2015’s Normcore is 2016’s Gender Duality.
Let me explain.
The social and political landscape of 2015 paved the way for 2016’s major trend which is Gender Duality: From the legalization of gay marriage in the US (oh and in Greece by the way which is one of the most conservative societies globally), the infamous I am Kaitlyn cover, the rise of second-wave feminism especially through pop-culture and fashion alike shed light on the issue of gender identity. In other words how conventional ideals about femininity and masculinity do not apply in 2016. In order to pay tribute to this blending of the sexes 2016 PANTONE named not one but two trend colors for 2016 and those are: Rose Quartz, and Serenity.
The way we perceive our bodies, our identity,and sexuality cannot be defined by social conventions. For example, if we assume that what we choose to wear every morning is an extension of our personality, a form of non-verbal communication with the world.
Many will argue that fashion is frivolous, superficial, and that there are far more important things in the world than clothes. From the potential collapse of the EU, to the financial crisis, the war in Syria and of course the rise of terrorism. But then again isn’t everything less significant than the face of terrorism?
Even people who eloquently argue ” I don’t care about fashion”, make a conscious choice to visually translate this message through their conservative attire. I wonder how would they feel if they were forced to wear a sequined dress and heels everyday? Or how would a man who identifies himself as a female feels when he’s forced to abide by social expectations of masculinity and dress in a suit and tie i.e. being forced to incorporate elements that are opposed to personal preferences, sexuality, taste and ultimately their identity. So yes fashion in that respect is as important as what we choose to eat, who we choose to hang out with, what music, films and books we enjoy, and it’s not such a light-hearted issue as many would make it out to be.
And this brings us to the first trend for 2016
Trend 1: Androgyny
Celebrities like Kaitlyn Jenner, Ruby Rose and Jeyden Smith have really highlighted the philosophical, and social definition of womanhood and manhood. That definition has shifted, and blurred. As a result, the visual representation of those definitions have also blurred. There’s not one absolutely defined male or feminine outfit.
For women: the CutOut Blazer. Not so much synching at the waist, and a little longer and straight lines such as from Rag & Bone, Theory blazers. Pants are a little shorter, cropped reminiscent of the Annie Hall, androgynous look.
Trend 2: Romanticism
The concept came from the 19th century, think Jane Austen at the turn of the century with women wearing lace, corsets and spanish influences for example by bearing their shoulders. Romanticism derives from the urge to highlight ones emotions, accentuating the senses and broadcasting love, anger, yearning through your attire. That coincided with the end of the French Revolution and the start of the Industrial revolution which made lace more available. Alongside this trend we saw the rise of the nature trend which grew almost symbiotically as it represents the need for self-reflection. Think of an artist by his/her fabulous lonesomeness (not loneliness) in the woods.
Delicate materials, off the shoulder blouses to accentuate the neckline will be the go to top for summer. In contrast to 2015’s cold shoulder trend, this year we’ll see a lot more definition, and architectural necklines that leave the shoulders exposed. The bigger sleeves is another trend transcending from last year, reminiscent of Spanish puffy sleeves. Proenza Shouler and Michael Kors presented the trend during their respective AW16 shows.
Trend 3: Seventies Polished Bohemia
The seventies influence will continue its reign through 2016 and we’ve already seen in on the catwalks, and Coachella 2016. As we approach summer festival season seventies will be the norm. Don’t forget your face glitter and bold -coloured feather earrings.
Embracing bold colors, the bell bottom trousers, bell sleeves, denim on denim, and defining the waist. For example with high waisted jeans, shorts or skirts. Under the seventies umbrella we will be seeing other items emerging such as unique bold stripes, chunky heels, capri pants, frayed hem cropped denim, ruffles and saddle bags think Chloé, Coach and Altuzzara.
A more detailed report on that coming soon, so stay tuned!