More than ever before, designers, suppliers, buyers and marketers are turning to the help of trend consultants in order to make the right decisions.
As consumers are spending less, and prices of goods and shipping are on the up, fashion businesses all need to be more confident when buying their ranges.
Some of the top trend companies have seen sales of their forecasting publications going up by 25% to 50% in the past six months. This information has never been so important. Every level, from designer to director, wants to make sure that the right colour, fabric and shape is being bought into.
It is likely that trends will start to move slower than in recent seasons. We will see an evolution of colours: the purples and teals of Christmas 07 will become crushed raspberry and emerald for this year.
Classic colour and shapes will return as consumers invest in pieces which last rather than buying a new outfit every week or month. Already this season we can see the impact of the little black dress and the return of black as a key fashion colour, which will continue into the spring 09 season.
But one thing is for sure; I am trying to be optimistic. Looking towards spring 10, we will see more upbeat colours to lift the spirits. Surfaces and textures will ignite the senses, and shapes will simply make us feel good when wearing them.
Fashion should be fun. It is hard to be frivolous when all around is doom and gloom. But if a fluorescent pink T-shirt puts a smile on my face on a dreary Monday morning, then this season I will be mostly wearing fluorescent pink.
Anna Starmer runs colour and trend consultancy Anna Starmer