Trend analyst Sharon Graubard on the year in Fashion
Nobody could accuse the fashion industry of an unexciting year in 2011. If anything the drama that played out on the runway, and off, should keep us talking well into 2012. Along with headlines chronicling Galliano’s fall from grace at Dior, the record breaking crowds for Alexander McQueen at the Met, Versace’s sold out collaboration with H&M and Lady Gaga pushing the boundaries of costume, the year will be noted for the industry’s dedicated embrace of the Internet, and the cementing of new voices in the world of design.
“Fashion is becoming more self expressive, less trend driven, and in particular more artisanal,” says Sharon Graubard senior VP, trend analysis at Stylesight, a global fashion forecasting company. “Plus there is a shift to collecting clothes, investing in them.”
Centurion spoke with Graubard about the highlights of the fashion year of 2011 and what to expect for in 2012.
CENTURION: Was 2011 a strong year in terms of fashion design?
Sharon Graubard: I think it was a great year. We saw a lot of newness, a lot of exuberance and enthusiasm, particularly in prints. I think Celine doing the scarf print and the Dries Van Noten printed pants were influential. There were also new silhouettes – the hourglass, the longer skirt. At Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs promoted the midi skirt and that really took hold, and the waist became a key silhouette, which I think will continue.
Which designers really stood out this year?
I thought Carven made a big impact, also Christopher Kane for Versus. Mary Katrantzou’s prints were extraordinary, and Suno from New York. Also designers to watch are Humberto Leon and Carol Lim for Kenzo and Brazilian Pedro Lourenco. There is a new guard taking hold.
Were there any radical shifts by consumers in their thinking because of the recession?
What we saw was accessories became more important. If a woman is going to invest in a piece, she will buy a handbag that she will carry every day. Women are moving past trends, buying things that will really update their wardrobe.
What is on the horizon for 2012 in terms of design?
Prints have been coming into fashion for a while but now people are really embracing them, mixing them and allowing them to clash. We will also see more artisanal design. The key value in dressing now is the small manufacturer, curated boutiques, eco-consciousness. And the active look will go forward and we’ll mix it with more luxurious pieces. There will be a sense of everyday luxury.
Designers as influencers in 2012?
Christopher Kane, Jil Sander, Haider Ackermann, also Lanvin, still holds our imagination. At Burberry, Christopher Bailey is doing fantastic work. There are some younger designers coming out of Italy, among them Gabriele Colangelo and Daniela Gregis, that are bringing a newness to design.
Will the silhouette shift radically next season?
I think the interest in relaxed dressing is still strong, but there is also a moment that is not ostentatious, but we will be having fun with opulence in 2012. Maybe the Liz Taylor auction at Christies will be a harbinger.
Accessories will continue to be a big story?
Absolutely. In 2012 there will be a focus on the neck, with statement jewelry becoming bigger and more individual. Shoulder duster earrings will also continue. I think the McQueen, Balenciaga and Jil Sander collections really set the stage for some fabulous jewelry.
Will luxury/mass marriages peak?
They’re still very powerful, and expect more, because consumers are interested in fashion like never before. Designers who used to be known to a rarified few are now household names, and understandably, people want a piece of it. The success of these collaborations shows that design itself is a quality that’s appreciated. The fabric or detail may not be the same, but the garment has the aesthetic and that’s what consumers want.
What are the key must- see exhibitions in 2012?
The Jean- Paul Goude retrospective (at Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris until March 18). He was responsible for Grace Jones’ looks, I think some of that eighties feeling for dressing up and having fun is coming back. Also the Prada/ Schiaparelli show at the Met will be very influential going forward.
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