Key trends mens- and womenswear SS24
What is fashion? Who defines it? And where does a trend start? These are all questions that Rossella Catapano, professor at the Accademia Della Moda (IUAD) in Naples, started her trend forecast at Istanbul Fashion Connection (IFCO) on 10th February 2023 with.
Trendforecasts are all about colours, styles and materials and for Catapano, today’s trends need to take the changes in the world and the cultural needs into account. “However,” she cautions, “we should take different preferences into account.”
She also points to the fact that trends have gotten ever shorter life spans - so called micro-trends like giant platform shoes, for example, barely make it a season.
In terms of the reach of trends, she says “do not underestimate social media. The speed of global information is crucial today.” With that have emerged new icons like fashion bloggers and influencers.
Where does a trend start?
Catapano then answers the question of what creates a trend: “It is the need to belong; the desire for conformity, which leads to the creation of fashion and social tribes.” In this context, she mentions gender-fluid garments as fulfilling a need.
In the post-pandemic world, Catapano reflected how homewear has become loungewear and dressing up also means being comfortable. In terms of materials, this means being light-weight. “Men’s fashion is now relevant and trend-setting,” she added.
Sustainability is another area that has come out strong but she cautions that we need to distinguish between truly green fashion and greenwashing. Circular fashion is a key word here but the industry needs to take care not only to end up with niche products at high prices. For her, only “vintage mania” is really circular. Being in Turkey, Catapano points to the country’s important roots in artisanal goods. “We need to rediscover our roots and handicrafts,” she says.
In terms of forecasting, “the best way to predict the future is to create it,” says Catapano. At IUAD, that means working on a mood board to collect different images for inspiration. Then follows the research and “feeling the vibe” of the collection. Story telling is also an important part of the process, especially for customer involvement.
The most important trend that Catapano has seen is body positivity, which is here to stay, as well as going back to the roots. “This does not mean copying but studying and not loosing one’s roots,” she sums up, advising especially young designers.
Key menswear and womenswear trends SS24
The director of trend curation at WGSN, Kim Mannino, previewed the trends that will influence womens- and menswear for SS24 in a presentation at IFCO on 9th February 2023. For spring/summer 2024, the New York-based trend forecasting predicts two key trends with various sub trends and a key story with varies key shapes. The company relies on a team of about 300 people to predict and analyse the key trends each season.
Key trend “Protect & Connect”
“Protect & Connect” will be a key womenswear trend in spring/summer 2024 that draws on a sense of community and security. The ranges remain small and focus on quality. “Less is more,” cautions Mannino.
In terms of colours, warm tones will dominate womenswear like “Fondant Pink”, “Radiant Red”, “Ocean Coral”, “Nutshell” and “Apricot Crush” in the palette of reds but also the colours of nature with “Oat Milk”, “Ground Coffee”, “Pineapple”, “Sea Kelp”, “Nephrite” and “Green Fig”. “‘Mightnight Blue’ will be there darkest colour, there is no black,” says Mannino.
Among the subthemes are “Emotional Minimalism” with a focus on craftsmanship and neutral colours. Overall, creations will be made to last more than one season. “Boho Surf” for high summer is uplifted vintage with a hint of hippie coming back, great for “using up deadstock” according to Mannino.
“Minimalist Resort” will be classic holiday sub-theme, supported by “Joyful Nautical” that manages a different take on stripes, for example disconnected ones. “Here, we will also find comforting textures,” says Mannino.
“Prepare Wear” will focus on clothing that protects from all kinds of environmental influences like UV rays, germs and pollution. Adjustability is also key, with drawstrings and adaptable features. “A kind of one-size-fits-all that should help with sizing,” adds Mannino.
Then there is “Earthy Luxury” tapping into the fact that the pandemic has brought people to spend more time in nature. As the name suggests, “Artisanal Touch” focuses on craftsmanship with a bit of embroidery and appliqués. “Thrift Cult” taps into the rise of vintage fashion and the fact that the secondhand look is becoming more common. In addition, different colours and textures can be thrown together.
“Future dressing” focuses on smarter dressing but lose, more relaxed silhouettes at the same time. “This is hybrid clothing that works at home but also in the office/evening, a kind of day-to-night wear,” explains Mannino.
Menswear designs also take the natural world for inspiration and there is a focus on creating no waste. The colour palette is slightly darker.
The “Craftwed Workwear” sub-theme emphasises denims and workwear while “Future Classics” goes for quirky a quirky look. “Horticool” stresses the connection to nature while “Outdoor Prep” is a take on the active sport world.
“Modern Nautical” combines stripes with off-white and “Natural Craft” is all about being creative. “Nostalgic Retro” goes for a mid-century design, channelling the pre-digital era of the ‘70s and ‘80s with high waisted or flared pants. Last but not least, there is “Raw Luxury” that focuses on gorgeous materials an textures as well as timeless pieces.
The second key theme will merge the natural with the technical, thus connection the physical with the virtual world. “Sense Scapes” will have an organic but also a heightened digital look whose bright colours are inspired by the worlds of gaming and the metaverse. “Pink Diamond”, “Pink Flash” and “Radiant Red” stand out here for womenswear, supported by “Mellow Peach” and “Parchment”.
“Fresh Mint”, “Sage Leaf”, “Tidal Teal” and “Adriatic Sea” tap into the blue spectrum while “Gentle Lavender”, “Purple Swirl” and “Black” round off the colour palette. For menswear, there is “Cyber Lime”, “Nutshell”, “Sea Kelp”, “Fondant Pink” and “Green Fig” as well as “Astro Dust”, “Italian Clay” and “Terracotta” among the red hues. They are supported by “Tidal Teal”, “Adriatic Sea”, “Cornflower” and “Pineapple”.
There are nine womenswear sub-themes and seven menswear sub-themes that follow the theme suggested by “Sense Scapes”: “Bohemian Alchemist” combines Boho-chic with astrology and spirituality but is also a hippie throwback and thus an opportunity to use deadstock.
“Solar Punk” is a sci-fi inspired sub-theme that goes into the fantastical with intense colours and florals inspired by virtual worlds. “Scavenged Beauty” incorporates elements like shells, stones, minerals and crystals and even metal and macramé. “Synesthesia” taps into sensorial experiences with amazing colours and patterns, similar to “Otherworldly Glamour”.
“Tropadelic Office” uses brights on dark colours while “Ocean Wonders” taps into our fascination with the ocean, using distorted dyeing and umbra. “Serene Futurism” taps into SS23 layering, soft pastels an delicate fabrics whereas “Digital Dune” references the desert landscape.
For menswear, sub-themes consist of “Gaming Lounge” with bright colours, “Powered by Nature” with earthy tones, “Postmodern Safari”, “Tropadelic Office” and “Synesthesia” as well as in womenswear, “Pyjama Dressing” and “Soft Function”.
Key story: “Creative Confidence”
“Creative Confidence” follows lateral thinking and a circular design, which translates into innovative techniques and exuberant and resourceful womenswear. “Life can be difficult and this trend is about staying as positive as we can,” states Mannino.
“Statement Simplicity”, “Indie Glow”, “Illusion”, “Satori-all”, “Find Your Way”, “Sartorial Sports”, “Amped-up Retro” and “Surreal Warping” are the sub-themes for womenswear, while menswear can expand on “Main Character Energy”, “Enhanced Energy/Day”, “Vibrant Vacation”, “Nightlife”, “Redefining Masculinity”, “Retro Sport Resort” an “Pop Utility”.
Key shapes among woven tops are the peasant blouse, wrap blouse, denim shirt or oversized shirt. In dresses, there is the wrap dress, body-conscious dress, cut-out dress, slip dress and the modern occasion dress. Among knits, vests, crew necks, V-necks, roll-necks and cardigans round of the selection.
Skirts can be wrapped, flared, short or pencil skirts, while pants can be wide-legged or flared. With blazers, lightweight trenchcoats, utility jackets, commuter jackets or padded jackets there is variety in this segment as well.