verbal croquis

fashion predictions for 2006

Posted in opinions by verbalcroquis on January 5, 2006

To prove to you that I’m being as objective as possible in this post, I present to you, exhibit A:

I believe purple *gulp* is back.

Okay, seriously.  In order to look at the fashion predictions for 2006, we have to take a step back and acknowledge the differences between the fashion industry and the garment industry. The fashion industry exists to come up with new ideas, present the best, the most exquisite, the new, the avant-garde. It perpetuates the fashion myth, the fantasy, the image, for better or for worse.

The garment industry is more interested in catering to the masses in what they want cuz the buck comes first. Not that it doesn’t in fashion, but garmentos are less interested in the new and exciting and more interested in increased revenue. They are the stores in the Midwest that sell fugly sweaters for $19.99. They forget that these most people don’t know what’s good for them, fashion-wise.

It’s important to make these distinctions because what you will see out on the streets this year is dictated by these two industries. Keep in mind that it’s not necessarily a pricepoint distinction either. Money doesn’t buy taste or style, and sometimes, it’s a very very sad thing indeed. I weep for them, I do.

With that said, garmentos will be pushing the boho over-embellished look for a while more, at least for the first half of the year, alongside the cowgirl look. They’re gonna milk the boho look for all its worth. The cowgirl look (translated into western prints and stylings, lots of studded ruffly embellishment, leather and leather wannabes, suddenly everyone will think they look good in DaisyDukes) will probably last longer than any of us would like, but it will happen, segueing later in the year into the prairie girl look (western prints done up more girly, lots of fringe, suddenly everyone will think they look good with a wide ruffly yoke attacking their face).

The latter half of the year will also include more “cost-efficient” renditions of the military jackets, velvet done oh-so-wrong, and poorly tailored pencil skirts.

Fashion will never make as much money (without the accessories), but dammit if it’s not pretty to look at. The new minimalism!!! they say. Oh, come on. Can’t we think of a better catchphrase than that? I don’t even think it’s minimalism—it just looks minimal compared to the bead-encrusted-wunderruffle of yesterseason. Funny how the new interpretations of ruffling for spring 06 look great. Maybe it has something to do with the more neutral palette, the addition of some deconstruction and tailoring, not to mention the lack of rhinestones.

Okay, enough about what it isn’t. It’s wartime and there’s a hell of a lot of wartime references, other than the military and nautical looks (which are both great). I love the fact that these WWII and Victorian references are what we come up with to follow up the hippiedippiefreeloveletswearfrillyshit collections. Nothing like a big ole dose of sexual repression to make clothes sell! (I kid. If you’ve read my fashion forecasting post, you know I kid.)

What I see is that the 40s are back in full force in both obvious and subtle ways. Japanese inspiration, 40s era silhouettes, leaner and meaner clothes resulting from war-era shortages, complete with full blown fantasy dreamscape blips harkening back to the escapism movies. We’ve even got our very own Marie Antoinette remake coming up! (Okay, I’m off by a couple of years; moving on. I save my attempts at accuracy for pattern notches and dye lots. Besides, they had to make that movie before Norma Shearer started looking any worse.)

After several seasons of unstructured, shapeless, voluminous spangles, we’re back to tailored looks, sharper looks. There’s a lot of emphasis on the waist, even though no 2 designers can actually agree on where exactly that is right now. But let’s not focus on the negative—I’m very much loving the fact that showing off the waist is in and actually showing the waist is out. I mean, since when did anything just long enough to cover my belly button become a tunic?

Despite how lovely the lithe models look in everything, let’s weed out some of the crap that will never look good on real people with real 7-head proportions. Tight, skinny pants? No. Fitted, narrow pants, yes. Shoulder pads? This is where the “minimalism” should kick in. Keyhole blouses with slits down to there? Not everyone can or should go braless.

Hopefully with the focus shifting to more tailored garments, this will lead to hack designers closing up shop. Unpopular opinion be damned, when you’re forced to actually produce beautifully constructed garments without the mask of razzledazzle, a lot of people won’t be able to make the cut (pun intended). Let’s make room in the market and in our wallets for real designers. Am I a design elitist? You say that like it’s a bad thing.

Let’s just pretend I’m in a hopeful mood. I’ve noticed that the retro references are getting less heavy-handed of late and I love this more than I can possibly express. I’m hoping that this too is a sign of the future.

Are you bored yet? If you’re still reading, there’s one more point I’d like to add. There’s a lot of interest and publicity wrapping around “organic cotton” and ecological fashion (both in materials and production). This will likely (if they’re smart) nudge fabric manufacturers to develop polyesters to act, feel and work more like natural fibers, instead of all the techy stuff they’ve been focusing on for a while now. Interest in more eco-friendly fabrics and manufacturing practices will grow, but still at a slow rate. This is just one of those things that until it becomes easy to use, readily accessible, and cost-efficient, people just aren’t going to want to climb aboard. This isn’t exactly as simple as strewing recycling bins all over the office. Nonetheless, I like this direction. My sister the environmentalist would be proud of me.


10 Responses to 'fashion predictions for 2006'

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  1. Great post! I like how you made the distinction between garmentos and the fashion people… that’s definitely an interesting fuzzy line between the two. Purple? Yuck, but you’re probably right, I’ve been hearing a lot of purple rumbling too. As for making the cut… some of us are ready – diy is so over, watch out hacks!

  2. andrea said,

    I agree witht eh purple, but it’s a particular shade of purple, refer to Chloe, spring 2006. The cowboy theme, I think is due to the movies, Brokeback Mountain, and other Western themed flicks. Marie Antoinette look, see YSL AW 2005, so damm gorgeous and I can’t wait for Sofia’s moveie to come out. The japanese influence, see it in Memoirs of a Geisha, Banana Rep did a limitted edition line for it. You comment was we are not in war, yet we have a lot of military inspired looks, then again they say we get a lot of escapism looks when the world is in an unsettled state. Anoher thing to add, more downgraded designer collections on its way.

  3. Victoria said,

    Loved this post – you write so well. I disagree about purple though. Lilac is a very nice color, especially how J. Mendel did it with chiffon dresses.

  4. yuandong said,


  5. I never thought I’d get such commentary on the purple comment! Hahahaha~

    The reason I emphasized it is because my friends know I generally hate purple personally, but try to keep a professional opinion about it.

    I also think a lot of beautiful greens are popular right now too.

  6. Erin said,

    I love when I come across a post that totally works for me in every way! I am trying to “learn” fashion after years of relative obliviousness, and am so happy to see my intuition confirmed by your smart and funny post. Thanks! Thank you also to the nod to eco-friendly fabric and design. I write for treehugger – and we’re all about heralding in a new era of smart design that’s easy on the planet and on the eye. Cheers!

  7. Jane said,

    this is one of the most amazingly accurate things said about fashion ive seen in SO LONG. i agree with you in every way, and thank god for people with the sense that you have. Im sick of these tricks, quality will prevail!

  8. Doozer4567 said,

    hello, nice day

  9. naisioxerloro said,

    Good design, who make it?

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