Excited for 2019? I am… now. Before I discovered that this year is set to be a game changer for Sagittarius (yay for me), and before researching the below people, brands, trends and shopping ideas, I wasn't particularly psyched about what the next 12 months had in store. I was still in a hazy fog of mulled wine and family board games, desperate to escape for air and to uncover something new and refreshing.
So rather than go on a detox or completely change my aesthetic, I want to share with you what's going to shape the overall fashion outlook across the whole year instead—whether that's what or who you're going to chat about with your friends, the shopping habit you might start, the brand you'll want to save up for or the lesser-known celebs you'll start following on Instagram. Keep reading to see the fashion things that will influencer the next 12 months, if not longer…
Peter Do (and anyone else in any way related to Phoebe Philo's Céline)
Whilst much of the fashion world still mourns the departure of Phoebe Philo from her 10-year tenure at Céline (now Celine without the é, and helmed by Hedi Slimane, an inimitable designer enticing an entirely different but equally enthusiastic consumer), there are green shoots for the malcontent. Firstly, Peter Do, a designer who worked at Phoebe's Céline, and whose eponymous line is about to be launched by Net-a-Porter. Expect slouchy tailoring, undone shirting, asymmetric lines and neutral hues—all very worthy of your hard-working wardrobe.
In addition, Bottega Veneta's debut offering from new creative director (and Céline alumni) Daniel Lee was widely regrammed when imagery went online back in November. The first collection won't be available for another six months, but you can bet your bottom dollar the jumbo leather totes are going to be big news. "Is this a star-is-born scenario? A Philo replacement in the making? Too soon to call. When women walk in the Fall show in February, we'll see more," says Sarah Mower, Vogue.com's chief critic. "But from what was in evidence in this showroom, after only a couple of months' work, there are substantial, well-made clothes here that would make a customer want to reach for them in a shop."
Hosiery is still on the up
The world of hosiery is one of the latest fashion factions to be "disrupted" with new brands employing updated technology, fits and a more diverse offering of tones and sizes to give the rather old-fashioned staple a big kick up the (now very comfy) butt. Innovative names (such as Heist and Hedoine) are making luxurious day-to-day, basic tights a worthwhile investment, but we've also witnessed an increase in novelty hosiery. From Fendi, Balenciaga and Saks Potts's logo-emblazoned 40-deniers to lace, polka-dot, rhinestone and leopard-print iterations, we have a feeling fancy tights are one low-cost, high-impact trend that'll continue throughout the year—especially now that they're fair game with sandals.
Okay, British singer-songwriter Jorja Smith already has a whopping 1.7m Instagram followers (and fashion brand such as Chanel and Kenzo inviting her to shows and events), but I have a feeling some of you are yet to be acquainted with this talented beauty. She's been nominated for a Grammy, won a Critic's Choice gong at the Brits last year, creates some seriously stylish music videos and wears excellent clothes on the regular. Which leads me to another tipoff: You're going to hear more about her great stylist, Leah Abbot too.
Niche fashion weeks
Gone are the days where fashion was only created and showcased in the four main capitals of style. Nowadays you'll find exciting brands sprouting from all corners of the globe, with plenty of editors willing to repack their suitcases and discover something new. From Lagos to Kiev and Sydney to Tbilisi, the global schedule is so packed for 2019 that there's basically now a fashion week for every week. This has a twofold effect… Firstly, more and more small, independent labels are being picked up by big, international buyers. Secondly, we're seeing a wider variation of influencer talent being street style–snapped across the world. Expanding our horizons has never been so easy.
Business of Fashion has dubbed Adut Akech "one of the industry’s fast-rising stars," and the sentiment is felt far and wide. The South Sudanese model has walked for some of the world's most important brands (Chanel, Dior, Versace, Prada… the list goes on), graced multiple international covers for Vogue, can count Pharrell as a super fan, and has scooped up Models.com's Model of the Year accolade for 2018. What's more, this rising star also has a story to tell, and is candid, eloquent and wonderful enough to share it. Whether explaining the reality of fleeing a war in South Sudan and relocating to a refugee camp in Kenya to offering an honest take on anxiety via her Instagram account, there's still much we want to discover about Adut as we head into 2019.
Buying—and waiting for—slow fashion
I really dislike the term "slow fashion" because it sounds sluggish and a bit agonising, but as a concept, I'm all in. In general, one could say consumers still want things faster today than they did yesterday, and with speedier and speedier delivery times being introduced by brands and e-commerce stores, that's become the norm.
But it's interesting to note that the opposite end of the shopping spectrum is luring in a stylish crowd that's enjoying the experience of actually waiting to get their hands on something handcrafted and limited-edition. This doesn't necessarily mean you're paying the big bucks (craftsmanship can be affordable as well as super-luxurious), but it does mean you're getting something that's been more consciously produced… not to mention it feels that much more special.
We've seen Instagram brands like Maison Cléo and its hand-sewn blouses or Olivia Rose The Label and her carefully smocked dresses pave the way, but many of our editor friends are rediscovering heritage brands that follow the a similar made-to-order format, such as R.M. Williams and the eight-week waiting time you'll have to patiently endure to get a pair of its top-quality, last-forever ankle boots.
Taking #hairfies instead of #shoefies
From giant velvet bows knotted around ponytails to more clips than you can shake a stick at, extravagant hair detail shots look primed to take over from #shoefies as the thing to share on Instagram. They have the same suits-everyone, look-good-up-close, Insta-bait kind of quality, only it feels new and different and—as yet—not at its peak.
If there's a unexpected comeback brand of 2019, it has to be Paco Rabanne. Every fashion buyer we've spoken to about the spring collection has said the same thing: The show blew them away. Creative Director Julien Dossena has been with the label for some time now, but it feels like the past season or two has gathered momentum, with the designer establishing a solid aesthetic for brand in the modern age. From the reinvented metallic discs (first introduced by founder Francisco "Paco" Rabaneda Cuervo in the '60s) to entirely new concepts like desirable handkerchief dresses, we just know it's going to be everywhere this year.
If the combined force of the runways, the high street, major celebs and influencers cannot persuade you into neon for 2019, I'll eat my new hair clips. These super-bright hues are already omnipresent every level of the industry, and we're only just entering usually-bleak January. The idea might feel daunting to begin with, but we have tips for tackling the neon fashion trend with confidence. Neon-green roll-necks are proving to be an entry point for many right now.
Whilst it feels like our interest in A-list celebrities can waver, there's one set we regularly tune in to for style guidance—and we know they shift product. Introducing the TV presenter 2.0. Gone are the cutesy, safe outfits of the past, and in are cool looks from girls we actually relate to. Think Stacey Dooley and her casual, tracksuit-centric ensembles, or Holly Willoughby's high-street finds, Fearne Cotton's perfect partywear or Emma Willis' sharp suits.
These women wear clothes that genuinely work IRL (unlike the madcap/highly inappropriate looks you might see from Hollywood's younger It girls), handpicked from brands we can probably afford (or at least save up for). So it's no wonder their super-stylists are in demand, and that their fashion choices are becoming increasingly important in the world of retail. For example, the "Holly effect" has been felt recently during her I'm a Celebrity coverage, with the Grenson hiking boots she favoured selling out fast.
Could this be the year that the industry wakes up to the importance of sustainability within fashion? Many have long shelved the concept as too oxymoronic to even deal with (how can fashion be sustainable when its very nature is about newness?), but there are many ways we can work on being more conscious within manufacturing, design, distribution, packaging, shopping and garment disposal.
I know "sustainability" as a buzzword is going to drive my inbox mad; I just hope it can transcend being a trend some bandwagoners lightly touch upon. We will, as always, be on hand to guide you through the basics (such as rewearing your clothes, discovering sustainable fashion brands, investing wisely in life-long purchases and knowing how to sell things along or donate) but we'll also be tackling some of the bigger topics such as unpackaging the confusing world of sustainable and non-sustainable fabrics.
The last few years have seen athleisure move through various phases, with hiking being the last activity to be drilled for inspo from fashion designers. Spring 2019, however, is all about that surf life. From Chloé's Malibu-ready tie-dye tees and shell necklaces to Marine Serre's technical scuba jerseys, you'll be booking that Newquay weekender in no time*. Expect to see tie-dye making a return, Velcro sandals pool-side, and every fashion mag snapping up pro-surfing model Laura Crane for countless summer editorials.
*Actual surfing skills not required.
Lingerie brands that genuinely are invested in diversity and making women feel great
Following that Victoria's Secret debacle at the tail end of 2018, we'd rather focus on the positives in the lingerie industry. Like the world of hosiery, this is a category benefitting from startup brands making some noise and shaking things up. More and more labels are catering to a wider range of sizes, but they're also making it their constant mission to feature real bodies in nice, practical, pretty underwear. It sounds obvious, but so often these two elements do not go hand-in-hand when larger labels dip a toe into being more inclusive. Hurrah, then, for labels like Fruity Booty, Beija London and Base Range making our collective lingerie drawers a better place in 2019.
Although distraught that VB will not be joining the reunion lineup for the Spice Girls tour in 2019, we're thrilled that the other four are on board and raring to go. Tickets sold out fast (someone invite me, please), but we'll be happy enough continuing to delve through their fashion archive and relive these epic Spice Girls style moments.
It's the most terrifying thing that could happen to my legs to date, but I cannot withhold a major trend from you just because I personally won't be involved… Cycling shorts are really (100%, definitely, undeniably, don't-even-try-and-avoid-it) happening. I know this because a) they're everywhere, and b) our friends at Net-a-Porter are already reporting strong sales for this niche category, with another 200 long-line shorts styles coming in for spring/summer. Scary but true. But maybe not scary for you?
As the genetically blessed offspring of Kate Moss and Jefferson Hack, Lila Moss wasn't going to remain under wraps forever, was she? Last year saw the 16-year-old burgeoning model make her first foray into the industry, gracing the cover of Dazed and becoming the face of Marc Jacobs beauty. She's signed to her mother's agency—but of course—and won't be featured here, there and everywhere unlike some celebrity-kid models. However, when the right, super-chic gig comes along, we're pretty sure we'll see her there. Chanel finale, maybe?
Next up, the outfits that will rule 2019.