Lidewij Edelkoort helps society ‘hibernate’ with AW24 forecast

While it’s 27 degrees outside, inside it’s all about knitting, hibernation and the need to protect yourself. Lidewij Edelkoort presented his latest predictions, “Hibernation”, focusing on the AW24 season in Haarlem, the Netherlands.

Making a forecast takes months and when Edelkoort started this season, energy prices skyrocketed and the war in Ukraine took over the news. “I just couldn’t ‘just’ make a trend forecast. I had to react to what was happening in the world. Edelkoort sees an uncertainty in humanity, a fear. People need to save energy because they are wondering how to get through the winter. Edelkoort is also looking for answers, drawing inspiration from the animal kingdom: how do they hibernate? From this research, the forecaster extracted various elements that lead to an image for the AW24 fashion season. FashionUnited has selected the highlights for you.

Image: Loewe AW23 + MaxMara AW23, via Launchmetrics Spotlight

While a few winters ago the color forecast was “brighter than ever”, the tones that dominate the forecast for AW24 are mostly muted. While traditionally dark winter colors are rare, various shades of white, but also ice blue and orange are reflected in several Edelkoort stories. Brown and gray colors are also abundant, the forecaster associating them for example with the woolen coat.

Mesh sets the tone in Lidewij Edelkoort’s AW24 forecast

One of the biggest emerging trends is the massive return of knitwear in all its forms. “Knitting is long gone,” Edelkoort said at the seminar in Haarlem, hosted by Appletizer. “Often there were only one or two knitwear items in a winter collection, the rest were just sweatshirts. Knitwear is now going to be very important. People want to feel safe and fashionable, which translates into clothes that you have to wrap around yourself, so you can hold yourself together.

Image: Marc Jacobs AW22 + Pronounce AW23 + John Rogers SS24, via Launchmetrics Spotlight

Anyone who thinks knitting is limited will have been wrong when Edelkoort presented. Lightweight knits made from natural fibres, chunky knits with thick yarns and erotic bare knits. The different structures are also coming back thanks to the use of mohair, as well as drawing inspiration from “baby” fashion knitting patterns. There is the traditional cable knit with all its variations, but also the bubble knit and much more.

Image: Holzweiler AW23 + Paul & Joe AW23 + Benetton AW23, via Launchmetrics Spotlight

The knits themselves are also versatile. You can opt for a basic version, or a distinct variant with a pattern (animal) or large flowers à la Marimekko. The finish is also to play. Frivolous details like a ruffled collar, but also fringes and “unfinished” details give the knitwear its own identity. The element to bet on for AW24? “The cardigan is becoming very important, especially for men.”

AW24 according to Li Edelkoort: Huge winter coats, slipper-like shoes

In his predictions, Edelkoort analyzed how animals and trees hibernate and how this can be translated into inspiration for clothing. The strongest connotation that can be heard in the forecast is that of the clothes in which people want to hide and wrap themselves around themselves. Hiding in blankets, whether quilted blankets or argyle blankets, comes up many times. Those looking for a physical expression of this can look to collections from American brand The Row, where simple yet chunky designs with lots of layering were present. Those who lean more towards the check pattern can find it over several seasons at Isabel Marant in the woven check jackets.

Image: Streetstyle London Fashion Week + Wickstead AW23, via Launchmetrics Spotlight
Image: McManus AW23 + Zimmerman AW23, via Launchmetrics Spotlight

Several of Edelkoort’s statements during the presentation are worth noting for retailers. For example, she warned that the down jacket was going to disappear. Winter coats become huge in volume, wool, and the choice of colors is between gray and brown. It also immediately reminds us of the fact that the color black is missing from the forecast for winter 24. Edelkoort had already predicted the disappearance of black several years ago.

Where the look and silhouette of jackets change, so do the shoes. Reminiscent of thin blankets, these oversized coats are complemented by slipper shoes. “The trainer quickly runs out of picture,” said the forecaster. “Shoes are still weird and bulky, but lean more towards slippers.”

Lidewij Edelkoort: “Healing will become the main focus of clothing manufacturers”

In addition to various specific article-related explanations, Edelkoort made several other important statements. Most notable is the change in the craft of fashion designers, which has to do with man’s need to seek security, both physical and mental. “’Healing’ is becoming one of the main focus points of garment manufacturing. How does the product help someone mentally? How can you help the man?” Designers would do well to produce less, and also have more respect for the material they work with.

At the end of the seminar, Edelkoort left his captivated audience with enough commentary to ponder for months. Even with the heat outside, the prospect of blankets, warmth and slippers makes AW24 craving.

Image: Dries van Noten AW23 + Boss AW22, via Launchmetrics Spotlight

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

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