Trends in the post!

21 April 2004


We received hundreds and hundreds of portfolios from fashion designers all over the world, from 69 nations to be precise! It was not difficult to recognise that there was a wealth of information concealed in all the projects that arrived and what we were looking at was an observatory of young creative trends. What we have tried to do is create a concentrated report on the observations we extracted from the countless hours of viewing the ITS#THREE applicants. We believe that this is of value because these applicants are a slice of the future.

Each country has a its own approach to seeing and feeling fashion and its own way to express and interpret it. No one way is right or wrong, beauty lies in difference. Having looked at hundreds and hundreds of portfolios it comes natural to see an outfit and comment “ah very Dutch, but there are traces from Japan”. We didn’t just look mindlessly but pondered long and hard as there was much food for thought. What we saw when gazing at all the portfolios were elements that linked projects from opposite sides of the world, of course the way in which these elements were interpreted differed.
Clearly no two portfolios are the same but some main “trends” were caught by our vigilant beady eyes;
deconstruction, trousers became dresses, we found coats around knees
collision, as if outfits grew feet and bumped into other outfits and objects, ending up with bits and pieces attached at times harmonious at times chaotic
patchwork/fragments, rich, elaborate outfits without restraining from the use of a copious selection of fabrics
fusion, east meets west, 50’s meet 80’s, or even Joan of Arc from Mongolia.

In contrast there was a stream of those who opted for simple clean forms and fabrics deprived of any elaborate ornamentation, comfort is the buzzword with plenty of sporty references.
Classic forms were made more “easy” by boosting measurements and going oversize.
We saw all the colours of the rainbow and much more… Chinese, Japanese and African prints popped up. Tweed and Wales check made frequent appearances both with classic and modern interpretations.

Not only did we look and think but we also did a hell of a lot of reading concepts and inspirations. From bizarre, humorous, warped, downright nonsensical to passionate, sweet and touching. Children and childhood elements proved to still be sources of inspiration. Plenty of puzzles, infantile and philosophical depictions, at times complete at times with pieces missing. The invasion of fish was seen with examples of mini and maxi mackerel, comical sardines and shimmering jellyfish dresses. Less welcome were the fish smell effects that accompanied the collection!! The circus was another favourite source of inspiration portrayed multitude. Many applicants drew inspiration from mental health and psychiatric care creating straight jackets, cares and patients outfits. We also saw a lot of “healing” clothes. It is clear that these references are fruits of the times we are living.

Preselection Jury Quotes:


A personal collection at the end of years of hard study most of the time draws inspiration from the deep inner self of the designer. It also shows well what is going in new generation of creatives. This year, even more than last, nostalgia, family and longing for cosiness was very evident in the works. For these many many naïf and childlike influences and a search for dreams, fantasies and fairy tales (I classify circus in this trend too). The other trend is more feminine, constructed, reconstructed and decorated, with definitely a more researched material. This is bringing definitely new silhouettes on the catwalk while still being nostalgic in feel and hardwork.


The general trend is one of nostalgia, dream, family, roots ( grand parents, etc… )and a research of individuality.
No violence, little action and glamour, no allusion to music or rock culture.
Conceptual collections tend to disappear instead we have two clear directions:

  1. fusions, “ethno historical ” a lot of constructed/deconstructed, mixed piece with a lot of work and research in fabrics
  2. childish, playful, circus, fun for the ones who refuse to grow (dolls, comic, strip, etc… )


This experience was very enriching for us because it’s an opportunity to understand and to see trends schools all around the world and not only in Europe.
We’ve now a point of view more extended and open minded on creativity.
On another side we understand that young graduates are “obsessed” by often the same designers ( Mc Queen, … ).
The trends are not so sexy, very baroque, historic, constructed/deconstructed with a lot of “accumulation”. They all are inspired by past and nostalgia, not future.

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