VISION 2017: OUTDOOR ECCENTRICS
NOVEMBER 09, 2016 . FASHION, ACCESSORIES, CATWALK, COLOUR, DESIGN DETAILS, MENSWEAR, FOOTWEAR, SPORTWEAR, WOMANSWEAR
Dressing for warmth, practicality and functionality often goes against the traditional "rules" of dressing and in the past has been linked to middle-aged mountaineers and outdoor sports aficionados/as, equipped with performance gear such as water-resistant parkas, polar fleece and duffle bags and pockets in all the right places.
Sports and outdoor clothing became the platform for innovation in textiles and beyond their practical qualities we saw brands such as The North Face, Columbia and Patagonia garner a cult following regardless of demographics with celebrity fans such as Rihanna, Drake and A$AP Rocky.
The 2016 collaboration between Supreme and North Face show the brands are strengthening their presence in the urban market and going beyond traditional sports. The North Face launched Black Label, its own streetwear-inspired line, in Europe, after launching Purple Label in Japan back in 2003.Nike and Puma have released successful moon and trekking boot inspired sneakers.
The outdoor market is seeing a massive increase in sales so much so that APC’s founder Jean Touitou invested in Outdoor Voices in October 2015. The company is New York-based, mainly sold online and has seen an 800% increase.
Likewise, outdoor products became a key driver for Amer Sports, owners of Salomon, Atomic and Arc'teryx. In their third quarter, the Finnish group recorded a 4% rise over the same period last year (a revenue of nearly €737 million). REI, an American outdoor co-op, has recently opened the doors of their fifth flagship location in Washington, D.C.
These facts and figures are in line with the recent spike in creative fashion interpretations of outdoor clothing seen on the catwalks and in collections such as Kenzo’s collaboration with H&M. They exemplify an aesthetic playing on the odd and playful mish-mash of print/colour/texture, echoing our “AW16-17 Press Play Macro forecast”.
Modularity, clasps, knots and functional outdoors inspired hardware become key on garments and accessories - Buckles, clips and cords. Shows like Chromat SS17 went purely decorative, non-functional with this. Prada, on the other hand, showed clip on/off outdoor accessories and backpacks.
Details such as paracord and carabineer clips referencing rock climbing illustrate the general sense we seek to celebrate connecting our body’s performance, our physicality, our minds and spirits with nature.
What is interesting here is the synthetic focus of this trend’s aesthetics with its bright plastic hues and geometric combinations. We bring the Outdoor Indoor very much like the monumental Regent Street Apple store in London featuring trees and wood to counterbalance the less than natural product offer.
Sports tracksuits inspired parkas and pullover jackets with brightly coloured panels were a key garment in this trend made of lightweight parachute fabric. Louis Vuitton resort 2017’s collection heavily features this type of paneling throughout.
A key colour seen in this trend is the metallic silver, also featured in the sporty outdoor jackets. It gives these basic garments a futuristic, liquid-like space age feel to them, whilst seeming completely reminiscent of high-visibility, reflective fabrics, used for safety in outdoor clothing and workwear.
The styling of this trend is to say the least eclectic and celebrates a thrown together look reminiscent of a camper or festivalgoer. Quirky elements such as socks and sandals, and "ugly" shoes made of neoprene were shown at the Prada SS17 menswear show - This is probably the most key collection for Outdoor Eccentrics in terms of styling, details, accessories and mood.
By Geraldine Wharry | Research and writing contribution: Emily Huggins