Curious Trends - Fashion

17/02/2013

Avant garde épaulettes

Epaulettes have popular for some time, but milliner and accessories designer, Little Shilpa, has reinvented the accessory in detachable multi-colour Perspex. Spotted at London Fashion Week, some of the brightly coloured shoulder adornments are also embellished with feathers and jewels. Expect to see more like these over the coming year.

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02/11/2012

Hairy adornments for fashion and home accessories

Fashion and accessories designers will be incorporating more human, animal and man-made hair into their designs. This curious trend will spill over into interior design and hair will be used to embellish home accessories. Here are some of our initial sightings:

Charlie le Mindu’s unusual straw hats are decorated with Hasidic style Payot ringlets.
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02/11/2012

Curiosity headwear: Party headdresses and vintage inspired headpieces

Headdresses are the new fascinators and over the coming year they’re likely to be appearing everywhere from fashion shows and festivals to parties and dressy events. Here are some ideas of what to look out for:

Designer headdresses in floral or feathered in showgirl/burlesque style - like these headpieces by Piers Atkinson, Tatty Divine and J Smith Esquire:
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05/10/2012

A checkered past: granny takes another trip


The 1960s was a decade of immense optimism, when anything seemed possible. Britain led the way in contemporary fashion - a group of young people was even sent to New York to show off ‘the London look,’ which, according to one journalist constituted a ‘youthquake.’ It was also a time of tremendous change, with fluctuations of skirt length to match. Despite this, early1960s fashion design was noteworthy for its simple geometric shapes and op art inspired textles – as seen in the 1964 checkered (or chequered in Britspeak) wool mod suit (below) by Foale and Tuffin (pictured above).

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09/08/2012

Niche brands win: Sports inspired clothing and accessories

Sports inspired fashions have been given a bolster by the Olympics, but how do designers ensure that their collections will withstand the test of time? With major sportswear brands spending big money on ongoing product development, the sports clothing and accessories industry is constantly evolving, so new entrants to the market need to have a curiously unique selling point…

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19/03/2012

Extreme shoes: sculptural design in footwear


Shoe designs are becoming more extreme – and more expensive. Following on from ‘It bags’, ‘It shoes’ start at around £700 and are priced at up to £2000 or more. But don’t expect more beautiful, better quality shoes for your money, more often than not you will simply be paying for a designer label (though perhaps ugly is the new beautiful?) Lesser known brands may be cheaper, but are also using more advanced manufacturing technology, including computer-generated and architectural inspired designs, to help them stand out from the crowd. Customers will have to judge for themselves whether designs are flattering, easy to walk in or worth the money. Or perhaps they are simply destined for the curiosity cabinet? Meantime, here are some examples of some of the more aesthetically interesting of next season’s sculptural shoes:

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25/02/2012

Private salon-style fashion presentations


As videos of fashion shows become almost instantaneously available on the web, designers are inceasingly opting for private salon-style events, exclusive shows and presentations to promote their collections to important clients and members of the press.

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25/02/2012

Couture comes to London


In the past, those looking for the ultimate in creatively designed, handcrafted style would inevitably go to Paris, which has generally been known as the capital of couture. However, the UK is rapidly becoming a world class centre of excellence in all areas of design and craftsmanship. UK manufacturers are becoming much more geared to small production runs, a propos of the eclectic tastes and individual requirements of the high end customer. As old-style clothing factories close down, new ateliers owned and staffed by highly skilled fashion graduates are being set up. And couture is coming to London…

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01/01/2012

Curiosity shades: retro-inspired and individually customized sunglasses


2012 is destined to be a year for curious sunglasses. With greater demand for handcrafted unique accessories and one-off, or limited edition pieces, sunglasses designers are going to town in their efforts to set their creations apart from the crowd. Designed with celebrities and musicians in mind, curiosity shades are rapidly becoming the most sought-after style of eyewear, as will be evidenced on the high street this summer. The highly embellished vintage cat's eye look will be particularly popular - with horn-rimmed, winged and rhinestone-encrusted frames predominating:

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12/11/2011

Folk inspired fashion and accessories


The Navajo Indian theme has been popular over the summer. Next year will bring more quirky takes on the folksy flavour - and the ethnic mix with span far and wide, with folk cultures from all over the world being represented. This trend is characterized by an earthy, handmade feel - with hand painting, mosaic detailing, plaiting, fringing and hand-dyed fabrics. Street style clothing also reflects the trend, with urban upcyclers like Dr Noki adopting folk inspired methods and designs.

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07/11/2011

Mystery, shadow, outlines and reflections in fashion and accessories


When everyone has been totally shocked and when everything has already been said and done in public, via social networking and the media, what else is left? Curiosity. The curiosity factor (mystery fabrics, shadowy outlines, unknown designers, hidden detail and secret suppliers) is likely to matter more than anything else, as the whole world becomes privy to ‘the next big thing’ the very instant it’s thought up. And we’ll be seeing much more of the mysterious, as curious secrets from fashion’s future are unveiled over the coming years.

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31/10/2011

Cover-up clothing and accessories


Get ready for the great cover-up. This is partly a back lash against the overt sexualisation of fashion in a media-led, celebrity crazed world. But the curious trend also reflects a growing desire for privacy, at a time when life is lived almost entirely in the public eye. It’s not just an attempt to retain anonymity, but also to engender a greater sense of curiosity and mystery, rarely encountered amidst the uniformity of mainstream fashion.
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26/10/2011

Food in fashion: edible clothing and accessories


Fashion designer Emily Crane is one of a new breed of fashion and accessories designer, who are pushing the boundaries of design through materials and process. Her brand of fashion, called ‘cultivated couture’ involves “growing, cultivating and forming new hybrid materials” for the fashion of the future.” Borrowing skills from molecular cooking, she aims to help fast fashion “respond to a more sustainable future.”

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18/10/2011

Arty accessories: curiosity gloves


Accessories designers, hoping for another cold winter, have put great efforts in to creating unique gloves for the coming season. Longer length leather gloves are becoming especially popular, even for daytime wear. In general, glove designs are becoming quirkier and more individual, as current fashion themes and key trends are reflected in curiosity styling and wearable art.

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18/10/2011

Arty accessories: curiosity hats


Quirky hats, adorned with bizarre curiosities are no longer confined to Royal Ascot. Unique and unusual hats and fascinators are increasingly being spotted at major sporting events and social occasions. Many are homemade by the wearers. However, established designers are trying hard to emulate the slightly eccentric, offbeat look, by creating handmade hats with arty originality, character and charm.

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04/10/2011

Curiosity embellishment on textiles, clothing and accessories


The maximalist trend goes from strength to strength as designers attempt to create ever more unique and unusual creations.

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04/10/2011

Curiosity clothing and accessories: Miss Havisham and the new antiquarians


A new type of curiosity dressing is emerging, based on a growing interest in Victoriana, antiques and collecting. In fashion this translates into Miss Havisham style dresses, long gloves, sculptural headwear and old fashioned lace up boots. Meanwhile, jewellery and accessories upcycled from curios and collectables are being presented museum-style in glass domes and vintage union cases (previously used to dispaly early photographs). Books and papier mache are also being used to create unique jewellery and even furniture. The new antiquarians are coming…

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17/09/2011

Fierce fetish inspired and warrior style accessories


Fierce, fetishistic and avant garde pieces are usually confined to the shows at London Fashion Week, but for next season it looks as though they’re destined to go mainstream.

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20/08/2011

Suburban nomad style from street fashion to home accessories


A harsh and inhospitable desert inspired trend has set in this summer. Expect a toned down version of this to reappear in interiors next year. Meantime, cool fashionistas are rocking the urban nomad trend that will morph in two totally different directions over coming seasons. Trudi from Australia (above) combined discount store finds with retro floral prints and Mum’s old jewellery in May this year. A key accessory is the wheelie case.There's no need for this trend to filter down to the provinces, as vintage lovers have long been creating their own Abigail's Party mix from flea market bargains and curious finds from around the world, picked up at car boot sales. This year the nomad goes suburban.

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19/06/2011

Auto inspired fashion and accessories


Car design and motor racing style are filtering through to fashion and home accessories. For Celine’s Autumn Winter 2011/12 collection, Phoebe Philo drew her inspiration from luxury car interiors. The sharp, sleek silhouettes are inspired by the lines of Rolls Royces and Bentleys – and mahogany grain prints are in the style of a luxury car dashboard (photograph from Style.com).

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12/05/2011

Regency Rococo revolution: musically inspired clothing and accessories


Trend spotters may have noticed the introduction of 18th century musical influences in fashion and accessories. These range from the use of musical notation on fabrics and surfaces, to the employment of musical instruments as fashion accessories on catwalks.

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07/04/2011

Fishing sweaters in fashion


Retro fishermen’s sweaters are soon to be the height of fashion for men – and possibly for women too. During the late 19th and early 20th century, fishermen wore ganseys – double knitted sweaters with distinctive patterns. The tight fitting jumpers protected the fishermen against the damp and the cold when they were working, though they probably kept one for Sunday best too. Modern machine knitted versions have replaced the traditional oiled wool variety of jumper, but the type of design has once again become popular:

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02/04/2011

Animals in fashion


Look out for a profusion of animal inspired clothing and accessories. During the summer months, this may be linked to the tribal trend, with more safari type animals in evidence, as seen in Louis Vuitton’s window display in Paris:

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23/03/2011

Collars and ruffs in fashion, photography and design art


For a while there’s been a fascination with ruff-like wave form shapes in design art, so it’s no surprise that collars are getting bigger and more elaborate. At the A La Disposition show at Vauxhall Fashion Scout they morphed into capes and occasionally almost became dresses (see below). The Elizabethan style ruff has also seen something of a revival - and it will be interesting to see what form this takes on when it reaches the high street.

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25/02/2011

Avant garde circus clown style in fashion


In these difficult times, some are looking for clothes with a sense of humour to inject brightness and fun into their lives. Outfits of the handmade variety, recently seen on catwalks, could potentially be recreated at home. Dressing up in quirky costumes (in a manner akin to Japanese style 'cosplay') is a curious trend that’s beginning to find favour in fashionable circles at clubs and events across Europe.

The inspiration for theatrical avant garde costumes comes from a variety of sources, but especially from circus clowns, magicians and carnival wear. Ranging from bizarre Sesame Street-like outfits to masked minstrel and troubadour style designs, this new trend offers a welcome escape from reality.

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24/02/2011

Men go bright, tight, checked and striped


Jaana Jatyri, the CEO of trend forecasting organization Trendstop, predicts that this century will herald the ‘emancipation of menswear.’ Men certainly seem a lot less reserved in their choice of clothing and accessories, the more adventurous opting for bold primary colours in their clothing and accessories. Preppy-style stripey and patterned jackets are being teamed up with vibrantly coloured trousers to create a distinctive look. As far as men’s trousers are concerned, the message coming through is that ‘brighter and tighter is better’:
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20/02/2011

Fashion's future: art, anatomy and aerodynamic design?


Global fastening producer,YKK, is currently hosting an ‘out-of-this-world’ exhibition in St Martin’s Courtyard, a bijou new shopping precinct in Covent Garden. The Future of Fashion will be open daily until 10th March. The minimalist selection is described as ‘a celebration of London based next generation design talent, hand-picked by some of the world’s leading fashion colleges and talent spotting organizations.’

If this show is anything to go by, fashions of the future will be wearable works of art, designed to help enhance our anatomy in functional ways:

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14/02/2011

Arty accessories: bags as design art


The growing demand for unique accessories, combined with the current focus on collecting art and design has resulted in the latest curious trend - bags that are works of collectable design art. The larger the bag, the better, as oversized bags provide a bigger canvas for designers to customize with quirky trimmings, found objects and street art inspired painting effects:

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06/02/2011

Shoes as headwear


Are shoes the new hats? I’m not quite sure where and when this curious trend originated - I may even have started it myself…

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22/01/2011

Harajuku style and gothic Lolita fashion


At the end of World War II, US soldiers and their families began to occupy the Harajuku area of Tokyo and it became the place where, according to Wikipedia, ‘curious young people flocked to experience a different culture.’ The Harajuku district is now home to a wide variety of small and unique shops and is frequented by fashion designers, models and photographers. It’s also home to some distinct ‘fashion tribes’, which are chiefly represented by the following styles:

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22/01/2011

Folding in fashion


From origami, to kimonos and furoshiki, the Japanese are masters in the art of folding all manner of materials. With the strong influence of the Far East in fashion and design this year, it’s likely we’ll be seeing more beautifully folded fabrics in garments on catwalks over the coming months.

Here's a snapshot selection of designs featuring folds by Japanese fashion designers, as viewed at the Barbican’s current exhibition Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion:

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15/01/2011

DIY gothic and steampunk style and entertainment


A gallery talk at the Barbican by Catherine Spooner, Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Lancaster University and author of Contemporary Gothic this week coincided with a presentation by London steampunk club, White Mischief, whcih organises steampunk-themed events. Their alternative, Victorian-style view of the future includes ‘bustles, top hats and clockwork innards jostling against sci-fi visions such as ray guns and steam cannons’.

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04/12/2010

Introspection and identity in fashion


“The academic study of fashion is relatively young and we have a lot of ground to cover if we are to convince consumer society that fashion is more than a bulging wardrobe,” says visual artist Lucy Orta. Orta is also Professor of Art Fashion and the Environment at the London College of Fashion and one of the curators of the latest GSK Contemporary – Aware: Fashion Art Identity at The Royal Academy of Arts, 6 Burlington Gardens in London.

This show presents fashion that’s not actually fashion– it’s art, and as such is deemed worthy of serious critical analysis and philosophical contemplation. Curiously unwearable catwalk creations seem no longer enough, as collecting becomes more fashionable than fashion itself, giving rise to a new breed of fashion art aficionado and collector.

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04/12/2010

Geeky librarian style


The bookish look has been around for a little while, but expect more geeky librarian style next season
 too:

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20/11/2010

Trophy preppy style


It’s taken a while, but are we finally starting to see a return to real preppy style? Not just the pseudo version of ‘anyone can wear it so long as they can pay’, but the proper version of the deserving wearer, according to their achievements in academia and/or sportsmanship.

Trophy preppy style is all to do with hard work leading to excellence – and, of course, it’s about winning. With the Olympics coming to the UK in the not too distant future, we’re beginning to focus on achieving the desired results - and we're hoping to collect lots of medals.

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31/10/2010

Morbid fashion accessories


The increasing focus on medical, anatomical and pathology related themes by emerging artists and designers reflects an interest in the deeper issues underlying our current concern with body image and all things superficial. Curiosity about our mortality is growing as we try to re-discover ourselves, having become lost amongst empty material trappings of a society that’s changed dramatically over a relatively short period of time.

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18/09/2010

Mad hatters of Steampunk style


Move over Professor Brainstorm, Steampunk is turning cogs in fashionable circles. Recently described by the The Economist's Intelligent Life magazine as being “cyberpunk’s retro cousin,” Steampunk is rapidly becoming less a curious, geeky lifestyle/sub-culture and more part of the mainstream trend towards all things Victorian and Gothic.

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16/08/2010

Victorian style bustles


There’s a definite trend towards all things Victorian at the moment, so I suppose it’s not so extraordinary to see bustles starting to reappear. The bustle was big in the nineteenth century, when it was worn with a corset, to fill out the rump - emphasizing the waist and bottom. The shape of the bustle changed slightly over the latter part of this period, but remained a firm favourite in fashionable circles, as evidenced in artworks, cartoons and historically accurate fashion illustrations from La Mode Illustree.
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09/06/2010

Men's brooches

Brooches for men were the exotic new accessory at the Autumn/Winter 2010 collections. However, next season’s designer brooches are mainly based on traditional old English, Scottish/Celtic designs, featuring antlers, thistles and the like. 
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01/06/2010

Polyvore Group Icon Contest winner




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