According to the latest trend lecture from GDS, fashion is undergoing a fundamental change. The fashion picture in summer is characterised by naturalness and lightness, by clear-cut, minimised shapes and slender silhouettes. White and all near-white shades symbolise freshness, purity and modernity and add a sensual, very seductive touch to fashion.

Alongside white and so-called neutrals (greyish to skin-tone nuances) natural colours will be in the foreground. These colours often look as if bleached by the sun, faded by washing, reminiscent of deserts, sand and steppes. Ranging from pale beige all the way down to dark olive and brown shades, these colours are joined by gold and bronze.

Intense colours such as tomato red, mango and coral will also be in evidence next summer. They are toned down by combinations with white, black and summer darks. They all get a fresh kick out of the classic navy colour trio blue-white-red as well as all blue shades.

However, the changes in fashion don’t just manifest themselves in subdued colouring. Altered silhouettes and styling are also clear indications of a change in fashion. Designers present purist, no-frills looks.

Opulent romanticism and over-ornate folklore themes are past their peak. The days of navel-revealing, cropped tops and pants emphasising the bottom are over – now legs are moving centre-stage in fashion terms. New very sophisticated-looking styles are emerging, with dresses, pencil skirts and drainpipes playing a prominent role.

The implications for shoe and bag fashion?

In tune with the slender silhouettes in womenswear the trend is towards soft, rounded shoe styles. Ballerinas, court shoes, pumps and loafers with moderate heel heights as well as totally flat sandals, also in Capri style, will feature prominently. This is the high season for peep-toes both flat and heeled.

Slender and pointed lasts have not completely exited footwear fashion yet; but the new slender lasts appear to be significantly shorter. Ballerina and court shoe uppers are substantially shorter allowing sexy glimpses of toe. Square lasts are only really trendy when featuring high or asymmetrical toe caps.

For bags there is also a trend towards down-to-earth, minimised shapes and pale powder hues. Harmonious colour combinations and tone-on-tone arrangements stress lavishly finished surfaces, textures and patterns. Large-format business bags and shoppers – like the shoes – distinguish themselves in purist, straight styles. Fine calf leathers and matt, soft-touch suedes are used alongside high-gloss patent leathers.

When it comes to higher heels for next summer, designers think of Cuban heels but above all wedges and platforms. Little leather-covered platforms and big massive ones are ‘en vogue’ making heeled court shoes and peep-toes easier to walk in.

Another important, also very feminine theme are metallics: gold and bronze nuances set the tone here. Metallic leathers are also often used as accent colours contrasting with canvas or velours. Gold and bronze also set attractive accents in bag fashion.

Talking of shine, patent leather is another must-have fashion theme. This shiny material is forecast to herald a big comeback perhaps as early as winter. Next summer patent leather could very well star prominently in white and near-white shades but it will also be in demand for black and dark blue.

For men, sporty Oxford shoes will remain in evidence. Slender, minimised cuts and styles with a classic feel to them, also fit for business, score high on the list. Discreet colours, also mixed with each other, as well as material combinations, and above all canvas/leather dominate here.

For business occasions, men wear lace-ups and loafers with extended lasts. Hand-finished calfskin with a discreet lustre and finest suede exude the desired elegance here.

High-quality materials also demonstrate style and class for his ‘business bags’. Interesting material finishes give styles the desired patina. Very soft leathers and a mix ‘n’ match of material such as canvas and leather exude a casual slant. Brown and beige tones will also be the favourites for next summer.