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Futurism, natural and prehistoric: SS25 according to Jan Agelink

By Sylvana Lijbaart


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Iris Van Herpen. Fall Winter 2023, Haute Couture. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/Spotlight

When trend forecaster Jan Agelink wrote down his predictions for the coming seasons, something immediately became clear to him: There is a need for out-of-the-box thinking and innovation. So, Agelink called his trend presentation, which FashionUnited attended digitally, ‘Future Formulas’ – a recipe that gives us ingredients to help us function in a world dominated by polarisation.

It is not a coincidence that the trend forecaster begins his presentation with an artwork by Paul Chan. “Triosophia” depicts three black air-filled tubes reminiscent of a torso adjoined by arms. It symbolises the push and pull in which society currently finds itself. We want to let go of each other, but cannot. We have to get along with each other. Context is more important than ever, the forecaster stresses.

And he sees this reflected in the fashion world – which, according to Agelink, is changing. Small brands, schools, designers, consumers and everyone in between are dealing with fashion in a different way. For instance, the appreciation of craftsmanship, materials and design is returning, but sustainability is also playing an increasing role. “All the steps we have taken so far do have an influence,” the forecaster says, referring to the Green Deal, among others. Adding to all those events and influences, he throws in three ingredients that form a recipe for putting the future together.

Paradox poetry

The first ingredient plays directly into the feeling people may get from the polarisation we find ourselves in. It evokes fear. To make the theme visual, the trend forecaster cites the British exhibition “The Horror Show” as an example, which explores how ideas rooted in horror over the past 50 years have contributed to creative rebellion. Horror allows us to express our fears and to overcome them and imagine a different future, he says during the presentation. This message translates into fashion with long silhouettes that have a futuristic look and include surrealistic elements.

The trend is akin to the “destroyed” trend of a few seasons ago and offers denim a big stage. The material takes on an upcycled attitude, with pants getting bigger and bigger. Jeans are combined with other jeans or with colossal tops, which allow new shapes to emerge. The use of straps, as Glamcult and G-star adopted, for example, also plays a big role in this theme.

For a more futuristic and surreal look, “Paradox poetry” uses large prints and volumes. Models wore items with enlarged cat illustrations during the fashion show of Jil Sander, for example. Surrealism comes to the forefront through the making of authentic garments that take other forms. For his latest spring/summer show, Rick Owens presented several creations with strange shoulders. Key colours in this theme are white, black and dark red.

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Jil Sander. Spring Summer 2024, Ready to Wear. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/Spotlight
Rick Owens. Spring Summer 2024, Ready to Wear. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/Spotlight

Clutter x curiosity

The anxieties of the first theme are completely forgotten in “Clutter x curiosity”. It is time for something cheerful. Agelink remarks that he compiled this trend under the working title “Rainbow healing”. And that is not unjustified, as this trend is all about rainbow colours, graphics, fun and fantasy. One could say that we find ourselves in a colouring book-like world.

Aside from the bright colours and graphics, “hardcore handmade” takes centre stage. This manifests itself mainly in the return of knits. JW Anderson showed this on the catwalk last season, for example. Several knitted garments were shown, such as a bright red and blue crochet dress. Moreover, the power of craftsmanship is linked to artificial intelligence. According to the forecaster, technology is broadening our creative horizons and makes us play with volumes and cut-outs that colour outside the lines in everyday life. In his presentation, he uses the “air cushion idea”. To pursue it, we can use sportswear, such as an orange raincoat from Kolor. To visualise the cut-outs, we can take the work of Ottolinger.

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JW Anderson. Spring Summer 2024, Ready to Wear. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/Spotlight
Kolor. Spring Summer 2024, Menswear. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/Spotlight
Ottolinger. Spring Summer 2024, Ready to Wear. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/Spotlight

“Clutter x curiosity” also pays attention to our lifestyle. A few seasons ago, we were completely immersed in the Marie Kondo method of living a minimalist life. We are now completely stepping away from that, says the trend forecaster. Instead, we need to start giving new meaning to our stuff and making it more personal. “We are stepping into a new wonderland with all our (collected) stuff,” is how Agelink sums up the trend. In the fashion world, this means that we are going to use our ‘clutter’ to make something beautiful. Dior visualised this trend during its SS24 men's fashion show in Paris. Several models flourished down the catwalk wearing hats made from ‘trinkets’.

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Dior Men. Spring Summer 2024, Menswear. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/Spotlight
Dior Men. Spring Summer 2024, Menswear. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/Spotlight

Cosmic conscience

For the final touch, we step into a time machine and go back to prehistoric times. What would it be like to have actually lived there? Artificial intelligence allows us to create a realistic simulation. We can go back to this period and draw inspiration from the lifestyle of the past. We then translate this into new knits and shoes that get bigger and bigger. The trend can also have a camouflage-like feel. The colour palette plays an important role in this and includes many dark colours, such as dark brown, purplish grey and moss green. The theme also has influences from the “destroyed” trend. To visualise this trend, we dive into the archives of Feben, Diesel and Taakk.

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Feben. Spring Summer 2024, Ready to Wear. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/Spotlight
Diesel. Off Season 2024, Pre-Fall Women. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/Spotlight
Taakk. Spring Summer 2024, Menswear. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/Spotlight

Another big trend in “Cosmic conscience” is zooming in on natural phenomena. We put plants and animals under a magnifying glass and, combined with a futuristic touch, incorporate their existence into a fashion item. Plants and animals come to life in a figurative, but also natural, way. A designer who completely belongs in this trend is, of course, Iris van Herpen, who is known for her futuristic creations.

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Iris Van Herpen. Fall Winter 2023, Haute Couture. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/Spotlight
Iris Van Herpen. Fall Winter 2023, Haute Couture. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/Spotlight

All in all, one can say that designers are giving a stage to handmade creations using new techniques inspired by either history or the future. The appreciation of the earth takes a serious place in the creative process of designers in 2025. It manifests itself in the revaluation of garments and upcycling, but also in nature-inspired silhouettes, created through the use of artificial intelligence. Nature, as in winter 2024, has an important overtone.

This article was originally published on FashionUnited. NL. Edited and translated by Simone Preuss.

Jan Agelink