Contrasting AW25 colour and fashion trends, according to Hilde Francq

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The fashion world is on the cusp of a fascinating transformation full of contrasts, swinging between extremes: from dark, apocalyptic styles to optimistic visions of the future. Whichever side you choose, the trends will certainly not leave you indifferent. FashionUnited attended a trend seminar by forecaster Hilde Francq and selected the highlights.

Trend 1: Endgame

Is the end of the world nigh? Wars, natural disasters, and cyberattacks are burned into our retinas. A reaction from the fashion world is therefore inevitable, according to Francq. Inspired by the blockbuster Dune: Part Two, people are looking for solace amidst the world’s unrest. Where camouflage print and military-inspired clothing have been a fixture in fashion for decades, it is now evolving into ‘prepare wear’ with a dark aesthetic that embraces the beauty of the bleak.

Earthy colour combinations are chosen, combined with pastel shades for a mystical look. Soft, quilted fabrics, polyester, and nylon, loosely draped or feeling like a second skin, provide the necessary comfort.

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Rick Owens AW25
Rick Owens AW25 Credits: Launchmetrics Spotlight
Rick Owens AW25
Rick Owens AW25 Credits: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Trend 2: Neodramatic

More is more. The past decade has placed such a strong emphasis on being yourself and showing your true self that it now feels liberating to not be yourself for once, says Francq. Living in a surreal dream, free from strict norms and rules, is both fascinating and inspiring, but also disorienting and confusing. That’s fine, as long as you don’t lose hope.

The film Poor Things and the new season of Bridgerton celebrate extravagance, theatricality, and drama. They reinterpret Victorian shapes with bold colours and rich textures that feel animalistic, tempestuous, and organic. People challenge the boundaries of the normal and the possible, with exaggerated make-up, high heels, striking hairstyles, clothing with multiple layers of meaning, and jewellery with a surrealist wink. The colour palette for this trend? Anything but subdued. Think burgundy, ocher, deep green, and dark purple, yet also refined in combination with pink.

Simone Rocha AW25
Simone Rocha AW25 Credits: Launchmetrics Spotlight

Trend 3: Game on

Besides the Victorian era, the gaming industry also offers salvation. The scarier reality becomes, the more tempting the world of games seems. There, everything seems reversible and you are safe in your virtual cocoon. Cosplayers who dress up as their favourite character and the kawaii culture, a Japanese aesthetic that revolves around cuteness, and playfulness, offer an escape from harsh reality. That youthful innocence is also reflected in the colour palette with candy-like shades such as bright orange, emerald green, and dopamine pink.

Eastpak 'Build to Resist' campaign.
Eastpak ‘Build to Resist’ campaign. Credits: Eastpak

Trend 4: Posthuman

While ‘Game On’ takes the consumer away from the natural world, ‘Posthuman’ offers a renewed connection with nature under the influence of technology. Environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional leather, made from fruits such as apples and pineapples, have been around for some time. The development of fungi as a material in the fashion industry and the dyeing of fabrics with bacteria, on the other hand, are still in their infancy, but the potential is enormous.

Stella McCartney proves this with her forward-thinking approach and ode to Mother Nature. Whether she takes us on a psychedelic trip to the world of fungi in her collections or presents an accessories line made from Econyl yarn, made from ocean waste and waste materials, McCartney shows how the symbiosis between nature and technology paves the way to a greener future.

The colour combinations of the latest trend? Think of a mix of beige shades brightened up with orange, light lilac, and pink, inspired by the different seasons of nature.

Holzweiler AW25
Holzweiler AW25 Credits: Launchmetrics Spotlight

This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.NL. Translation and edit by: Rachel Douglass.

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