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Lidewij Edelkoort helps society to 'hibernate' with her forecast for AW24

By Caitlyn Terra


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Credits: Pillings AW23, image via Launchmetrics Spotlight

While it's 27 degrees outside, inside it's all about knits, hibernating and the need to protect oneself. Lidewij Edelkoort presented her latest forecast, 'Hibernation', focused on the AW24 season in Haarlem, the Netherlands.

Making a forecast takes months and when Edelkoort started this season, energy prices went through the roof and the war in Ukraine took over the news. “I simply couldn't 'just' make a trend forecast. I had to respond to what was happening in the world.” Edelkoort sees uncertainty in humanity, a fear. People need to save energy as they wonder how to get through the winter. Edelkoort is also looking for answers, taking cues from the animal kingdom: How do they hibernate? From this research, the forecaster extracted various elements that lead to an image for the AW24 fashion season. FashionUnited has selected the highlights for you.

Image: Loewe AW23 + MaxMara AW23, via Launchmetrics Spotlight

While a few winters ago the forecast for colours was 'brighter than ever', the tones that dominate in the forecast for AW24 are predominantly on the toned-down side. While traditionally dark winter colours are scarce, various shades of white, but also ice blue and orange are reflected in several of Edelkoort's stories. The colours brown and grey can also be seen in abundance, with the forecaster linking them to the woolen coat, for example.

Knits set the tone in Lidewij Edelkoort's AW24 forecast

One of the biggest overarching trends emerging is the massive return of knitwear in all its forms. “Knitwear has been gone for a long time,” Edelkoort said during the seminar in Haarlem, organized by Appletizer. “Often there were only one or two knitted items in a winter collection, the rest were all sweatshirts. Knits are now going to be very important. People want to feel safe and in fashion that translates into clothes that you have to wrap around you, so that you can hold yourself.”

Image: Marc Jacobs AW22 + Pronounce AW23 + John Rogers SS24, via Launchmetrics Spotlight

Anyone who thinks that knitwear is limited will have been proven wrong during the presentation of Edelkoort. From light knits based on natural fibres, heavy knits with coarse yarns to erotic bare knits. The various structures also return through the use of mohair, as well as taking knitting patterns from 'baby' fashion as a source of inspiration. There is the traditional cable knit with all its variations, but also the bubble knit and much more.

Image: Holzweiler AW23 + Paul & Joe AW23 + Benetton AW23, via Launchmetrics Spotlight

Knits in themselves are also versatile. You can opt for a basic version, or a distinct variant with an (animal) pattern or large flowers à la Marimekko. The finish is also one to play with. Frivolous details such as a collar with ruffles, but also fringes and 'unfinished' details give the knitted fabric its own identity. The item to bet on for AW24? “The cardigan is becoming very important, especially for men.”

AW24 according to Li Edelkoort: Huge winter coats, slipper-like shoes

In her forecast, Edelkoort analysed the way in which animals and trees hibernate and how this can be translated as inspiration for clothing. The loudest overtone that can be heard in the forecast is clothing that people want to hide in and wrap around themselves. Hiding in blankets, whether these are quilted blankets or blankets with a diamond pattern, comes back several times. Those looking for a physical expression of this can look at the collections of American brand The Row, where simple, but voluminous designs with lots of layering were present. Those who lean more towards the checkered pattern can find this over several seasons at Isabel Marant in the jackets with a woven checkered print.

Image: Streetstyle London Fashion Week + Wickstead AW23, via Launchmetrics Spotlight
Image: McManus AW23 + Zimmerman AW23, via Launchmetrics Spotlight

Several of Edelkoort's statements during the presentation were worth noting for retailers. For example, she warned that the puffer jacket is going to disappear. Winter coats are becoming huge in volume, made of wool and the choice of colours come between grey and brown. This also immediately reminds us of the fact that the colour black is nowhere to be seen in the forecast for winter '24. Edelkoort already predicted the disappearance of black several years ago.

Where the look and silhouette of the jackets change, the footwear also changes. Reminiscent of fine blankets, these oversized coats are complemented by slipper-like shoes. “The trainer is quickly running out of the picture,” said the forecaster. “Shoes remain weird and bulky, but are moving more towards slippers.”

Lidewij Edelkoort: 'Healing will become the main focus of clothing makers'

In addition to various specific item-related explanations, Edelkoort made several other important statements. The most notable was the change in the job of fashion designers, which has to do with man's need to seek security, both physically and mentally. “'Healing' is becoming one of the main focus points of making clothes. How does the product help someone mentally? How can you help man?" Designers would do well to produce less, and also to have more respect for the material with which they work.

At the end of the seminar, Edelkoort left her captivated audience with enough input to ponder for months. Even with the heat outside, the prospect of blankets, warmth and slippers makes one look forward to AW24.

Image: Dries van Noten AW23 + Boss AW22, via Launchmetrics Spotlight

This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.NL. Translation and edit by: Rachel Douglass.

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