microtrend alert! Rustic Graphics
As we look ahead to A/W 19/20, considering patterns, color palettes, textiles, and motifs, one of the trends that is most prominent is Pacific Northwest. An ode to 70's color tones and outdoor lifestyle, this theme brings to mind the rugged Northwestern United States. From Western fringe detailing and cozy Sherpa textures to blanket patterns and plaids that recall early 90's grunge, this vibe has been all over runways like Zadig & Voltaire's Fall 2018 RTW show. This cabin culture aesthetic reflects a collective desire to be more connected with nature to offset our tech-infused lives overrun with virtual and augmented reality.
When dissecting this Pacific Northwest trend even further, a microtrend that emerges as the most prominent in patterns we have identified are Rustic Graphics. Along with the visual story of woodland lifestyle with A-frame cabin homes, rugged terrain, and windswept coastline, the iconic graphic patterns of the indigenous peoples of the region are also a strong inspiration. This pattern trend takes its inspiration from blanket motifs, tribal patterns, and zig-zags. Strong lines and diamond and triangular shapes are all important. These repetitious geometric shapes in many different forms have been seen on runways displayed on chunky sweaters, capes, and printed on woven pieces.
There have been many examples of film supporting the Pacific Northwest trend for the past several seasons. The revival of hit 90's TV series Twin Peaks in 2017 brought back scenes of the Pacific Northwest to our screens. The foggy and mysterious serenity of the fictional rural town Twin Peaks in Washington reawakens a nostalgia for the era of the original series. Those oversized (almost frumpy sweaters), plaid shirts, and hints of androgynous dressing juxtaposed with vintage sweater-girl styling all go hand in hand with the chilly and gloomily dense wilderness landscape and small town scandal.
Post-Twin Peaks The Return, major fashion brand Chanel chose woodlands and an overall forest feel for its runway set during Paris Fashion Week in March 2018. The scenery was captivating with towering trees, mossy greens, a misty backdrop and crunchy fallen leaves. The models wrapped in layers for the brisk outdoor cold and the lovely setting reminded us of the chilly forest of the Northwest region.
Getty Images, Independent.co.uk
In December 2018, film and television giant, Netflix, kept the Pacific Northwest vibe going strong with its most watched movie ever, Bird Box. This film starring Sandra Bullock takes place in Northern California, where the characters must brave the rugged terrain and the costumes evoke practicality and functionalism, in keeping with the wilderness theme. In Bullock's famed row boat scene she is dressed in a padded jacket from Uniqlo, which, according to Outside Online, has sold out at the major retailer since the film aired. Traditional red lace hiking boots have made a comeback as well, fitting in with the Pacific Northwest active outdoor culture.