Paris London New York - Fashion Future Trend Forecasting
Be at the head of the pack, sleuthing the trends. Learn how to predict what’s coming next and how to share this information across media. Analyse and project colours, design themes, silhouettes, fabrics, patterns, and styling details years in advance of the actual development and production of the products that will come from them...more information below
Taught by: Yong Andersson (Parsons Paris), Ruth Marshall-Johnson (Central Saint Martins), Patrick Michael Hughes (Parsons)
Who decides what the latest themes, colours, silhouettes, styling details or fabrics will be? Be at the head of the pack, sleuthing the trends. Learn how to predict what’s coming next and how to share this information across media. Analyse and project colours, design themes, silhouettes, fabrics, patterns, and styling details years in advance of the actual development and production of the products that will come from them. Gain the skills necessary to be a trend forecaster, influential in fashion and lifestyle industries, monitoring the industry through travel, reading, networking, listening, and most important observing. Take your eye to the street and see what you find!
Combining the knowledge of fashion design, current world trends, and history with consumer research and business information, forecasters have an edge they share with their clients. As researchers, trend forecasters provide new knowledge to designers, buyers and product developers, assist in the development of new products and look for ways to improve existing products.
Paris, London, and New York City – fashion capitals with diverse cultural histories, will naturally give participants a sense of each city’s unique place in the global fashion/lifestyle industry. Designed to provide a mix of practice and theory, students will learn about the mechanisms and processes that link historical and cultural contexts to what is seen on the street, the runways and later in shops, homes and businesses.
Once initial research has begun, brand communication, advertising and promotion will become viable options for communicating a story, gleaned from the trends discovered, giving participants a platform from which to predict what will have the most significant impact on fashion/lifestyle in the future.
Who should attend:
This course is suitable for students who have studied fashion or other design subjects and want to take their skills to a new level. It is suitable for individuals who are interested in working in a role that requires trend forecasting skills – such as creative director, journalist, stylist, photographer or visual merchandiser.
- Understand how to use fashion and lifestyle advertising, editorial and creative direction in media, communication and promotion as a source material for trends.
- Know how to evaluate and analyse trends and share your findings through photography, writing and journalism.
- Explore how fashion is communicated and promoted creatively through different media.
- Develop your understanding of the history of fashion and develop of a sound theoretical framework within which to analyse this knowledge in relation to what you are picking up on the street.
- Use traditional and digital media, exploring emerging technologies and new promotional platforms to tell your trend story.
- Devise a compelling campaign to promote what you’ve found.
- Develop strong ideas and innovative strategies to tell your brand story.
- Develop strong conceptual, visual skills.
Week 1, PARIS - HUNTING AND GATHERING: SEARCHING FOR WHAT’S NEXT
Paris is the birthplace of fashion. With the history of couture still rooted in the heart of the French fashion industry, Paris combines a chic outlook with a winning formula for quality and design. The rules of fashion are created here, through an understanding and appreciation of elegance and tradition.
Discover a trend in the street, research past similar trends, study the historical roots of the trend category and timeline it through history; then create a story around the trend.
Study different types of forecasting from intuitive to predictive and the difference in both research techniques and companies who deliver those services. Create and merge styles and concepts, spot colours and styles to capture or create a trend.
As a vital communication tool, photography is an effective way to communicate your own unique vision and will be used as a key component in your work for image gathering and idea development. Phones or digital cameras are required for fast turnover of your daily work.
Participants will be taught specific research skills, where to locate source material and how to read current trends. Through the development of making something out of what you find, you will investigate a range of technical and creative approaches to tell your story, including composition, perspective, light, colour, movement, capturing the moment, and expressing a mood.
Week 2, LONDON - INTUITING THE FUTURE: DEPENDS ON THE PAST
London is a unique source of inspiration, experimentation and cutting-edge concepts where fashion design meets contemporary art, subversive street style and a melting pot of global influences and variety of cultures.
The diversity of style and culture in London is illustrated by the unique approach to the fashion industry within the city that is recognized globally.
In London participants will continue to examine and analyse the signs and meanings of the trends they observed and studied in Paris but now contextualize them through the lens of London’s open-minded approach to fashion that takes in both innovation as well as heritage - we will explore influence from different cultures but also different historical periods and how that bigger picture is relevant today.
By examining what has come before participants will uncover the context behind trends they have discovered and learn to detect key links between past influences and what we see today - and ultimately visualize how we can forecast and plan for tomorrow.
Visits will be made to some of London’s most iconic fashion hotspots – including both influential and upcoming stores, galleries, museums, retail hubs, cultural regions and centres for sub-cultures - to observe how trends are made and developed.
Whilst in London you will:
- Visits to key fashion archives will be made to study fashion and lifestyle images to learn how to use primary sources in building a trends narrative. In particular The Victoria and Albert Museum and London College of Fashion’s premier library.
- A street style observation project will be used to learn how to use digital tools to collect and curate information surrounding trends and popular culture and to communicate a contemporary narrative.
- A ‘History of London Fashion & Culture’ research project will be used to learn how to study the changing cultural influence of a place (including art, architecture, cultural hotspots and socio-economics) and how to map style and cultural evolutions as a tool for fashion forecasting.
Week 3, NEW YORK CITY – THE STORY: LEARNING HOW TO TELL IT
New York City is the place where everything gathered and learned in Paris and London will be put together. Working with graphic designers, media strategists, fashion designers and design thinkers, participants will have the opportunity to find the best platform from which to craft the story of their trend. Whether working in a group or as individuals, the week in NYC will provide visits to iconic fashion and lifestyle businesses and sites, meeting professionals who are at the top of their field, and taking time to review and edit the portfolio of the previous two week’s work into a fantastic trend story.
What’s It Going to Look Like?
Trend reporting requires editorial strategy, cohesive content creation and a timely connection to fashion, lifestyle and location. The New York City class will stress practical editorial design techniques, creative direction, brand development and ruthless photo editing leading to a presentation of the fashion news from three major fashion capitals. The Parsons bound periodical collection will serve as preliminary and primary source of investigation and inspiration into noteworthy art direction, creative content point of view, layout and innovative use of typography linked to the fashion narrative.
Did You Take Note of This?
The days will begin with a short presentation focused on an aspect of trend, styling or a current event linked to the ‘big four fashion calendar’ (London, Milan, Paris, New York). Participants will visit cultural venues such as the Costume Institute featuring Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcon Art of the In-Between and Irving Penn Centennial both at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Further participants will have specific assignments documenting and cataloguing fashionable neighbourhoods, venues and fashion clusters within the New York City.
An aspect of the class will highlight fast paced intuitive trend reporting geared toward social media outlets with brief end of day presentations. This aspect will contribute to the development of headline building, digital marketing, audience focus, photo editing, event building, brand/style teasers, mock publicist’s tip releases leading to the final presentation of the course’s larger project.
A significant project for the week will have students (working in teams or as individuals) on the creation of an editorial based summary, giving weight to the best visual and written fashion/ lifestyle content from Paris, London and New York. This project is aimed at further connecting the participant’s reflection of trends and connections to the current fashion calendar commencing with the NY Resort (May 29th –June 16th) London Fashion Week Men’s (June 9th-12th) The Milan Season (June 13th -20th) and Paris Fashion Week Men’s.
Yong Andersson is a Korean born Swedish citizen who has lived and worked in Paris for half her life. She is currently teaching at parsons Paris School of Design, has authored books on design for Jeu de Paume, and also works as a fashion illustrator.
Ruth Marshall-Johnson, co-founder of COIN Research and Foresight Director of The Future Laboratory, is a cultural researcher, speaker and mentor specialising in identifying, and explaining, the relationship between cultural development and consumer behaviour. She is a guest lecturer at Central Saint Martins, the University of Westminster and London College of Communication; and speaks on the commercial context of cultural trends and consumer behaviours across corporate innovation workshops, press and industry events including London Fashion Week and the Asia Fashion Summit, and is experienced in translating cultural research into highly effective consumer strategy for brands and organisations including Imperial War Museum, Swarovski, Marks & Spencer, Clarks and Dreamworks.
Patrick Michael Hughes, Part-Time Associate Professor ADHT, Integrated Design Studios and Professional Fashion Certificate Programs Parsons School of Design, is a Fashion and Style Historian, a Fashion Industry Contributor and Menswear Photographer. He is known for delivering cultural and historical fashion information within current market contexts, extracting the narratives of influence and emerging themes leading to concepts for editorial design, market presentation, styling, and visual branding.
Materials list coming soon
Booking Terms and Conditions
Please note that teaching in London is delivered by CSM short course tutors, and teaching in other cities is delivered by our partner institutions.
All Dual City course fees are inclusive of teaching. Please note that accommodation and travel fees are additional and to be organised directly by the student.