Colour is the new black

Colour is the new black

Trends in the new decade, Spring 2020, are you ready?

ColourHouse sent out our own 007 observer on a trend mission 2020, scanning the fairs, analysing the trend conferences, what are the key drivers to look out for, heading towards the new decade? 7 concepts to keep rack of when you develop the spring 2020 season.


1. The design industry confirms colour is back

Heading into Autumn 2019, Trend Union’ founder Lidewij Edelkoort declared she never made such a bright autum colourcard. And the reason was climate change. Longer, hot summers, wet, milder winters does not only make the fashion season postponed and prolonged. We will also want to wear more and brighter colours all year around, she said, and continued the same path into 2020.

When D.cipher fm’ founder Christine Foden, View’s founder David Shah and FS Fashion Snoops design director Michael Fisher participated in the Scandinavian Next Trend tour in December, more colour was also part of the big message. According to David Shah, sales of black fashion items dropped by 10% from April 2017 to April 2018 in Great Britain and both Li Edelkoort and Christine Foden spoke of lack of interest in black.

Above all, the trend analytics believe in midtones Spring 2020 – colours with a lot of pigment and a tint of calming white or black. Most prominent of all tones is green: from pistachio, menthe, apple to lime to avocado, khaki, olive, needle and moss and accents of neon yellow and dirty sour lemon. The green continues towards celadon, turquoise and petrol to indigo and Mediterranean blue.

Red scale is found within all the various trend institutes. Scout showing warm earth tones, Fashion Snoops’ Michael Fischer speak of lava hot ranges from orange to warm red to ox blood and D.cipher believes in orange, terracotta and burgundy. Orange is also the colour, that together with purple fights for pole position, replacing yellow. Pink still is a hang around, but question is to what extent and in how. Who knows, the Swedish fashion industry might get hit by the pink fever when they have visited the design legend Zandra Rhodes guest exhibition at Formex in January.

For those who still fumble after a replacement for black, might feel relieved in the safe haven of white, eggshell, sand, light grey and warm brown midtones.

2. Close to nature

Forget about PT and bikram yoga. Now it is the wilderness that counts. Or at least a grove, hill or lake for its old honourable activities like camping, hiking, climbing, paddling, fishing and lake swimming. This trend has various connections. Partly it is about togetherness, where you detach from the other world for uncompromising company and everyday adventures. Yet it may well be a trip of your own, to be alone in nature for meditation, yoga and cleansing from urban stress and exhaust. We also see that foraging, to pick and eat what the wild outback offers, is growing in interest.

Some new advanced design solutions, well not really needed for outback living 2.0, only comfortable functional clothes like pants and waistcoat with pockets, soft shirts, tricot garments and light wind breakers.

3. Broadened minds

There is a lot of talk about drugs right now. Summer of love and Woodstock filtered through a forgiving nostalgic filter now that we are 50 years later. CIA’s LSD-experiment during the 50s is debated, among other things due to Netflix-series Wormwood. Magic mushroom healing properties and/or mind blowing effects and Canada legalising cannabis gives fat headlines. Michael Fisher explain that the interest is connected to the overall interest in health, where we prefer being our own doctors and believe more in alternative medicine and mental training than medical sciences. So what has LSD and meditation with fashion to do? There is no new hippie trend around the corner, but there is strong interest in the graphics and images, inspired by psychedelic colourful and hard to catch rainbow colours or soap bubbles in the backlight.

4. Laboratory rats

Chemistry, bio-tech and it-technology. Tech is changing our lives and it is in the laboratories where the future is born. This is where we collect print inspiration in the shape of molecules, DNA-spirals and macro variations of microscopic imagery, enforced by 3D and hologram effects.

5. Together we are strong

Paris riots and climate change collapse, refugee crisis, governmental chaos and school shootings. And Donald Trump on top of that. World politics is imposing our lives and people react differently. Some stop their head in the sand. Others gets together, dress in pink hats or yellow waistcoats and creates a hashtag.  – “All people are rebels today. Everyone protests against something, young, companies, Hollywood stars”, says David Shah.
Activism inspires new materials and garments designed like balaclavas and masks against gas, bulletproof jackets or rubberized fabrics and hybrid products between bags and waistcoats worn as holster. American Vogue recently invented the new concept war-core, garments and gear dedicated to war, as if it is the new norm-core, but most of all, this interest can be seen in the graphics, the messages in large letters shouting out stop consuming, save the seas or open the borders. The new collectivism is also turned inwards, through boosting energy and stretching our brains with poetry evenings, vegan potlucks with our friends. The garments are poor of detailing, casual and voluminous, rounded shapes, materials either rustling poplin fresh weightless in parachute nylon or softwear with slub yarn inclusions.

6. The art of having fun

David Shah talks about adults dressing up accordingly and play with Lego Forma models, Li Edelkoort talks about decorating your own cocktail bar at home (where all the liquor and the velvet coach all co-matching in yellow) and Michael Fisher looks back to the 80’s dance halls in Harlem and break dance culture. In total: we want to have fun. Those who do not have the power to save the world (or just needs a break) indulge themselves in decadence and on the dance floor it is skin revealing, shimmering, decollate, super tight, high shine, bright and uninhibited.  

7. Street life

Do you remember when Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Shoo were – in a double sense – the height of happiness? During the fashion week in Copenhagen August 2018, a handful of stilettos were to be seen among the catwalk audience, but for the rest, flat as a mat. Birkenstock, Birkenstock and some flip flops was default dressing among sales staff, buyers and fashion wannabies. And sneakers of course. Back in the days, the sport giants had monopoly on cool design collaborations and limited editions. Today, luxury brands like Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton has rewritten the map of fashion direction power entirely by creating shoes that are so rare, fashionistas are ready to… In the hunt of getting hold of a pair, they are excessive in large brand graphics, nobody will miss who is the maker. With Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton and Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga, the luxury houses owner’s has also proved they are aware where the things are going. The new luxury consumer is grown up in streetwear with hip hop in the Bluetooth headsets and would never even consider to wear something uncomfortable. That this is true in menswear we know since a long time, but here comes the hype babe, a cool girl in luxury wrap up who owns the street by merging Kim Kardashian sexy type of styling with the boys street wear. And she will never put on a pencil skirt with 14 cm heals.

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