The fast-fashion frenzy may be slowing and giving way to a minimalist movement that will have some staying power, said David A. Wolfe, creative director of The Doneger Group consultants.
"Fashion today has a longer shelf life than one season," said Wolfe, who forecasted trends for fall 2008 and beyond in a talk to the industry last week at Doneger's Manhattan offices.
Wolfe pointed to Saint-Tropez, a prime area to spot trends when the fashionable set visits during the first French and Italian bank holidays each year. "And there was nothing happening there," Wolfe declared gleefully, showing pictures of minimalist dresses. "There was just simple, plain clothes."
He dubbed this "the reassurance trend," which includes luxury, classics, antique femininity and appropriateness, and pointed to Marc Jacobs' fall 2007 show, which he called his "favorite show in the last decade — it looked like it was designed by the love child of Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent."
As for the concept of cool, "We've been chasing 'cool' for so long, but cool hasn't changed for so long that we are like the dog chasing its tail and finally catching it," Wolfe said. "It will be a blessed relief to see minimalism come back."
He also made a case for fashion that can be worn by "women of any age," like the dress that Best Actress winner Helen Mirren wore to this year's Oscars (he applauded its sleeves). Much classic fashion returned to the runway in the fall shows, Wolfe said, "and maybe if designers would show it on someone besides a 14-year-old girl, women who are 70 would understand it."
On the other hand, Wolfe criticized of over-the-top, unwearable runway looks. "These are not serious clothes: They are clothes no one wears," he said. "I'm tired of the fashion press taking them seriously."
One trend that he thinks has legs and that can work for any age is "intensity shapes." He doubts dramatically large shoulders and elaborate origami will transition from the runway to the sidewalks, but he thinks more subtle interpretations of the trends will be adopted."Rustic luxury" will also have its time. He cited plaids, bulky sweaters, leathers, feathers and "furs that look like they were trapped on the way to the runway."
Color-wise, Wolfe sees "breakout brights" as a trend that will go from the fall 2007 runway well into fall 2008. "It should have been the big headline news after the shows, but people weren't paying attention," Wolfe said. "And don't just think about bright color with black — think about bright color with more bright color."
Never a fan of black, Wolfe suggested interpreting the "Dark Ages" color trend as deep jewel tones. He also thinks metallics will stick around, "but we need to move them on, make them darker or think about colored metallics."
Wolfe also aired opinions on recent fashion ad campaigns, including celebrity endorsements of brands and social issues.
"I don't think [celebrity endorsements] are bad when the star's image matches the product," Wolfe said, adding that the new Smart Water ads featuring a nude Jennifer Aniston did not make the cut.
He pointed to the new formula in marketing: celebrities, clothes and causes. Although Wolfe liked Gap's Product Red campaign and applauded companies donating money to do good, he asked, "Should we be using strong causes to move merchandise? I don't know."
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion