Renowned with Trieste's postman for being the worst time of the year following Christmas are the ITS preselections. Lugging armfuls of portfolios at a time up 4 flights of stairs is indeed an arduous task. Despite the friendly complaints, hundreds of portfolios arrive safely at our office ready to be opened and viewed. For the first time we had a mere 2 weeks to view all 1054 portfolios. A tough job but very rewarding as the more you delve the more can be understood about the creative minds. It is to all effects a privileged viewpoint of what is going on in the young fashion/accessory/photography community.
Concepts seem to be more concise and visibly pertinent to collections. The concepts are created for clothes for a person today rather than to dress a world inside the designers head. Less stories are being told through collections. This is not to say collections are void of messages and feelings. Communication is clearer and can be subtle or blatant.
There has been a return of covered faces. The last episode goes back to three years ago. Faces are covered to hide, disguise, mask, silence, obscure, conceal and remove identity. In contrast extra faces appeared in clothes camouflaged within the adornments of the outfits.
We saw influences coming from gender bending with collections pushing the boundaries of masculinity and femininity. This, however was more prominent in the inspiration and collections for menswear.
Travel or rather a new nomadic lifestyle was represented in collections with multifunctional clothes, sleeping bag coats and luggage holders.
Both joy and loss of a pregnancy cropped up in projects portraying emotions and physical changes.
Collections were on the whole less heavily embellished. There is still attention to details. A favourite feature in collection, inspiration and background is hearts - in an organic state, romantic, tattoos, cartoons...
This year we did not see much experimentation of shapes. Lots of volume, excessive upper volume what we refer to as the Antwerp over compensation syndrome. A state which has driven designers from all over the world to seek inspiration from the Antwerp volumes. Hardly any "flou" and just a little tailoring. Black is definitely back often with greys, silver or white. Less gregarious colour mixes everything seems more in tone with the odd bright bursts. Block plain colours and less contrasts. Not much print going on. No floral or animal prints.
Leather is accepted and used just like any other material as are the synthetic technical fabrics. i-D slips down to second place as favourite magazine with Vogue(total of various editions) taking the number spot, Collezioni (total of various editions) a close third place. For the second year in a row Nicolas Ghesquiere Balenciaga tops as favourite designer, Alexander McQueen holds still at second place as does John Galliano at third.