Autumn Winter 2012-13 'Guide to the Season' - Fragility Trend Report

on 26/5/11

Our own mortality comes into focus for this theme, as we see a merging together of our previous 'Senses' & 'Harvest' directions from Spring Summer 2012. Retaining their delicate qualities, this theme emerges decidedly darker, yet without the austere overtones of recent seasons.

As we see a retrospective of Alexander McQueen's work, this theme is in the same vein as his influential 2001 'Voss' collection, rather than his ubiquitous skulls, and also combines the often cited darker visual inspiration favoured by Dior's new head designer Riccardo Tisci.

This theme is a beautiful, wistful study of life and death, that also incorporates a more twisted, edgier approach in its last 'Urban' direction.

Trend Direction 1: Life & Death 

For Autumn Winter 2012-13 we continue to recognise the aging population with the underlying subtext & central theme being the 'fragility' between life & death. Life can be marked by a sense of attitude, fulfilment and strong personal bonds, but looses meaning if we don't appreciate our own unique experience from 'cradle to grave'.

The perfect, if not slightly cruel, symbiosis, just as we see that dark follows light or happiness lifts us from sadness, death echoes life to create a mirror reflection. Time is now upon us, where every breath, loss, imperfection or choice should be celebrated & commemorated as we learn to cherish life's rich complexities.  

Autumn Winter 2012-13 Guide to the Season - Fragility

Life & Death Trend Direction - Autumn Winter 2012-13 'Guide to the Season

Direction 2: Sense of Mourning 

The death of a loved one always has a profound effect, and it is this deep sense of loss that is explored through the creation of unexpected keepsakes.

Remembrance & reflection upon a life that has past is a fundamental direction, as memories become entwined with products through the incorporation of bodily mementoes. 

Autumn Winter 2012-13 Guide to the Season - Fragility Trend Report

Sense of Mourning Trend Direction - Autumn Winter 2012-13 'Guide to the Season'

Direction 3: Beneath the Skin 

We lift the skin of our subject matter to find sources of beauty through anatomical references. Delicate in its treatment, rather than being macabre, this direction creates a sense of curiosity & wonderment at the biological make up of each living creature.

Taxidermy, body parts & autopsy style precision is used to peel back any facade and create fragile pieces that both enchant & charm in equal measure.

Autumn Winter 2012-13 Guide to the Season Fragility Trend Report

'Beneath the Skin' Trend Direction - Autumn Winter 2012-13 'Guide to the Season 

Trend Direction 4: Urban 

Street & hip hop gets a lot darker as we reset the recent all-American preppy look to create a hybrid genre between this and the anarchic approach of late nineties 'Nu Metal' bands.

Tearing up the 'expected norm' with the same precocious, do-it-yourself energy we experience each time a new underground movement emerges. This direction takes the more sinister & twisted references of our 'Fragility' theme and combines with a sense of rebellion & cynicism whilst all the time ensuring it keeps its urban edge through a street-savvy intelligence.   

 Autumn Winter 2012-13 Guide to the Season Fragility Trend Report

Dark Urban Trend Direction - Autumn Winter 2012-13 'Guide to the Season' 

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article resources

For Download Version:

/files/files/Guide to the Season AW12-13 - Fragility.pdf


Life & Death 

1. Ritual Memories by Iwajla Klinke

2. Daphne Selfe wearing Vivienne Westwood by Rankin

Sense of Mourning 

1. Mourning Jewellery by Kirsten Spuijbroek. Photographer: Carina Hesper

2. Mourning Objects by Anna Schwamborn

Beneath the Skin 

1. Canary 3 by Kate MacDowell

2. Taxidermy by Kelly McCallum


1. Autumn Winter 2011-12 Lookbook by Phenomenon

2. Cats-n-Dogs by To-orist 


Iwajla Klinke


Kirsten Spuijbroek

Anna Schwamborn

Kate MacDowell

Kelly McCallum




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