A yearning for the future

Li Ekelkoort, as her name is generally shortened, is a very busy woman, who is constantly on the lookout for marketable information on how we will live in the future, what we we will wear, with which materials or colours we would like to be surrounded.

An intuitive thinker, she illuminates the development of socio-cultural trends, before sharing them with her clients from diverse sectors of industry, for example furnishings, fashion, the retail sector, textiles, automobile, food and cosmetics. From her company, Trend Union, located in Paris, Li Edelkoort issues trend forecasts two years in advance. The different trend books are published twice a year and used by strategists, designers and marketing specialists from diverse international brands and companies for their work. She stands out in her field for her ability to connect what was, what is and what will be.

Fashion and its new effect

While we open this new chapter in history, we look back at the art heroes from our recent past. Inspired by the essence of their creative spirit, we can learn just as much from their philosophy as from their aesthetics. The vitality of these role models will now dictate a new tone for the coming years. Therefore fashions are being made insecure, fabrics revised; materials coated, changed and fitted out. We can learn a lot from outsider designers, about innovative colours, street-worthy combinations and fluent practices that mix all genders, age groups and races, with special reverence to the expression of local influences. She names one trend in fashion “Animism”.

The result is breath-taking and groundbreaking. It transfers the purchase of garments from a consumer act to an act of curation and targets precise selection, which becomes objects that are permeated with energy and camaraderie; garments that are like friends. They are timeless and ageless and become clever investments for the long term. This presentation is therefore the next in a series of seasonal concepts, in which the clothes are disconnected from trends and marketing and are looking for an alternative, deeper meaning. Looking after the planets and the people, giving hope for the future. All garments have their own identity and can motivate the realization of a small collection that offers a customized selection. A new approach to creativity and also somehow the yearning for a new future.

The autumn/winter 2021/22 season will be determined by inspiration, which on the one hand arises from nature, the earthy and the structural and in contrast from a digital aspect, which is concentrated on improved life visions through Virtual Reality, 3D software and Augmented Reality. The colours of the autumn/winter 2021/22 season follow both these aspects and tend towards warm, calming neutral and simple grey tones, that contrast euphoric pastel shades or mysterious underwater turquoise shades. Corresponding to the mood of the time the shapes are relaxed and protective and the cuts unstructured and generous, so we can „wrap up“.

In contrast, these innovative new materials or the wish to display strength lead to bold, sculptural forms that play with an enhancement of the body. This appreciation, which originates in nature, will occasionally also be reflected in a more conscious lifestyle. Edelkoort also predicts an increase in the use of trains instead of aeroplanes as well as e-cars or e-scooters. The change in consumer habits is however particularly decisive for the native Dutch woman: Less rash impulse buys, less compulsive – but rather practical and sustainable.

Lidewij Edelkoort is a trend forecaster, publisher, humanitarian, design teacher and exhibition curator. Her company, Trend Union, produces tools for designers, advertiser and strategists in companies throughout the world. In 2015, she drew attention for the first time to the changes and upheavals that the fashion industry is currently experiencing with her much-discussed Anti_Fashion Manifesto.

“The new luxury will be extremely comfortable and sustainable, but beautifully made.”

From 2015-2020 she was the dean for hybrid design studies at Parsons in New York, where she founded a textile Master and the New Yorker Textile Month Festival in September. Edelkoort was named by TIME Magazine and Business of Fashion as one of the most influential people in the fashion sector and still ranks as one of the most influential people in contemporary design.  Her thought-provoking writings and podcasts are becoming increasingly popular at a time in which she ranks as an activist and innovator of change. In 2020, she was selected as woman of the year (Oeuvre Award) by the Dutch magazine Harper’s Bazaar, while she founded the World Hope Forum as a platform to inspire the creative community to reconstruct a better society.

Photos Copyrights: Thirza Schaap, Shutterstock