Things are looking up for 2017: The S/S 17 collections are full of life, prompting new fashion ideals and fresh trends to present themselves. Cult brands are born in minutes thanks to social media, while seasonal shopping has received a full shakedown (really, who wants to shop for a winter coat in the height of summer?).
Designers, stylists and publications are looking outside of the box at every turn: This is a time where gender fluidity has been fully embraced and less predictable models and muses are being adopted by high fashion circles. It's a time where (almost) everything can be personalised and tailored to you, where cookie cutter style need not apply and being unique—and oh-so-true to one's self—comes above all other desires.
So how does this translate into the more tangible things? Like, what are you actually going to wear on repeat next year? Which new fashion labels are set to make all in-tune radars bleep off-the-hook? Who and what are we all going to be obsessing over? So. Many. Questions. That's why we turned to some industry leaders—from the influencer world through to A-list stylists and esteemed editors—to gather some reliable inside intel.
Keep reading to see what these style oracles predict will be the biggest fashion trends of 2017…
We have yet to see Raf Simons's first collection for Calvin Klein, but already our fashion sources have understandably high hopes and can feel the hype: "There will be queues for Calvin Klein jeans à la Simons," says Caroline Issa, the executive fashion director at Tank Magazine.
"In times of uncertainty, people seek comfort in nostalgia. One of the biggest trends was the '80s," says Emily Bezzant, head analyst at Edited. "The second series of Stranger Things slated to be released mid-2017 will also help to keep the decade alive."
Grazia's fashion director, Rebecca Lowthorpe agrees: "I particularly love the bubbling up of the raw, creative '80s with new designers like Matty Bovan who have a similar attitude to that decade."
"We have some exciting new designers for S/S 17," says Matches Fashion's buying director, Natalie Kingham. One of her hottest tips? "Teija. It launched in 2012 and includes couture shirting and smocking in Japanese and European cottons—we expect great things."
"We cannot underestimate the effect of Vetements and how it is continuing to influence the power of the cult buy… They continue to be one of our key growth brands this season and their collaboration with Manolo Blahnik undoubtedly dominated the shoe scene for spring summer," explains Sarah Rutson, Net-a-Porter's vice president of global buying. "Being able to exclusively offer this to our customer is incredibly exciting."
The "missing arms" at Saint Laurent are high up on A-list stylist, Cher Coulter's list—expect this trend to take over from this year's off-the-shoulder boom.
"On a more practical front, I love the utility-chic trend emerging, notably designed by busy women—Stella [McCartney], Phoebe [Philo], Julie [de Libran] for Sonia Rykiel and Clare [Waight Keller] at Chloé—which takes big enveloping shapes in a rich tan, beige and khaki palette and shirting in striped blues. It just looks so appetising and effortless," Lowthorpe says.
"I think we'll be seeing more and more luxury streetwear' emerging," says Style.com's fashion director, Yasmin Sewell. "Designers are really redefining what luxury means—today it doesn't matter if it’s not chic or outrageously expensive… That's all being questioned. Take the Balenciaga puffer jacket, for example. We recognise it as an everyday item, but suddenly when it's presented to us in a different context, we're able to see it as a luxury." Our pick right now? Preen by Thornton Bregazzi Bird Sweater (£688).
"For 2017, I see lots of colour and lots of frills! From Balenciaga's punchy latex leggings to the soft beautiful ruffles at Chloé… I love it all," reveals Coulter.
"Virtual reality and experiencing everything the fashion insiders do and more—from the comfort of their couch—while buying!" is something Issa predicts for the year ahead.
"For the new season, it feels right to celebrate femininity, and nothing highlights this better than a cinched silhouette," says Finery Brand Director Caren Downie. "Understated and simplistic layering can be the best way to emphasise the waist. Make it feel modern by wearing the new corset belts and ruched bandeaus styled over dresses or separates."
Which trend are you the most excited for in 2017? See our spring/summer trend report here.