Style and trends to expect in spring 2024

By Gwen Soriano, Dec. 15, 2023

As the academic calendar resets, CPP students clean out their wardrobes as they prepare to embrace incoming trends in fashion, recognizing them as essential tools for nuanced self-expression in the evolving narrative of their journey toward adulthood.

Against the backdrop of a shifting socioeconomic landscape influenced by unpredictable dynamics, the fashion industry is overdue for a rejuvenation in the spring. Departing from the practicality and neutral basics that defined recent years of darker style, trend forecasters anticipate a playful and vibrant resurgence.

Drawing insights from recent runway trend analysis, followers of fashion can expect a captivating mosaic of diverse aesthetics in the new year, acting as a testament to the industry’s ability to harmonize innovation, playfulness and nostalgia.

Italian designer brand Diesel paid homage to the 2000s era at Milan Fashion Week, resurrecting bold and eccentric styles for the warm weather. The spring collection showcased apparel nostalgic to Y2K kids, with appearances of old trends like capri pants, hobo bags, small-frame sunglasses, low rise jeans and textured midi skirts.

In contrast to the “clean girl” minimalist trend made popular within the past few years, previews of design elements inspired by the ‘00s decade push individualism and diversity for the younger generations. Infusions of edgy patterns like graffiti splatter and camouflage, playful pops of neon tones, layered silhouettes, unique looks using nylon, sheer, metallics and fringe, and the subtle confidence of thin accessories such as belts and scarves bring bravery and unconventionality back into the realm of fashion.

Experts including Apparel Merchandising and Management professor Irma Villanueva shared her own outlook on what next year’s trends may look like and what she is personally looking forward to in the new spring season.

“I’m definitely excited to see more bright colors come back,” said Villanueva. “I think that it’s very exciting since the cooler season brought muted tones and neutrals for a little while.”

Emerging designer Sandy Liang used similar design elements in her spring 2024 collection, similar to styles from the 2000s coastal chic trend, where cool pastel hues meet edgy mini skirts and beachy platform sandals. The trend encapsulated a beachside trendsetter known for their oceanic core pieces such as puka shell necklaces and crochet sweaters.

Liang’s vision encapsulated the essence of Y2K fashion, with preppy and feminine pieces like cardigans and denim skirts, which are reminiscent of stylish characters of the ‘00s like Summer Roberts from “The O.C.” and Regina George from “Mean Girls.”

After consumers continued to sport the coast’s trendy wardrobe, sea imagery and beachy accessories emerged with the internet’s own microtrend coined “mermaid romanticism,” which Vogue summarized as “playful and delicate, yet effortless and resourceful” and the writers from Women’s Wear Daily described to entail “body-skimming gowns that were complemented with fishtail hems and shell accessories”.

According to blog sites like the Gloss, Louis Vuitton creative director Nicholas Chesquiere pulled inspiration from mermaid lifestyle and announced their Cruise Collection releasing in 2024, with design elements that creatively mimic ocean life.

Coquette styles are also anticipated to make a grander re-entrance during spring, which was another common theme in Liang’s collection. Liang featured charming bows, hourglass silhouettes and sheer tights scattered throughout her collection, taking inspiration from the feminine aesthetics of the ballet lifestyle along with elements of the 1950’s Victorian Era.

Followers of fashion anticipate a resurgence of the playful feminine style, as analysts forecast a return to elements characterized by whimsical charm.

With micro trends such as the doll-like coquette aesthetic and the oceanic mermaid core, designer brands Coach and Tory Burch celebrated their audience’s inner child spirit with youthful shades like lilac and millennial pink.

These playful spring styles are said to be an influence of the Barbie movie release this year, with the famous doll represented as a symbol for advocacy toward feminism and the romanticization of womanhood.

Along with future themes of diversity celebration, AMM professor Alejandra Parise made her own observation on the slow embrace of inclusivity within the fashion landscape.

“Gender fluidity and unisex looks are finally more in style,” said Parise. “We’re seeing more themes of androgyny and looser fits to accommodate a larger variety of individuals.”

While members of the apparel industry pushed for equity in fashion, the influence of the Body Positivity Movement and advocacy for size inclusivity calls for full size ranges and trendy unisex styles for all body types in the upcoming years.

Trend analysts like Villanueva estimated the ongoing influence of size inclusion and its important role in contemporary fashion.

“I see a lot of inclusion and a lot of diversity coming into play,” said Villanueva. “Not only do I think we will continue to see looks of the average person in a full size range and unisex, but I’m expecting some new designs and collections targeted towards this new audience.”

On a technical end of apparel, co-founder of size-inclusive label Universal Standard Alexandra Waldman explained to Vogue Business the possibility of manufacturing logistics and intensive labor getting in the way of a brand trying to sell extra petite and plus size clothing.

Other experts of the clothing production process, including fourth year AMM student Alyssa-Kayla Marquez, expressed their hope for additional advancements that will benefit fashion industry workers.

“From a market manufacturing and production standpoint, it is very archaic how clothes are made,” said Marquez. “It can get so labor intensive and can turn into a long, logistical process, so I hope to see technology really growing in the sample making process in order to increase efficiency and decrease waste.”

Future technological upgrades on factory machinery, much like The New Black’s integration of generative AI, are projected to revolutionize the fashion design process, enabling designers to simplify their methods of clothing production in an efficient way.

The eclectic tapestry of projected spring 2024 fashion trends reflects a dynamic intersection of inspiration, where the narrative is driven by experience and emotion.

Anticipated advancements in technology and inclusivity calls for a bright and playful period in fashion coming soon.

As the runway becomes a canvas for the blend of individuality, experts calculate spring 2024 fashion embodying a powerful fusion of social consciousness, technological prowess and creative expression on a global scale.

Feature image courtesy of Peter Plashkin

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