Trend Report Fall/Winter 2015 by Justin O’Shea

Runway Collage
© Collage / Katrin Weber

What is fashion about TODAY? This is the question which has weighed most on my mind during the Fall 15 season. This summer we experienced a beautiful ray of 70’s technicoloured light which beamed through time and has the captured the hearts of many. Purity and fashion harmony cleansed the runways and set an overriding tone to what is a very exciting and successful season.
Pre Fall started off with the same retro enthusiasm. This should make for a great cohesion and transition between the summer and the start of fall. Then the winter shows began and things started to change. The light’ started to give way to a darker influence. You probably think that this is natural given that it ’s winter, but this time it wasn’t just a seasonal happening. The girl’ has gotten tougher. More confident. She has a great strength and belief in who she is, and she doesn’t take shit from nobody.

Originally I was drawn to the classical music which was soundtrack to some great shows. Then Givenchy happened. This was personally a defining moment in the Fall collections. The dark beauty of Riccardo’s show was so overwhelming it gave a new direction. I needed to listen to something equally disturbing to put a feeling to the winter season. This lead me to Nirvana.
In the beginning it was just the music that I associated with. The idea of rebellion, melancholy and destructiveness comforted me. I always need a soundtrack post season to help me think. But as I explored into the bands history and Kurt’s ideology, it soon became apparent that there was something deeper which resonated this obscure connection.
Conformity. It’s the killer of everything creative. It’s a state of mind that offers comfort to people. The idea of being different scares most, yet everyone seeks individualism. I feel that being unique is what drives the success of and that the focus should always be showing the world our vision and not replicating a pattern, plan or format. Kurt spent his life battling to fit in. Which would inevitably contribute to his eventual success. He even sings in ‘Serve the servants’, the first track on In Utero, ‘‘teenage angst has paid off well’’.
Femininity. Kurt was influenced and attracted to strong willed women. Courtney Love, a renowned feminist, inspired the lyrics ‘’never met a wise man, if so its woman’’ from the song ‘Territorial Pissing’. Before his marriage to Ms. Love, he had a brief relationship with Tobi Vail (band member of Bikini Kill) also a strong feminine activist, which inspired the song ‘Lounge Act’ also from the album Nevermind. The song ‘Frances Farmer takes her revenge on Seattle’ from the album In Utero is about the 30’s actress Frances Farmer who rebelled against the industry for trying to manipulate her artistic vision. How does this correlate with fashion? There is a powerful freedom in the strength of women which fashion has helped pioneer. The evolution of the female consumer is such an important part of how we approach fashion and the way we communicate with her. She is informed and knows what she wants.
Sexuality. This is one of the topics of the season. Where are the boundaries that once existed? Well they have been left shattered, I can tell you that. there is an individual freedom which is flowing through the veins of the fashion world. Designers are emphasising androgyny and this cross gender expression highlights that times are changing. The video clip to the song ‘In Bloom’ from the album Nevermind shows Kurt and Dave Grohl dressed in womens’ clothes which was an act of support to freedom of sexuality.

This presentation is disjointed, without flow, structure or inundated with commercial content. But is the order and process important? No. It’s the clothes that matter. Kurt Cobain professed that his lyrics were just sentences strung together on the way to recording studio. That they didn’t mean anything and were just lazy ramblings. It was actually all about the music and what he stood for which pioneered the bands success. So how does this translate to anything? Nirvana perfectly balanced mainstream success, critical acclaim and admiration from the industry. This is what we are trying to achieve. How do we do that? Conviction and with no compromises.

Justin O'Shea

Justin O'Shea was born in Toowoomba, Australia and oversees the buying department of for six years now. He prefers his Gin Tonic with lemon - not lime and his favorite movie stars are Thor, Iron Man and Batman. He recently, and controversially, decided to shave off his beard, which has been an essential part of his signature look (alongside tattoos and bespoke suits).