Trendstop has revealed New Utility as its Fashion Trend of the Year for 2016. Fusing fashion with function to create a clean, contemporary approach to utility aesthetics, this inspirational trend direction will influence fashion, beauty, home and lifestyle products and campaigns throughout the 2016 year. New Utility reflects how today’s consumer is increasingly expecting practical yet well-designed products, as seen with the growing popularity of clean Scandinavian-look brands like COS, Acne and Punkt, together with functional high-end devices like the Apple Watch. Trendstop first identified the trend in early 2014 through its global trend innovator analysis. Below, Trendstop blog readers can discover three key components from the New Utility trend, from menswear and womenswear to beauty.

Women’s Fashion

Trendstop - New Utility

Images courtesy of Trendstop.com: Acne Studios Fall/Winter 2015-16, Paris Street Style, Stella McCartney Fall/Winter 2015-16.

The utilitarian aesthetic represents forms of genderless dressing; New Utility is the ultimate unisex look, combining practicality with sophisticated design. Characterised by androgynous shapes and uniform styling, key looks include clean-cut overcoats, relaxed suits, refined casualwear and luxe jumpsuits. We see pared-back shades of black, grey, navy and khaki applied to functional fabrics.

 Men’s Fashion

Trendstop - New Utility

Images courtesy of Trendstop.com: Kenzo, Sunpocket, 3.1 Phillip Lim, all Fall/Winter 2015-16.

In menswear, modern styles utilise practical detailing and durable fabrics to create a utilitarian aesthetic. Subdued shades of Ever Green, Gunmetal and Boot Polish make up the palette, applied in tonal stylings to enhance the uniform feel. Minimal, clean-cut garments are styled in layers, complete with functional footwear and customisable accessories.


Trendstop - New Utility

Images courtesy of Trendstop.com: Diesel Black Gold Fall/Winter 2015-16, Jean Paul Gaultier Spring/Summer 2015, J Mendel Fall/Winter 2015-16.

The New Utility face is well-defined, with the brow or bone structure highlighted over an understated base. Hair is controlled or swept back, as textural elements add contrast. Strong groomed brows inject a masculine dimension, while rosy lip tints and defined lashes enhance femininity.