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Raw to Release: Four trends to look out for in SS23

By Rachel Douglass

Nov 12, 2021

Fashion

(From left) Image: Rick Owens, Kuon, Dries Van Noten, Simone Rocha

Global trend forecasting agency Fashion Snoops hosted an online event outlining key trends it believes will be at the forefront of design for the SS23 season. Much of the presentation centred around the consumer response to the past year, as the world comes out of a series of lockdowns that have impacted the perception of consumption. The platform looked to inform viewers on how brands can navigate these newly formed attitudes, presenting four trends to keep an eye on in the seasons to come.

(From left) Image: Rick Owens SS22, Humanoid AFW, Filippa K AW21

Raw

As the first and most central trend from the forecaster, ‘Raw’ focuses on bringing society back to the completely natural ingredients of a product, in an attempt to counter overconsumption. This trend puts creators at the forefront of design again, with a particular focus on the idea of ‘seed to shelf’ production.

Macro trends linked to this theme stem from the need to reevaluate business, looking into less profit-centred objectives and considering the adoption of a more long-term holistic approach.

Much of ‘Raw’ falls back on materials, understanding the origins of a garment and honouring the ingredients involved in making it. This method of conscious creation suggests the need to develop a more intimate relationship with ingredients, drawing influence from nature, without causing it harm. Fashion Snoops suggested utilising plant-based materials, such as cactus leather, as well as colour-grown cotton and undyed weave, as alternatives to mass-produced single-use commodities.

This naturally grown perspective is further mirrored in the colour scheme selected by the platform, with the defining tone, ‘Husk’, at the centre of simplistic and minimal design proposals. Key terms noted here included ‘seed sovereignty’, ‘ancient techniques’ and ‘sculpted by nature’, further emphasising the necessity for a traditional methodology.

The idea for ‘Raw’ developed from the rising consumer appetite for authentic experiences and a need to declutter. The past year has further highlighted the importance of a major climate turnaround, putting into notion conscious and ethical consumption that favours the ‘essential’ over the ‘desired’.

Ultimately, brands are suggested to value the importance of educating their communities on slowing down, informing shoppers on the concepts of regenerative farming, ancestral roots and other important factors when considering ethical consumption. This can be further outlined through an intentional process, that invests in the makers and reconnects with the beginning of a products life cycle.

(From left) Image: Kuon SS22, Tiger of Sweden SS22, Prada Outdoor

Belonging

When talking about ‘Belonging’, members of Fashion Snoops zoned in on the universal feeling of questioning where one’s home is. It comes as the past year has seen numerous ventures beyond Earth, as space travel becomes an increasingly common occurrence and the swift growth of the metaverse begins to seep into our livelihoods.

Much of the trend was based on changing the perception of an item to alternatively be seen as a ‘belonging’. This challenges brands to offer customers a meaningful experience and a profound relationship with their purchases. This desire for a transient existence is complemented by the need for adaptable solutions in future-proof products that will remain beneficial in the long term.

These intentional design methods are to aid the consumer in finding a new meaning of home, through functional and travel-ready wear that promotes on-the-go togetherness. Fashion Snoops defined this as ‘Humanswear’, an all-inclusive, genderfluid approach to design that disregards traditional barriers.

This is reflected in the versatile mood and style suggestions offered up by the platform. Colours linked to ‘Belonging’ were described as ‘cosmic shades’, that ranged from saturated to neutral, with the central colour, ‘Watermark’, presented as a “natural healing green”. Versatility was further represented in the material suggestions, where high-tech solutions were present, including mono-material shells and air-filled constructions.

Architectural activewear defined the style recommendations, adjacent to ombre-like prints reminiscent of other worlds and modular graphics displayed in colour blocking trims.

Humancentric wellness summarised ‘Belonging’ overall, with brands left to consider the equitable future of this fluid ‘humanswear’ approach to design. Providing a dialogue for the consumer was emphasised as an intrinsic method to bring a community together around the brand, with the offering of a ‘transient flexibility’ to be at the helm of one’s messaging.

(From left) Image: Dries Van Noten SS22, Marni SS22, JW Anderson SS22

Release

For ‘Release’, a highly contrasting trend to that of the prior suggestions was displayed. For this addition, brands were told to look towards messaging that brings joy and breaks constraints, bringing back the feeling of celebration in everyday life. Much of this sense of unleashed creativity also takes into consideration the new boundless possibilities of the metaverse, encouraging the use of collaboration and the limitless borders the digital landscape offers.

An emphasise within related macro trends revolved around the reevaluation of capitalism and rehumanised reflections. The premise for these elements stems from the consumer desire for reunions, free identities and products that break barriers, with buyers actively looking for a world in which exploration will allow for creative freedom.

Much of the tangible elements of ‘Release’ centred around triggering the senses and offering an unapologetic approach to design. Colours and materials are framed as punchy and refreshing, in hyper-vivid tones that contrast with one another. Fabrics fuse together heritage with modern-day expression, presented through the use of innovative methods including bio-plastics, micro knits and merino intarsia.

Key style components ranged everywhere from all-inclusive glam to varsity-inspired designs, each reclaiming elitist looks. Street couture was another important factor, suggesting the rise in upcycled aesthetics triggered by the resurgence of ‘Y2K’ fashion. This was further explored in the experimental elements of prints, that focused on colour-popping, playful forms, illustrated florals and modernised stripes.

The main element to consider when approaching ‘Release’ is that of aiding consumers in healing through a celebration of life, offering an accessible experience that stretches the boundaries of identity, sizing and gender.

(From left) Image: Laura Ashley x Batsheva, Simone Rocha SS22, Soulland SS

Grow

For the final trend, Fashion Snoops dived back into the appreciation of nature, this time in utilising its healing properties and drawing influence in its ability to evolve over time. This means taking into consideration natural cycles and the preservation of life, as consumers begin to see their belongings as living, lifelong beings. A challenge here is to provide a secondary layer of value to your offerings.

Looking towards achieving an essence of personal growth, that comes with the urge to acquire new skills and knowledge, brands must take into account that they need to remain accessible in their approach to education. This can be shown through the offering of a blank canvas on which a consumer can project their own realities.

The pattern of growth continues into the material elements of the trend, with the platform suggesting to develop a fresh perspective on rebuilding the post-pandemic world. A method of slowing down and allowing things to grow at their own pace is reflected in the whimsical materials and colours linked to the trend, that centre around organic hues, natural tones and dry pastels.

Florals are at the heart of ‘Grow’, with the possibility of displaying the style in a number of alternative ways. Everything from blossoming layers in voluminous silhouettes to compressed flower prints define the trend’s image, with additional proposals of organically-blended materials and biofabrics that originate from the natural world.

‘Grow’ asks brands to reconsider their position in nature as a whole, advocating for food sovereignty, taking steady measures to implement sustainable action at a local level and healing alongside nature. Methods to be explored include the use of floratherapy and bio-alternatives, once again drawing influence from nature without compromising its existence.