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Shine, shape, and personalized style rule MAGIC Las Vegas as increasing demand for occasion-inspired dressing take over assortments.
The A/W 23/24 collections set to show at the February edition of MAGIC Las Vegas not only pay homage to a city known for its dedication to all things sparkle, shine, and glamour, but to a season dedicated to consumers’ growing desire for elevated embellishment and statement dressing, wherever they may go.
As strength in the market for occasion wear increases, brands and retailers are reacting to the sparkling spirit accordingly. “Everything is extra this season,” says Julie Kuo, Vice President, Qupid. One of the key messages of this trend, she notes, is that this feeling of shine is not limited to typical evening wear; rather, that this inspiration should be considered for styling in all lifestyle commodities as consumers look to dress to be seen.“It’s a maximalist embellishment season where sparkle has taken over from all day to all night daily wear. Dress is coming in strong after years of being quiet. It's exciting see [the] market shift where women are ready to go out and stand out.” Boutique owners like Alex Sekulic, Owner, Love + Lavender, and Kayley Reese, Owner, Savvy Kay Boutique, agree, noting that while traditional sequin shine is still a sales driver, emerging metallic trends in material interest are critical components of their fall/winter buys.
Dressy collections are not just a trend but an evergreen staple. Melissa Prato, Owner, Shop at Amandine, says that “in Vegas there is a high demand for sparkle [as the] entertainment capital of the world, so you must be sparkle and shine ready at all times” but that global consumers also share the sentiment of sophisticated everyday dressing. “In Haiti we have a large demand and market for sparkle and event styling,” she notes, crediting customers’ year-round holiday and event dressing as drivers for occasion wear shopping.
One of the biggest trends emerging in collections at the event is silhouette newness, with brands experimenting not just garment surfaces, but also structure. Regina Shin, designer of Baevely, shares that buyers should look forward to a season of new ideas inspired by shapely constructions."We are focusing on playing with more structural fabric that can be more of a statement piece that will bring a fresh mindset to occasion wear,” she says, including a “wide range of leather [formed] into more playful silhouettes” alongside “fringe, new jacquard prints, mixing texture and patterns, and rhinestones.”
“We are usually really strong with dressy looks; feminine and glamorous inspiration, shimmer and shine fabrics, sequins, tulle; but this season, we’re introducing soft materials that will add voluminous dimensions, topped with 3D embellishments and other multi-layered elements,” says Andrew Kwon, Account Manager, Idem Ditto. Noting that attention to detail is critically important in the collection, thoughtfulness in occasion wear design considers not just shape but also function. “Many of our dressy styles incorporate functionality; for example, we add pockets to as many styles as possible! Also, as the trend for micro miniskirts continues, we add shorts underneath. Customers and retailers are looking to have convenience and comfort everywhere and every day, especially special occasions.”
Comfort also enters occasion wear as traditionally expected shapes like dresses and skirts make way for a surge of tailored separates and suiting trends in this category (we’ll explore this trend in the MAGIC New York Brand Editorial, launching next week.) AK Brown, Founder, The Fashion Connector expects to see bold detailing in these silhouettes taking them from day to night, including “loud colors, unique prints, custom embellishments… blunt cuts and structured-in tulle.”
Brands and retailers unanimously agree that the excitement of the season is not only driven by its high decoration, sparkle, and silhouette play, but also consumers’ interest to experiment with new and personal styling reinforced by careful curation and merchandising. Reese notes that she looks forward to shopping brands that with a unique point of view in silhouettes like asymmetric hemlines and mini versus maxi lengths, denim, and unexpected styling in casual with tailored pieces: “I am loving giving it a sort of unsophisticated sophistication.”
High-low dressing is expected to be a major trend across the occasion category as consumers, still leaning into casual dressing post-pandemic, seek to mix comfort into their styling. For both herself and consumers, Brown confirms that “pairing occasion wear with streetwear” is the new ethos, for looks ranging from novelty tailoring with jeans to a “dramatic dress” with sneakers.
Register now to see all the sparkle and shine of MAGIC Las Vegas.