MANILA, Philippines — “Out with the old, in with the new.” According to our fashion crystal ball, this year, the old saying is not completely true. Low-brow materials are given the luxury treatment. In fashion, the next generation is slowly taking over, and globalization points East. We also see the imminent death of copycat culture — does this also signify the decline of influencers?
(Greater) Asian Persuasion
Fashion’s center of gravity has long been shifting East, mostly in Western fashion houses catering — at times pandering — to the influential Chinese and Korean markets, but this year, Asian players are asserting not just spending power but also leadership through pioneering innovations and global-scale investment and expansion. Some recent examples in fashion: Hong Kong’s Apax Digital Adrian Cheng taking a significant stake in New York’s luxury runway e-tailer Moda Operandi; China’s JD.com investing in UK’s Farfetch; and beyond digital, Hong Kong-based Trinity acquired Italian Cerruti and Gieves & Hawkes.
There’s also a reversal of expansion roles as Asian brands move outward; for instance, South Korea’s Gentle Monster has attracted investment from LVMH-backed private equity firm L Catterton Asia. Locally, SM brought in not a Western brand but a Singaporean minimalist brand In Good Company. Bench brought in affordable Japanese eyewear brand Jins.
In Manila, #LoveLocal will continue its upward trajectory, but this is not just isolationist rhetoric; globalization shows no signs of stalling. It only means there are more players in the international field.
The online movement is not solely responsible; there will be more conceptual brick-and-mortar spaces to grow the brand narrative, such as fashion cafés (Harlan + Holden) and bars (Commonwealth). We hope to see these proudly Filipino brands rise on the global stage. — MT
2018 will see the full rise of the influencer babies/tots. The tiny soon-to-be fashionistas will take the spotlight this year as inaugurated by celebrity tots like Vicki Belo and Hayden Kho’s “Scarlet Snow Belo” to Chris and Steph Kienle-Gonzalez’s “Andrea Bucci Bear” who stole the hearts of the public last year. Designer and new-mom Vania Romoff also saw the potential in this new market and created a childrenswear line of her own. Georgina Wilson-Burnand’s “Baby Arch” can also now be seen on an EDSA billboard for a brand endorsement. This year’s looking bright thanks to these mini-mes. — DM
This much is clear: transparency is definitely in for 2018. And on the fashion front, this coveted trait takes on a very literal (and luxe) form. Observe: while Karl Lagerfeld gives bejeweled bomber jackets, cap-toed thigh-high boots and bucket hats the see-through treatment at Chanel’s spring show, Burberry’s signature trench gets an ultra-practical spin with clear, water-repellent renditions. Meanwhile, Tibi mixes work and play by pairing tailored blazers with pastel-colored plastic corsets. Cheeky.
Even the season’s choice carry-ons aren’t spared from the PVC POV. The upside? Fishing for your keys or your fave tube of lipstick won’t be such a bother when you’re toting a translucent Valentino purse or a clear Céline shopper (side note: with the label’s fall presentation in March being longtime creative director Phoebe Philo’s last for the French fashion house, now’s the perfect time to hoard her designs!)
Life in plastic? Fantastic. — MB
Razzle-dazzle face will make its way from the runways and curated Instagram selfies to real-life looks, way beyond the holidays. Pat McGrath’s eyeshadow drop in Paris Fashion Week 2015 planted the seeds of this obsession that has extended to serious sparkle for the cheeks (notably Fenty Beauty’s highlighters) to different finishes, ranging from dewy and slick to shimmery and foiled. Bonus: you won’t need the help of that P49 sparkler filter app anymore. — MT
This year will see the rise of an accessory that was favored by every teenage girl in the ’90s. Enter: the scrunchie. Seen on the runways of Balenciaga and Mansur Gavriel, the trend is a hair accessory that’s here to stay. How will it work for 2018, you ask? Simply skip the tight knots on the top of the head and secure the scrunchies in a low, but loose, ponytail. Voila! A laid-back style for the everyday fashion girl. — FG
Smaller and smaller bags
If you don’t think scrunchies will be a thing this 2018, then we’ve got another fashion trend that’ll be worth getting into: micro bags. If your phone, compact powder and lipstick still fit in your purse, then it probably isn’t miniature enough. The petite fashion accessory is seen on the spring/summer 2018 runways of Chanel, Chloe, Salvatore Ferragamo and Delpozo, and should be seen around your hip soon enough. This trend is definitely small in size but makes up for impact in every way possible. Who says you need big designer tote to make a statement? Not us. — FG
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