well augur a thrilling 2019 ahead. Already well into a quarter, most designers have already launched their picks while some are contemplating on how they could be different in the months ahead. There is interest in the big industrial houses that invest in fashion, to put the money where the market sways and already there is talk of light wash denim and corduroy in the male segment, while the female interest could be lying in making bold statements.
Let us see what 2019 could be like for females in particular.
- Khadi could be celebrated
There is a lot that is going on in re-discovery, exploring and revival of traditional varieties. Khadi has always been favoured for its nationalistic color and with recent events causing increased surges of the adrenalin across the country, it could predictably be a hit just to prove a point. Fine malmal cotton sarees could be the subject of many a fashion theme.
- Indigo could well be back
A favourite of the traditionalists, the conventional blue has always been much used by the Jaipuri block printers. With a new hue like green indigo from mixing turmeric in the traditional blue color, the new organic mix could well be experimented in volumes.
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- Colors that will matter
While black, white and grey will be seen, there shall be more of yellow, olive, beige, white, pink, and light pastels for summers, and wine, bottle green, and gold for winter. If you are opting for a neutral outfit, teaming it with colorful accessories would most likely bring out the vibrancy in the outfit. There is bound to be more of monochrome and monotone—just one or two colors being styled head to toe. Pastels will continue to be strong for a while, reigning over bolder, darker shades.
- Pastels might work again
This year could well be good for continuing pastels as well. Colors that seem very sophisticated like pale pink, ivory, silver, grey could once again be given the run considering that pastels did well in 2018.
- Experimenting with Textiles
There will be a lot of mix and match. Seeing it as healthy, to go beyond the mainstream and experiment one could totally wear silk with cotton. There are no rules for mixing and matching and therefore adds color and vitality to the personality.
The consumer would like products that appear feathery light and enticing to touch, but with insistence on quality as well.
The cry for sustainability gets louder each year, so designers will have to devise ways of hybridising all the options available to them like regenerated, ethically produced, natural or man-made synthetics, to get the best results.
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- More of the saree
The saree shall be seen with unconventional accompaniments. With the new generation females not bothering much about conventionality, one can expect to find plenty of new combinations with the saree. When blue jeans and churidars could replace the traditional petticoat at times, bikini tops and cholis could be in place of the standard blouse, 2019 could witness a lot more new combinations than what one is accustomed to.
- Indigenous craft could also inspire
For a country with plenty of art in all kind of creative forms, designers tend to look toward such forms to come up with inspired creativity. Be it designs from clay pottery or exotic borders and motif work in zari, it has always been traditional craft that has provided the line of thinking for most Indian designers. In fact even Indian brands selling in the international market have found it paying when using original desi craft in the weaves.
- Sustainability – a key factor emerging
Already developing as a big factor influencing purchases, sustainability means the emphasis is on eco-friendly fabrics, recycled fibres as customers have become aware of what they mean for durability and heritage worth.
- End of Celebrity Inspiration
It may still be good for the vast few to ape or mimic celebrities. The current generation believes that they know better. Gone is obsessing over celebrities. Instead borrowing heirloom pieces from earlier generations they like to give it their own touch and present it in contemporary fashion.
- Functional clothing and fluidness
The age of comfort and easy to work with garments have fast become the norm and features like adjustable trouser length, hidden and roomy pockets, adjustable slit in dresses, anti-stain, anti-wrinkle and easy care are preferred to the look being altered slightly. 2018 that saw a lot of reversible clothing might as well continue this year.
The touch, feel and connect with shiny surfaces personifies as fluid fabrics and silk mirrors become a central feature of fashion collections.
Viscose is the fabric that will most probably dominate the next year. Easy-going silhouettes that are a complete opposite of the body-conscious movement we were witnessing in the last decade, will drive the trend for fluid fabrics. Even if you do basic cotton, it has to be something that looks extremely fluid. Since value addition is totally out, all you can really do anymore is work with really good fabrics to add value.”
Textile finishes that give the impression of being fragile, delicate halos will help designers in creating garments which look like a second skin. Textured lightweight fabrics, sheer and luxurious silk will define not just the resort or eveningwear wardrobe but also women’s ready-to-wear lines.
In addition, an interesting trend is of delicate crystallised or clear plastic that looks wet and somewhat like a jelly. This is an upgrade on last season’s shine and sparkles, which themselves have seeped into the 2019 forecast as well.
- Personal touch matters more than conforming to trends
Gone are the days when a celebrity style was simply reproduced as a line. The personal touch or customization is what men and women desire. There will a continuing effort to experiment in things like asymmetry, drapes, and the incorporation of personal likes.
Many current day designers also do not see the continuance of copying trends. Technology has brought everything to the doorstep. No need to keep abreast of trends in fashion centres of Europe. Better to be closer home through the internet and style it the way you want to.
Tailoring with a focus on sleekness will trend. Price definitely matters but will no longer be restrictive especially where fine stitching is concerned since it will make a huge difference between one and the next.
- The year of the unconventional
There is a growing tendency for designers to experiment and refreshingly a change towards sporting the unconventional. Be it in colors, the accompanying accessories, the jewellery etc. that would definitely be far from the usual.
Spring 2019 is a season of visual simplicity that is still rich on a closer look. The focus is moving towards suave suppleness and quality, wherein the idea is to bring back the archives and add a modern twist.
“Fashion has become much cleaner. You will not see a lot of embroideries; it is more about the crepe, textures and heavy jacquards that you usually see in upholstery. We are also into very fine fabrics that are doing well. Even the styling has changed to make silhouettes cleaner so that the fabric is in focus. Details like draped neckline, contrast pipelines or neckties are what we are focusing on…” says a designer.
Everyday fabrics in tonal earthy shades with a bucolic textured quality will be the way to achieve a hand-woven feel. “It is a season of noble plains and sophisticated mélanges, and density is a gauge of luxury.”
Opaque silks with the roundness of organza, linen-like macro weaves and ultra-dense synthetics are some of the fabric styles that round off this trend.
There’s nothing straight about spring-summer 2019 — in the hems at least. Designer Ritu Kumar says with boho dresses here to stay, it can only mean more handkerchief hems, floaty hemlines and feminine cuts.
- The Designer will introduce more and more new
If 2018 was exciting, 2019 promises to be thrilling. Designers going by the market buzz would be trying out multiple mediums and formats, and much new and novel could be expected before the year runs out.
- Ready to Wear could be the new high
An Indian clothing brand launched a ready to-wear experience store in Bengaluru. According to initial trends, the company was able to generate more-than-average footfall and transaction value. Virtual reality is gaining traction in developing countries and is not only used as a marketing tool but also as a sales enabler.
- Even playwear could get a new look
While the daily wear and the fashion collection will see change, athleisure or simply ‘living wear’ also will appear differently. Multi-functional materials for enhanced well-being, stretch and recovery fabrics, and the fabrics with cool touch, moisture management, UV protection will be the pick of the year.
The high stretch jacquards, compact or textured, colosed or open will spruce up ‘sporting matters’. Stretchy metallic and luminous coatingsand high compression warp knits coupled with decorative open / lazer cutting will be the choice of the ‘glamour-loving’.