Nov 15, 2016
Geraldine Wharry: Outdoor Eccentrics
Nov 15, 2016
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 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.
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Copyright Geraldine Wharry | Research contribution: Emily Huggins
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