inspiring us: Warrior Women
It is not unusual for fashion to reflect what is going on in society. Fashion is currently swept up in a wave of social change that will have an impact on what we see from the runways to the street.
A top trend prediction for Fall / Winter 2018-19 is inspired by female warriors both real and mythical. How will this impact our work going forward?
image - Warriors of the North by Natalia Mrowiec, via: Pinterest
There is no denying that we are in the midst of a momentous cultural change in regards to women's rights. The recent turn of events is indicating a paradigm shift in some deeply entrenched injustices tolerated by half of society from time immemorial. The #metoo movement, the Women's March which outshone the inaugural celebration earlier this year, and many other recent social media sensations and events have created a watershed moment that many women did not think would happen in our lifetime. The stigmatization of victims of sexual harassment, assault, and discrimination is starting to be called out for the bullying and backwards thinking it is, and more people with stories to tell are finding support instead of vilification. One can only wonder how the shameful debacle of the Anita Hill case would have played out differently if it had happened now; I'd like to think it would have. This is not to say we still don't have a long way to go, but there is a glimmer of hope that real change is imminent and will create a better society long-term for all.
Dior - we should all be feminists, source - Vogue
Although it may seem trite to wonder how this will affect our industry, fashion has historically been an indicator and reflection of social change, and also has often played a vital role in the powerful statements those groups advocating for change are trying to make. One cannot deny the visual power of a uniform, or jarring effect of a statement made with personal appearance that is considered outside a society's norms. The monochromatic militant look of the Black Panthers, the red berets of the Guardian Angels, the color coordination of American suffragettes - all these movements leveraged the power of appearance. From early days of independently minded women stubbornly wearing pants to the miniskirts of the mid-century feminist movement, fashion and women's causes have been intimately intertwined. Case in point: the term "bra-burning" conjures up a powerful image of a certain kind of feminism even though it is widely known that in reality, no bras were burned at that historic 1968 beauty pageant. The runways this year have been awash in political statements and many designers have not been shy about using their platform to make their views clear. Slogan T-shirts have been used in fashion since the 1980's and have not really gone away since, but have seen such a surge in sales this year that they are beginning to create their own environmental problem.
Another reflection of social culture is film, and here we have had a gravitation toward stronger female characters as well. There has been a never-ending slew of superhero movies in the past 5 years (or more), but the most recent ones have highlighted female heroines much moreso. Scarlett Johansson helped pave the way with her Black Widow roles, but she was not the leading force on team Avengers. 2017 has brought us blockbuster Wonder Woman, and the very strong female fighters (both heroic and villainous) in Thor Ragnarok. I for one cannot wait to see the costumes and serious badass female warriors that Black Panther promises. If art imitates life, film is seems to be catching the wave of feminism, at least in the storyline department. Now, let's see if Hollywood actually follows suit and starts paying actresses equally and treating them with some respect.
Cate Blanchett is formidable as the villainess, Hela, in Thor Ragnarok. source - Cinema Blend
SO, how do we see the current climate affecting fashion trends? The rise in female empowerment has ushered in an aesthetic of the woman warrior. Our latest trend, Valkyrie Syndrome, speaks to this concept. The mythic heroines of the past: valkyries, amazons, and legions of real-life and legendary females are the inspiration for our trend. While we don't wish to denigrate any important movement by commercializing it, to ignore that this will have an impact on how we dress and what we gravitate towards aesthetically is not to take note of what is going on in the world and what will be meaningful to our customers.
This trend is an homage to strong women everywhere and also an exploration of some of the mythology behind some of the most intriguing lore of female warriors throughout the ages. Our trend report includes Pantone color direction as well as important details, silhouettes, and accessories information. Expect patterns with chain mail and armor, nordic symbols, motifs of weaponry, and lots of feathers - a nod to the legendary Valkyries.
explore some of the patterns we have already developed for this trend below, and visit our Prints page to see more: