With fashion month in full swing, we're gathering all the style intel we need to curate social media friendly looks, and we're doing so via multiple sources, namely; the runway shows currently taking place at the four fashion capitals, street style getups from fashion week attendees, September issues, and the great minds who work behind the scenes in the fashion industry.
One such important mind is iconic womenswear brand Witchery's Head of Design, Gavin Gage - the man behind the brand's sophisticated seasonal collections that are characterised by statement pieces you'll keep for years to come.
This is what he had to say about the key trends we should all look out for this season:
Your recent introduction to the South African media landscape was during the Brand Immersion in February 2019, where you had the opportunity to meet local influencers Kefilwe Mabote and Sarah Langa. In your words, what makes them the ideal Witchery Woman?
‘Sophistication’ comes quickly to mind. Both girls exude a modern sophistication that is very Witchery. I could immediately tell they were perfect for the brand.
Have these local influencers influenced the way in which you design for the Witchery woman?
Yes, most certainly. Meeting both woman and speaking with them I further understood the South African customer and fashion landscape. We discussed at length trends, colour and fashion, the customers in South Africa and how the South African woman dresses. We have been able to imbue this throughout the collection [the upcoming Spring/Summer collection]. Both Kefilwe and Sarah’s insights were invaluable.
We are really looking forward to what the Spring/Summer 2019 has in store - what are the key trends for this season?
For me the big message is colour. From summer spice tones to beautiful brights in magenta pink and orange. The consistent message is around being optimistic and colour is such an optimistic element we can all participate in. Outfitting head-to-toe tones is impactful and I think our South African customer will love this, whilst mixing orange and Magenta in outfitting is very new and adds a real fashion edge to outfits. I can see Kefilwe and Sarah both in these colours, but their styling and accessories would be completely different; creating two very different looks and approaches to the trend.
Flashback to other times when Kefilwe and Sarah played with brights:
What was the base of your inspiration for this collection?
The development and inspiration for the summer collections came about through wanting to take our customer on a journey. Whether that be the spice route as it is so important for summer, or feminine florals from exotic locations. We are taking her on a journey whilst ensuring she is participating in the most important trends of the season.
What are the key items for the upcoming season and which one is your personal favourite?
Separates dressing is particularly important this season and outfitting with knitted tanks and skirts is a personal favourite. I love skirts right now and for me they are one of the most important messages of the season. Printed and plain, in a variety of lengths, they are feeling incredibly modern.
When designing a new collection, how do you balance the dichotomy of trend versus timelessness? Which one is more important to you?
Interestingly, I think both can work harmoniously together. We design with the Witchery customer in mind. She is trend savvy, enjoys participating in trends that work for her and often this can be achieved through timeless silhouettes, classic prints and beautiful accessories. It’s also about choosing the right trends to design in to and this is where we always have the customer at the forefront of the design process.
List a few key items that every woman should have in her wardrobe?
• A classic blazer in white to outfit with almost any look. It's always chic and ensures you look ‘put together’.
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• A silk tank in any number of colours. They are always beautiful on the skin. Add an elegance to outfitting and can be taken seamlessly from desk-to-dinner.
• A slip skirt or pleated skirt. Again impactful in outfitting. Can outfit for many occasions and look elegant and sophisticated.
• A pair of suede pumps in classic black and nude. An immediate go-to as they are always classic and work with many outfit options. They can be your saviour when getting ready on-the-go.
Further to the above, what item do you think the South African woman can’t be without this summer?
Knit tanks with skirts - they are so important from a trends perspective whilst will transcend seasons to come.
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