8 hot trends for 2017

With the new year comes the promise of new trends, styles from the past interpreted afresh and runway-inspired looks for the fashion-forward. The Straits Times asks fashion insiders what they think will be hot in the year ahead

1) Muted colours

Instead of technicolour hues, the seasons ahead will welcome more subtle natural shades: olive green, soft grey, light pink and dusty brown.

Labels such as French fashion house Balmain, Italian luxury label Salvatore Ferragamo and American rapper Kanye West's Yeezy have all featured muted tones in their Spring 2017 collections.

Pantone, a worldwide authority on colour, also highlighted Hazelnut, a greyish pale rose, and Kale, a dark army green,on its list of top 10 colours for Spring 2017.

Student and part-time marketing and communication manager Chua Baohui, 23, says: "Looking at the runway, this year's colour palette will be more subdued. Muted colours are good because they are versatile and exude a kind of understated elegance and simplicity."

Student and part-time marketing and communication manager Chua Baohui, 23, wears a loose-fit pale yellow top and olive green pants with monochrome sneakers. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

2) 1990s vintage

Gucci's latest collection features wide flares and preppy sweaters in a mash-up of 20th-century chic and Wes Anderson aesthetic.

Designer and stylist Josiah Chua, 28, says the high-end Italian label has been leading the way with the vintage look for the past few seasons and the sentimental style does not appear to be fading.

"Even accessories such as huge rings and necklaces will be on trend too. It is about 1990s fashion as well - cartoon motifs and pop and retro prints."

He says those who grew up in the 1990s can now afford to spend more on fashion and they want that nostalgic feeling.

"They want a blast from the past that they can modernise and match with new pieces. For example, a minimalist dress paired with a vintage jacket with sequin detailing."

3) Drawstring bag

Once an accessory of convenience toted by teenage boys and people on their way to yoga lessons, the humble drawstring bag is a must-have this season.

Designer and stylist Josiah Chua, 28, says "it is an on-the-go bag and is so fuss-free and affordable".

A drawstring bag is closed at the top with a string, cord, lace or rope which gathers the fabric of the bag.

"Even if you are all decked out in a tutu skirt and a T-shirt, a drawstring bag would give the outfit a rugged edge," says Chua. He says the bag does not have to be from a sports brand.

"It could have a graphic print. That could be worn with a plain blouse and ripped jeans and it would give the overall outfit a punk rock vibe."

Designer-stylist Josiah Chua, 28, wears a vintage 1990s jacket, printed T-shirt, ripped jeans and sneakers teamed with a drawstring bag. ST PHOTO: NIVASH JOYVIN

4) Denim on denim

In the past, blue jeans might have been the garments of choice for casual weekends, while denim-on-denim outfits were a fashion faux pas from the 1980s.

But all that is changing, with more ready-to-wear collections visible on the catwalks.

Low-rise embellished jeans were designed recently by British brand Alexander McQueen.And American label BY.Bonnie Young, known for its sophisticated pieces, had a denim combination of a structured blouse and a full-length skirt.

Full-time singer and fashion fan Cherelle Tan, 25, says: "I really like the denim-on-denim look. It can be very versatile if you include different shades and textures." Denim can also be paired with leather for a rugged feel or with lighter fabrics such as linen or lace for a touch of femininity.

Singer Cherelle Tan, 25, teams a denim shirt with ripped jeans and a denim jacket. ST PHOTO: NIVASH JOYVIN

Extended silhouettes of overflowing pants, shirt hems that are closer to the floor and sleeves that go past the fingertips will soon be seen on many fashionistas.

Mr Kenny Lim, 39, owner of the multi-label Sects Shop, says the style was shown on multiple runways at Seoul Fashion Week in October.

"For example, jeans that sweep the floor or are all scrunched up because they are so long, belts that extend down the leg. Everything is longer than it is supposed to be,'' he observes.

In this style, lengths are extended and pieces are oversized with extra fabric. "Even for men, a shirt could be so long that it looks like a dress. It is a different and relaxed silhouette."

Fashion retailer Kenny Lim, 39, wears a long camouflage-print jacket, an extended shirt, asymmetrical pants, printed socks and open-toe slippers. PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

6) Luxleisure and elevated street

The popular athleisure trend of 2016 will be elevated this year with a high-fashion vibe. Designer and stylist Josiah Chua, 28, says "glamorous sportswear" will be much loved this year. "Because of the growing popularity of street-led labels such as Vetements, elevated versions of streetwear and cult sneakers will be sought after," he adds.

Designed by Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia, Vetements, a Parisienne design collective, has bomber jackets that go for about $3,500 and jersey track pants that cost more than $1,000.

Labels such as New York-based fashion house DKNY and American brand Tory Burch also featured sporty looks on their Spring/Summer 2017 runways.

Owner of multi-label store Sects Shop, Mr Kenny Lim, 39, says the style is not only embraced by sports-lovers, but has also become "part of a fashion wardrobe".

7) Fabric manipulation

Ruffles, pleats and plisse - fabric that is treated to create a permanent puckered or crinkled effect - will be big in the upcoming months.

A spokesman for multi-label luxury store Club 21 says: "Choosing garments with fabric manipulation is a great way to add interest to solid-coloured outfits if you are not into prints."

Plisse can be used to "soften unusual silhouettes and create volume for an almost ethereal feel", he adds, while ruffles can "create volume" even on delicate fabrics such as silk.

Labels such as German fashion house Jil Sander, Italian luxury label Marni and Spanish high-end brand Delpozo all played with fabric manipulation in their Spring 2017 collections.

8) Gender-neutral and flowy

Last year, Italian label Diesel and Spanish clothing retailer Zara released gender-neutral collections.

Unisex looks that include straight-cut jeans, loosely fitted tops and structured silhouettes will continue to be a highlight this year.

Gucci's Spring 2017 men's collection featured a brocade-embroidered trench coat and a long pleated skirt.

American label Rick Owens had voluminous pants and large, androgynous kaftans in its men's range as well.

Student and part-time marketing and communication manager Chua Baohui, 23, says the flowy and drapey style spells convenience and comfort.

"I think people are veering towards, and are more accepting of, loose-cut and bigger silhouettes, as opposed to a tighter, sharper look."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2017, with the headline 8 hot trends for 2017. Subscribe