Bubble London’s Show Director Lindsay Hoyes on gender-neutral clothing and key trends for AW18
The notion of gender begins in the womb, so it is unsurprising that children and babywear brands were some of the first fashion collections to adopt a gender-neutral approach.
Since Bubble London opened its doors in January 2008, the show has introduced designers and brands that have ignored conventional ideas of traditional gender-specific colours and prints.
This has rapidly gained momentum in the last couple of years as the notion of gender stereotyping in general has entered the mainstream, and more parents have become aware of the potential impact of gender-specific conditioning in their child’s early development.
While gender-neutral clothing began as a style statement (more sophisticated colours, cleaner lines, edgier, less fussy design), it now has wider social and political implications – and for a brand to appeal to a progressive and influential retailer and consumer, they have to take this trend into consideration. It has already evolved from mono palettes and slogan T-shirts to bright prints and non-gender binary styles. We are seeing more launch brands incorporate this into their ranges without really claiming to be gender-neutral brands.
This trend is all about getting kids outdoors and playing rather than hiding behind their screens. It is a casual trend with denim highlights, traditional Nordic knits and protective outerwear in bright colours. Nature influences the colour palette, with rich autumnal shades contrasted with brights for fun outdoor clothing and rainwear. Fabrics include soft and cosy layers of brushed cotton, cord and fleece, which are contrasted with technical outer layers. Natural dyeing techniques such as tie dye and dip dye are featured in this trend along with animal prints, botanical florals and classic country checks.
This soft-focus, nostalgic trend is inspired by ‘Bloomsbury’ colour and pattern. It features colour-washed mid-tone pinks, greens, purples and blues with golden neutrals and antique calico. Fabrics range from velvet to velour for both casual and partywear, as well as lightweight corduroy, casual cotton jersey, chiffon layers and faux fur. Prints include romantic florals and embroidered floral detail with abstract art prints.
This is the most directional of the four trends. For Lunar, we look beyond Earth towards the stars, planets and galaxies. It covers styling from sports and casual to partywear and works across boys, girls, baby and lifestyle. Key colours include deep emerald green, ultraviolet and cobalt blue, which are supported by black for deep iridescence; while edgy, glowing metallic-orange contrasts with the angelic, ethereal messages of silver, grey and pale pink. Fabrics are also directional, with contrasts of metallic shine and matt neoprene. Velvet and satin are important across the swimwear and party looks. For girls, tulle is layered and brocades have a metallic finish. Print and pattern are key, with graphic stars and moons alongside more complex cosmic prints.
This is a retro trend that celebrates the inner nerd in all of us, with its key focus on a ’70s-inspired colour palette and traditional checks such as tartan. Colours include rich browns, reds and orange with camel, and are contrasted with blue hues. Fabrics are traditional and often associated with menswear, including corduroy, wool tweed, check, moleskin, velvet and jersey. Mixed checks and preppy collegiate graphics feature heavily in this trend along with other retro-inspired graphics.