Hi Guys and a very happy Thanksgiving! It has gotten quite chilly in California (the 1st rain of the season was yesterday) and I am getting through these “rough” winter days with cute cuddles from my furry cats and sipping on organic teas under my blanket. Today, I am having mini Thanksgiving meals (all consisting of chicken haleem BTW) because most of the family is traveling or can’t make it. But, no need to send kind wishes or sad face emojis my way because my family and I already celebrated Thanksgiving holiday 2018 last week. So I am actually okay with not celebrating today with the rest of the world.
The Tech World & Fashion
I wanted to do 2019’s fashion predictions in 2019, but I felt it is really important I do it sooner than later. In case you are curious about my previous predictions or want to check how accurate they were, read HERE and HERE. I think the reason I feel so strongly to post today is that the fashion world has done so much this year, it is only appropriate to document the successes and continue hoping for the best for the future.
It is my humble opinion that the last 20 years of fashion have been confusing for many because the fashion industry out of all the industries (See HERE) has taken a back seat to the movement we now call “The Digital Era” started in 1984. In case you are wondering who coined the word technology & why I am not including the 1970’s & earlier decades as part of the digital era, look out for a tech-filled post in 2019. Because of the influx of scandals related to fashion (thank the internet for that) and the lag in creativity with dealing with them, the fashion world has spent 20 years (roughly 1998-2016) recycling the same trends and marketing them as new.
If you notice, technology or other tech/industrial/scientific developments have always been influential on fashion periods. During the Industrial Revolution, opulence was the fashion statement to attain. When World War I started, hemlines and silhouettes became simpler reflecting that era. The 1940s were all about the glitz and glamour because of the new film industry and the 1950s reflected whimsy with a touch of practicality, oddly. The 1960s and 1970s were about having fun and focused on bohemian fashion to wild patterns, respectively. Even 1980s and 1990s were distinct from one another. However, I cannot say the same about the last twenty years, which can only be despondent to someone like me who loves fashion as much as technology.
Ideally, it would have been great to see the fashion world take on reins early on as the digital era became popular seemingly overnight. It would have even been cooler to use the technology that was available to drive creativity and stir movements from individual-level to generational. I am proud that I had “a” hand in helping current influencers and bloggers acclimate to the internet and all its parts, and how they can help market a brand. I interviewed MANY of them with Jack Dorsey’s help in Berkeley and they were all so excited, talented, and lost. I am so, so pleased how well they are doing today. I remember talking to Lauren Conrad (See HERE), Kat Tanita (See HERE), Danielle Moss (See HERE), Rachel Parcell (See HERE), Victoria (See HERE), Shay Mitchell (See HERE), Marie Escudero (See HERE), these ladies HERE and HERE and Lucky Blue Smith, to name a few. I even interviewed current top Pakistani bloggers and influencers and although I may not have been that helpful since I didn’t understand Pakistan’s level of interest in internet marketing, I am so pleased they are excited to be creative online. Guys, if you are reading this, Hi!
Current World Fashion Trends
The “confusion” of the last twenty years begged for a wild play of patterns, fabrics, and silhouettes I saw on the runway these last couple of years. What started as a playful love affair with the English tradition of prints catapulted into an experimental phase the likes I’ve never seen. I saw contrast prints like checkered patterns mixed with polka dots, fabric interplay between leather and tulle, and silhouettes ranging from long and flowing dresses to well-structured yet body-conscious coats.
Versace used the color black to press the “restart button” and then there were designers who went “Miami” by using very little fabric and an explosion of neon colors. I think the latter group was probably preparing for the sun to explode. And this was just in 2018!
In between the soiree of clashing ideas, accessories began taking the front stage as people showed more interest in great styling than impeccable tailoring. Thus, the idea of “influencers” was born overnight. I AM tired of odes to past decades, which the traditional media loves to talk about affectionately. So let’s move on.
Current Pakistan Fashion Trends
Pakistan has always been at the forefront of fashion for me. Despite all the religious restrictions, it is still one of the fastest-growing and influential fashion industries in the world. But, like the rest of the world, it faltered slightly as the world turned their attention to the digital phenomenon. Since the late 1990’s Pakistan has churned out trends like a pilgrim woman churns out butter – through hard work & without deliberation. And that is exactly the opposite of what the digital world is supposed to be. As new technology comes out, it makes businesses more organized, efficient, ethical, and sustainable. I think Pakistani brands and Pakistani designers were clueless how much free time & prosperity technology can create at the same time because everyone seems to create collections leading to a dangerous “fast fashion” (Read More HERE) ethos.
I am so excited to see the recent collections focused on the Gangna-Jamni Tehzeeb – meaning manners or way of life (Learn More HERE) in the period of post-Mughal British Raj Era (Learn More HERE). Khaadi’s Luxury Collection 2018 (See HERE) is absolutely breathtaking. And the way the campaign was impeccably designed gave me nothing, but the feelings of nostalgia about that yesteryear period my grandparents used to tell me my “recent” ancestors belonged to. Available in luxurious fabrics with machine-stitched embroidery, this collection is perfect for any wedding (Hey! Wedding guests of winter weddings 2018/2019, see HERE and HERE) occasion. And what is even more perfect is that the entire campaign is a visual “How-to” guide as models wear jewelry ranging from heavy jhumkas to full jewelry sets. And I absolutely adore the use of fragrant motia (jasmine flower) and chameli (marigold flower) because in Pakistan THEY WERE USED THIS WAY until well, the 1990’s. For this collection, all you truly need is a kohlapuri chappal or khussas to elevate your entire look to a nawabi princess.
Another Nawabi-style collection that has sprung up like water from the fountains in a Mughal princess’s courtyard is by Elan (See HERE). Although given a modern or fusion feel, it exudes just enough glamour and class for that traditional girl attending a small dholki (See HERE). Hurry now as there are only a few pieces available. Koel Shop (See HERE) is a perfectly affordable option as well. *Remember any type of dye to the fabric was frowned upon as crisp whites and beautiful embroideries were only preferred.
If you want to look Nawabi this wedding season, remember this trend can never truly be outdated and can be revamped with a new coordinate or different jewelry. I absolutely adore the affordability of The PinkTree Company (See HERE and HERE) and their consistent loyalty to the Gangna-Jamni Tehzeeb. If you are a bride looking for pre- and post- wedding outfits, then The PinkTree Company is an option. For bridal options, you can choose Misha Lakhani like HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. I would recommend asking your dress designer to teach you the difference between Mughal fashion (Bunto Kazmi is a pro in this type of dressing) and fashions of the Gangna-Jamni Tehzeeb era because the two are very different.
What I Would Like To See in 2019
– I would like technology to be used more in 2019. The term “influencer” which you must know I don’t like can be more consumer-friendly if blogs and social media are used to sell their true talents. It would be lovely to see a fashion influencer be a photographer for a magazine, style a celebrity (or anyone), publish a book, own a fashion label, be in some level of customer service at a designer label, or own a vintage store in addition, to blogging. It makes your business(es) stand out so more when there are cohesive digital campaigns running on all platforms.
– I would love to see metallic colors on sheer and thick fabrics. I am ready to say goodbye to large prints like florals, architecture motifs, and checks although it never hurts to keep 1-4 pieces in your closet. I think everybody is predicting animal prints to be BIG in 2019 so I would love them in exotic jewel tones like candy purple, fuscia pink, or emerald-green. It would be cool to style them with neutral accessories.
-In silhouettes, I love going the traditional route no matter what the culture because traditional-silhouettes are the most flattering for all body types. I am really, really hoping Pakistan’s fashion industry devotes the entire 2019 to Mughal and Gangna-Jamni Tehzeeb aka Nawabi-style clothes. There is so much you can do with it, whether it is modernizing it through fusion silhouettes, honoring it with gold/pearl or Kundan jewelry, or elevating the style-factor by matching your jewelry with designer shoes (think gemstone strings with jeweled-tone satin Manolo Blahnicks or Balenciaga heels). For Western-wear, I love the cinched-waist look, whether it appears on flowy dresses with high movement or body-conscious coats and sweaters.
-For embellishments, I love accents such as faux fur, feathers, and long fringes.
Fashion trends should always be responsive to something, not predicting or playing catch-up to the next trend. The latter philosophy just demands fast fashion, while the former encourages a statement. I say go all funky in 2019 because I predict, the next decade will define an actual fashion period other than experimentation.