Fashion week is still in motion, and with that comes a lot of information.  One of the most interesting factors about fashion and its seasonal changes is how designers perceive the moment. How do they capture the time we live in? How does it translate into garments? What do you and I want to look like in six months? These are all questions that designers grapple with when working on new collections. They have to figure out a direction, a way to move forward from what they have already done.

Prada Spring 2011

Oftentimes, there is a seasonal coherence where the collections as a whole look incredibly similar. There is a general wave of interpretation of which the color palettes are similar and the shapes and perceptions of the body are united in one direction.  The shift is usually a bit gradual or can be marked by a strong break such as a “Monkey Business” Prada collection or Phoebe Philo Céline collection that brings pajama dressing to minimalism.

Céline Spring 2011

This season falls into that pattern; the past few seasons have been quite directional and the shift from the glamorous, printed and theatrical has been made to the easy fabrics, deconstructed shapes, light colors and minimal garments.  Designers are now making unfussy elegance.

BCBG Max Azria Spring 2012

This whole phenomenon has always been strange to me as I wonder how the designers are able to create such cohesion. While it’s true, fashion people tend to be inspired by a sea of similar things (festivals, art, historical periods, literature, etc.), how do most of them go in the same direction at the same time?

Phillip Lim Spring 2012

Yes, there is a lot of intermingling and fashion is quite a social world, but that translates in the collections. Fortunately, there are the antisocial, simply secluded or down-to-earth designers that escape the industry to create. And it shows. They usually come out with interesting, different and out of the loop collections. Those are the ones that move things along and create true directional change.

-Nadjma Sako

  1. Jodie says:

    It’s not all zeitgeist, it’s called fashion prediction, there are people who are educated and trained in the subject. They draw on things like the economic climate (so fashion is less frivolous right now) and what tv and big movies are in production and will have a big impact on global culture (Mad Men).When people like Amy Whitehouse appeared on the scene with a very edgy 60’s style then it flagged a shift towards that look which is still seeping through after her death. Most importantly they go on what’s gone before and predict a trend based on that. So if the collections 2 seasons ago were very embellished and the collections last seasons more minimal then it stands to reason that the coming season will be even more minimal rather than going back to embellished. These people are employed by fashion houses.

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