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Lidewij Edelkoort: "We should standardize design"

By Caitlyn Terra


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Amsterdam - "We always reach for something new, when actually it's old. We should stop that, as trends last a long time," says Lidewij Edelkoort, trend forecaster. A remarkable statement for anyone to make, let alone during a trend seminar, especially when it comes from the speaker herself. Even though we are used to the bold statements made by Lidewij Edelkoort, her declaration is still met with nervous laughter from the audience during her seminar 'Portraits of Fashion,' in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

A large group has gathered together in the Theatre de Meervaar in the city center once more, hoping to transform Edelkoort words of wisdom into solid business plans and ideas. Edelkoort does not disappoint and spends the day discussing twenty leading trends surrounding her concept of portraits set to dominate the fashion industry over the next few seasons. The celebrated trend forecaster then spends the afternoon going over specific trends dedicated to activewear. Everyone who attends one of Edelkoort's seminars comes with the hopes of being inspired. "It's actually a gift, such an afternoon like this," says Daphne Weimen, who runs her own interior design company. She attended one of Edelkoort's seminar last year and implemented some of the trends into her own work. "For example, the color blue." Which is exactly why she enters the hall with her notebook in hand.

Edelkoort found inspiration for this trend seminar in youth culture, more specifically the selfie-driven one. What used to be the painted portraits in an era long gone has been transformed into a selfie taken with the aid of a smartphone. It is important to consumers that the items they wear can be recorded or captured by themselves thanks to the camera in the smartphone. They do this by taking a selfie, or another form of self-photography, like Snapchat for example, where they take a photograph of the shoes they are wearing that day from above. Edelkoort plays a lot of attention to the rise of collars as well, as seen by the like of Burberry and Giambattista Valli for example. Earrings will also become a key accessory as well, according to Edelkoort. She references the portraits of aristocrats, nobles, and poets of the past, which often saw collars and earring playing the main role, to illustrate her point.

Lidewij Edelkoort" "Standardization saves a lot of time and money"

Most of the trends Edelkoort mentions are to be taken more figuratively than literally, such as the excess of lace layers, the floral print, and the emergence of other motifs, which are said to point to an abstract flow in fashion. "This has been coming for so long, abstraction. But we just have so much to tell at the moment that first, we have to go back to what we already know."

Not only does Edelkoort have a lot to say about fashion trends - she also delves into the current state of the fashion industry as she did back in 2015 with her now-famous Anti-Fashion manifesto. At the time she urged the industry to move towards a new system while criticizing the current fast-paced fashion system. During her latest seminar, she took the time to emphasize her message once more. "The fashion system needs to change." She refers to her previous statement on the ever-present cycle of 'new clothes' launching in stores and how the industry really needs to stop this constant flow of new clothing. "In fact, we need to standardize clothes which are already perfectly good." The audience is audibly surprised by this statement, as the fashion industry thrives on newness to make its money. "It would save a lot of time and money."

Originally written by Caitlyn Terra for FashionUnited NL, edited and translated for FashionUnited UK by Vivian Hendriksz

Photos: courtesy of Catwalkpictures, Burberry AW17/Giambattista Valli AW17, Céline AW17

Lidewij Edelkoort