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Li Edelkoort Weighs In on Fall Trends

A blurring of seasonal boundaries within fashion, and traditional winter fare, like scarves, sweaters and hats, will become part of warm-weather wardrobes,...

LONDON — A blurring of seasonal boundaries within fashion, and traditional winter fare, like scarves, sweaters and hats, will become part of warm-weather wardrobes, predicted widely known trend forecaster Li Edelkoort.

This story first appeared in the July 8, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Edelkoort heads the Trend Union, the Paris-based forecasting agency, and is nearing 10 years as chairman at the influential Design Academy of Eindhoven. She also said gender boundaries will blur and possibly be obliterated, adding that men may eventually sport Chanel jackets.

“[Society] is in dire need of fiction,” Edelkoort said at a presentation here last month at the Royal Institute of British Architects. From embracing seasonless dressing by wearing scarves, sweaters and hats on a year-round basis to accepting the blurring of gender boundaries, she predicted people will reinterpret the way they dress in a more unconventional way.

After current economic and political woes have been surmounted, she reasoned, consumers will favor rich hues, such as beetroot red and blueberry, and soft romantic shades, like rosy pink and mushroom beige, rather than vivid colors. While winter and summer palettes have been bright in recent seasons, Edelkoort suggested fashion brands should use restraint when working with color. “We won’t want [fashion] to be too bright,” she said.

The forecaster also predicted heavy knits and layering will be important and embellishment and three-dimensional patterns in cotton, wool and jersey will be key elements this fall.

Edelkoort, who routinely incorporates interior design into her presentations, said that discipline is moving into an avant-garde phase. Farming is providing inspiration for home design. She noted the revival of the rocking chair, and suggested basic furniture will be curvaceous and mimic nature both in shape and in color. Wood, concrete, ceramic and compressed metal will be popular materials for furniture, she said.