With fewer consumer dollars to go around, designers can’t afford to slow down. Here, a look ahead to some of the rising trends in five of California’s key fashion categories.
Denim: As leggings remain a fashion fixture, denim designers are co-opting the slim silhouette for themselves. Often resembling five-pocket jeans complete with belt loops and a coin pocket, the legging jeans opt for super-stretchy fabrics to complete the look. The clinginess in Seven For All Mankind’s styles, retailing for between $178 and $198, benefits from four-way stretch denim, while Citizens of Humanity makes use of stirrups on $150 legging jeans to keep things in place. Post’age Denim’s $150 offering pops in purple, and pegs clad in Genetic Denim’s fake snake, green plaid or tie-dye prints — retailing from $210 to $341 — are sure to catch the eye.
Action Sports: Several action sports labels are offering up higher-end offshoots for grown-up surfer girls. Following Quiksilver’s lead launching a young contemporary line last year at E Street Denim in Highland Park, Ill., and Villains in San Francisco, DC Shoes will graduate this fall to silk-cashmere cardigans and hooded jackets made with supple leather. Fox will incorporate lamb leather and Sasquatch fur in a new line called Fox Deluxe. Element Eden is testing the waters with pricier items like brocade pants, and Vans is also flirting with the idea of producing a better-priced grouping. Though premium for the action sports category — Quiksilver’s retail prices run between $38 and $118, for instance — these labels seem like a bargain in the contemporary category.
Contemporary: When Mike & Chris broke into the contemporary market four years ago with their lambskin hoodies toughened up with epaulets, the start-up defied expectations of what constitutes a cover-up. Fast forward to 2009, when an increasing number of fashion labels offer their version of a hybrid jacket, in response to retailers’ call for value and versatility. Erik Hart drapes Italian felt into a $375 capelike motorcycle jacket accentuated with leather piping and a satin lining. Moreover, David Cardona at Monarchy Black whips up a blend of a bomber mixed with a riding jacket and motorcycle zip-up in melton wool. The $385 concoction comes with peaked shoulders, to boot.
Accessories: It’s an old trick to spruce up a dated outfit with a new accessory. In a challenging economy, even accessories can do with a bit of refreshing. Posso helps transform last year’s sandals into this season’s sensation with strap-on spats enhanced with fringe and metallic leather. Boos & Besito elevates the basic ankle boot with a wide-mouth sock cut out of preppy plaid and ikat weave. The classic pump gets a makeover with Boos & Besito’s shoe corsage comprising bright ribbons attached to elastic bands that can be pulled over the shoe. “You don’t have to go buy a new shoe,” said Boos & Besito co-founder Alejandra Hernandez. What’s more, with retail prices set under $50, “It’s a reaction to the recession,” said Hernandez’s partner, Rana Shoar.
Swim: Textured textiles are spicing up swimsuits this summer. Pink ruffles flutter on a $94 white bikini by Guess, while a crinkly red fabric offsets shiny gold trim on a $150 number from Hurley International. “It adds depth and dimension in a way that we haven’t seen for a while,” said Lisa Vogel, co-president of Raj Manufacturing, the Tustin, Calif.-based licensee that produces swimwear for Guess and Hurley. “Textured fabric gives added support and comfort when wearing, which in turn becomes an added value to the consumer.”
Alberta Ferretti's "Rainbow Week" sweaters are back. The designer closed her #MFW show with a few day-of-the-week sweaters, which first debuted on the catwalk last January as part of the pre-fall 2017 collection. #wwdfashion (📷: @delphineachard)