Directives West Sets New Rules

Some of the buzzwords to describe the new styles for Spring/Summer 2020 are utility and haute hippie, but Directives West, the West Coast merchandising and consulting division of The Doneger Group, also wanted to try something new for the trend forecast it presents at every LA Majors Market.

For the first time in its more than 18 years of trend presentations, it did not present a runway show, Caroline Dusel, Doneger’s creative director and social-media chief explained. For its Oct. 2 presentation at the Fashion Theater in the California Market Center, it screened videos of different Spring/Summer 2020 styles for juniors and young contemporary.

“Social media and the digital landscape have changed the way we think and share,” she said. “We want to continue to evolve and grow.”

Shelda Hartwell, Directives West’s vice president, said that it was part of her company’s mission to reflect change in retail and communication. “We should think about new rules. We’re not just talking about this season. We’re talking about every season and in between,” she said.

Young contemporary styles continue to be driven by social media and street style. Directives West and Doneger speakers flagged specific looks that will be popular in the upcoming season.

Important looks were grouped into a style category called Utility/Functionality. These included lifestyle separates and one-piece dressing, trans-seasonal textured knits, twill and novelty wovens. Colors and patterns featured stripes, camo, animal-skin patterns, as well as earthy palettes.

Another category was Good Vibrations—California-inspired, haute hippie and coastal style. This group’s looks included retro-inspired denim, crochet, tie-dye, patterns, tropical designs and florals.

Styles influencing young contemporary seem to come from every era, but seemingly anything goes in a style called Era Fluid. Pieces such as1980s padded-shoulder jackets and oversized 1990s rave pants could work. And 1970s high-waisted bottoms and mom jeans could work too. Also popular in the anything goes Era Fluid were tops with puff shoulders, smocking ruffles, print mixing, satins/silks and clothes with Goth accents.

The New Rules presentation also outlined key items for retailers to buy. They included day dresses, relaxed denim, femme tops, utility styles, spring sweaters, nostalgic graphics and textured knits.

Photos courtesy of Directives West.