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Q&A with Lorna Hall, Fashion Director at WGSN

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3 Jun 2021

How do you understand trend forecasting? 

Trends are borne out of many factors coming together to drive change. We track and unpack the drivers of change in society and technology and look at them in the context of the environmental, economic and political challenges happening on a global scale. It’s a pretty standard research framework - but it requires  high quality research and data analysis, together with an understanding of multiple global nuances. When we filter these findings down to the industry specific level our  team of experts in fashion, food, interiors and beauty are considering and contextualising them alongside their specific industry dynamics. We are also researching the shifts in culture and creativity, and this is what sets our methodology apart. Cultural and creative trends inform concept, aesthetic and design, the colour and texture of physical products. It’s only by synthesising all of these inputs that we can identify what the subtleties of the world that future consumers are likely to inhabit will be and, as a result, the products and product attributes that are going to resonate with them.   The most influential clothing trends that impact - what we all wear today - are being directly driven by these broader macro shifts.

How do you think the impact of Covid-19 has affected the fashion industry creatively? Where do you think inspiration is coming from for fashion in SS22 

Creatively we have seen huge inspiration coming through from a new relationship and appreciation of nature and the great outdoors - whether that is simply in the floral and botanical influences across collections, the nostalgic impact of cottagecore  or the  #horticool, influences in print and graphics which are linked to the growing interest in gardening, the healing power of seeds and plants and plant-based products. We have all turned to nature for comfort, stability, inspiration and activities during the pandemic and designers and product developers are reflecting that.

Besides the eco-trend and minimalism, which other micro trends do you see occurring in the SS22 season? What are the trends that have caught your attention of late in terms of their style and substance?

The climate emergency is a force for long term change in the industry's approach to everything. It's being driven by a number of forces coming together and those forces are as disparate and as far reaching as global finance, activism on an international scale and geo-politics.  The fashion industry's first response to these drivers  is already being seen and it's largely around instigating change to protect brand equity and to put in the work to stay relevant for a future where consumer preference, worldwide legislation and the investment and capital markets will be increasingly looking to favour businesses that have adapted their operations to face these challenges head on.

There are some core trends that are really substantive: The strong re-emergence of Y2K looks in the youth market, which had been relevant pre -pandemic but has seen a much stronger resurgence since, this is a direct response to lockdown on that generation's mindset and lifestyle. It's evolved and has this sassy look about it that's getting very commercially focused around skimpy tops and the low waisted jean. The return of body-conscious dressing is part of this fascinating polarised reaction to being shut away from the world and living out their lives online. We are calling it “subversive sexy”— it is a more contemporary, sophisticated and edgier look with a minimal aesthetic, very 90s reminiscent. Gen-Z in particular is interested in these more “outright sexy” looks. 

The continuing growth of the hikebeast and outdoorwear is continuing to impact streetwear and this is a great example of how fashion trends are  increasingly emerging from these lifestyle shifts  - so the growth in outdoor activities here is a key driver for fashion product  in both the premium and mass market.

For more information on the SS22 trends, check FashionUnited's Trend Page