Looking Forward

You might be busy absorbing the new trends for spring, but buyers and retail professionals can’t be bothered with all that. They’re too busy scoping out the new styles for fall 2008.

As buyers, boutique owners and corporate creative minds peruse the floor of MAGIC Marketplace, the retail apparel convention at the Las Vegas Convention Center, each sets out to discover the next big thing. They’ll either find it through various appointments with booth-enclosed companies or they’ll take an easier route and fill one of the hundreds of seats at the “What’s Next for Fall 2008” seminar.

David Wolfe, creative director of The Doneger Group, led the presentation held on the convention’s kickoff day last week. The trend forecaster revealed a bevy of new trends to watch out for in fall including black alternatives, plaid passion, decade demands and a return to minimalism. The most surprising trend Wolfe predicted was the decline of celebrity-driven trends. “I never knew women wanted to look like insects,” he said of the Victoria Beckham obsession. Instead, expect trends to borrow from socialites of the past.

Here’s a look at the fashion predictions for fall ’08.


Loud punches of color start making their way onto your clothes in spring and leap into fall, too. “Color is happening in a big way in Europe and it’s starting at the tippity-top of the fashion food chain,” Wolfe said. But that’s just the start. Expect color to spread itself all over the color wheel. The only shade that doesn’t show up for the party is black. That’s because alternatives to black — such as deep merlot, dark plum and dismal blue — all take its place.

Although white doesn’t usually cross over from spring, next fall it will — sort of. Tints of white-like blush, alabaster and muted gold will substitute for the whites you wore in the warmer months. And the ombre shades that started rearing their heads last fall will strengthen their presence. If you indulged in the patent Prada pumps that jump-started that look, you’re in luck for another season.


According to Wolfe, the fashion pendulum not only swings back and forth, it also goes up and down. “The downswing has been with celebrities and hip-hop artists,” he said, adding it isn’t fashion snobbery speaking. “But now we’re seeing upward aspiration.” Rather than track Eva Longoria’s wedding for bridal trends or mimic Victoria Beckham’s soccer game outfit, fashions will rely on trendsetters of the past. Styles from vintage socialites such as Barbara “Babe” Paley, C.Z. Guest and the Duchess of Windsor make a comeback.

What does it mean? Luxury and elegance. Exotic skins, leathers and furs pay fall a visit. “It’s a scary world right now and people just don’t want to be scared by what’s in their closet,” Wolfe said. Traditional patterns such as plaid and checks also bring a calming familiarity so expect to see these in overdrive.

Another trend relying on the past — a ’60s craze — has been gaining momentum in New York and should solidify come fall. Other decades influencing trends include the ’40s in East Berlin and the early ’90s in urban wear.


Less is more in fall. This time they really mean it. Wolfe acknowledges that trend forecasters have predicted this one in the past and it hasn’t yet caught on, but this time, he assures, it will. “Overdesigned clothes have hit a saturation point,” he said. “Look for simple, colorful, quality clothes.”

Goodbye, embellishment and detailing. Hello, minimalism. To keep you interested, designers will experiment with silhouettes, color and prints. The graphic prints we greeted last year will return with a dramatic tone, taking their inspiration from modern art. Everything from cubism to abstract art paints the graphic print trend.

Contact fashion reporter Xazmin Garza at xgarza@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0477.

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