Students take style forecasting cues from NY Fashion Week

The Monique Lhuillier Spring 2014 collection is modeled during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
The Monique Lhuillier Spring 2014 collection is modeled during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
By Haley Davis

The models hit the runway last week at New York Fashion Week to show the world what will be in style in spring and summer 2014. Back in Waco, Baylor apparel students are helping bring ever-changing trends seen on the runway.

“The fashion world never sleeps,” said Dr. Lorynn Divita, associate professor of family and consumer sciences.

Divita’s Fashion Trend Analysis and Forecasting class posts on their blog, PersiOso Forecasting, what is happening in fashion now and what it believes will be happening in the future. The blog has received more than 8,000 views in 60 different countries.

This class in both the fall and spring semesters helps produce the annual Baylor Fashion Show. On May 4, this year’s show will display Baylor students’ designs and senior collections.

Divita said that in the fashion world, trends are forecasted two years in advance. Fabric is created, and designers plan out their future collections. In September, designers showcase their spring/summer collections during Fashion Week to notable magazines, editors and store buyers. These people then get the collections ready to have in stores and in magazines by March. The whole process continues for fall/winter collections, which are presented in February.

Forecasting companies send out “coolhunters,” a term coined in the ’90s, to research current culture, places, art, music, film and nature, traveling the world looking for inspiration. After “coolhunters” have done their research, they then present their findings to fabric creators, designers and large companies.

“We see them on the runway now but will be reading about them and seeing them in stores in March,” Divita said.

Here at Baylor, Divita’s students are giving advice to women on what is trending now and what next fall might hold.

Students said the main trends for women to watch are feminine looks with some edge, including lots of floral, plaids and patterns. Adding spikes or leopard print provides a glam edge to the upcoming trends.

Mixing prints is no longer considered a fashion “don’t” florals and plaids can now harmoniously complete an outfit.

“As we move forward in our understanding of fashion, the old rules are no longer valid,” Georgia senior Preston Blackburn wrote on the PreciOso Forecasting blog.

Ankle and over-the-knee boots are reaching their popularity prime, and both these styles can give a simple feminine look some edge.

This coming spring and summer holds new and old trends. Basic colors such as black, white and pastels will once again make an appearance.

Leather will no longer be just for jackets; leather pants, shorts and skirts will take the spotlight.

The loose fit of clothing will be sticking around, but waistlines will drop and hit right at or below the hips. The midi skirt that falls below the knee about mid-calf is predicted to trend as well.

For the past few seasons, bold statement jewelry ruled the scene; now there are statement shoes. Designers are getting adventurous with their shoe designs and using out-there motifs to highlight footwear. No longer focusing only on sky-high heels, designers like Valentino and Jimmy Choo are now producing more fashionable flats.

Many of the senior fashion design students are looking ahead to fall and winter 2014 forecasting while planning their senior collections.

“I go to WGSN when I am looking for trends,” McKinney senior Taylor Allen said, referring to the database that is available for all Baylor students to learn about fashion and trends. Allen is predicting that there will be a more romantic style. Also, trends will continue to be very natural, so the tribal prints will be sticking around.

Fashion trends are always evolving, and Baylor apparel students are help Baylor students stay on top of them.

“Fashion pulls from so many things inspirations, movies, books and artists.” Georgia, Texas, senior Courtney Kapalski said. “I think is will be even more apparent in trends in fall and winter 2014.”