Fashion and the future: Ready, set…glow?

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Retail’s BIG ShowTuesday afternoon’s session on the future of fashion was a sensory display of color, energy and creative design. Presenter and author David Wolfe shared his insights on what we can expect to grace show floors and our closets in the coming years. Here are ten trends to watch:

David Wolfe, Creative Director of The Doneger Group

1. Ageless Appropriate Apparel
According to Wolfe, “fashion is slowly waking up to the fact that not everyone is young.” As baby boomers age and life expectancies increase, one of the fastest growing demographics is 85+. Fashion houses are responding by using vintage models in their shows, designing sophisticated dresses, lowering hemlines, and covering up evening wear with higher necklines and sleeves.

2. Comeback of Color
Wolfe predicts that we’re moving away from the age when everyone wears black. We can expect to see strong brights and soft lights, unusual color combinations, head to toe hues, and white, white, white. While black isn’t completely going away, it will no longer be basic. Cutouts and unusual fabrics will keep it looking fresh.

3. Modern Minimalism
Simplicity is the wave of the future, leading to the demise of embellishments and overdressing. No frills, no fuss, no extraneous details or trim.

4. Innovative Materials
The use of different materials and fabrics will breathe new life into recycled designs. Metallics and brushed wool will be popular and zebra will take over as the most coveted animal print, edging out the “tired leopard.” Newly designed hollow yarn will make bulky sweater-knits lighter, cooler, and more popular.

5. Experimental Style
As Wolfe described this phenomenon, I envisioned Lady Gaga’s extravagant style. Some things we may see in the future: mood dresses and clothing incorporating floating light orbs.

6. What’s Old is New Again
A return of the “slash”, full-skirt silhouettes, and couture coats with strong shapes.

7. Architectural Inspiration
Breakthrough architectural materials and design may influence fashion patterns. Wolfe gave the example of a drapery fabric that absorbs sunlight during the day and shimmers at night. Will the fashion industry be able to repurpose materials these materials for use in design?

8. Showing Skin with Cutouts and Sheer See-Through
While considered a trend of the moment, this one is expected to come and go pretty quickly.

9. Exotic Accessories
Wolfe expects techno and outrageous accessories to beat apparel as the face of the future. A pair of sneakers you plug in? They may be on street corners before we know it.

10. A Move from “Stupid” to Down-to-Earth Shoes
Sky-high heels and platforms and bizarre shapes never meant for walking (also see #9) will give way to cleaner cuts and more sensible heels.

How will you incorporate these trends into your closet? You could start by adding pops of color to your wardrobe; purchasing a bright orange handbag instead of gravitating toward your usual black. Sounds fun, refreshing, unexpected…an instant way to update a look. But I’ll probably leave the light-up sneakers to another set. Just please turn them off in the movie theater.

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