Category Archives: Materials


There’s a major shift happening in denim for Fall-Winter 13/14, and a lot of it has to deal with what’s happening right now in Ready-To-Wear. And boy is it ever the right time.

As some of you may know, the Denim by Premiere Vision tradeshow was held just over 2 weeks ago in Paris. And while the event is always pivotal in surfacing denim trends long before they reach the market, there was something distinctive about the show this time around. You see, in the past few seasons there has been a lot of concern with the rising costs of cotton; harboring new blends but also alternatives such as CHINOS and new ways to position denim like SHIRTING.

This time around while most weavers were content to tout a RETURN TO DENIM (as opposed to the aforementioned chinos), treatments and finishes were introduced that bare a striking resemblance to what’s going on right now in fashion.

COATINGS become everything, with leather-like coatings leading the way. If you’ve been following runway trends in any estimation, you know that LEATHER is having a major moment well beyond the biker jacket and onto sportswear separates from tops to pants. The degree to which these coatings are used vary from all-over applications to those which still reveal the denim underneath.

METALLICS, which appeared prevalently on the Spring 12 women’s runways also make their way into the denim sector in the form of coatings. Extreme gold and silver applications are found along with more subtle GLITTER weaves and PEARLESCENT treatments, the later which bears similar resemblance to Chanel’s Spring 12 collection.

Probably one of the most expected trends to move forward is COLOR. There is no denying that color is a major factor at retailers right this second, and some brands – like J Brand – latched onto the trend early on. At last season’s Denim by Premiere Vision show, color was also a key trend, however it was expressed mainly on chinos. This time around, most weavers expand colored denim in season-appropriate ranges of olive, berry and goldenrod. DOUBLE FACED color also taps into the trend without going overboard.

If you’ve set foot in any retailer lately, you know that PRINTS (in addition to color) are everywhere. While printed denim has almost always been treated as novelty, there is no shortage of printed denim for Fall-Winter 13/14. In fact, new 3D expressions feature lamination and even flocking, just hinting at the plush trend in ready-to-wear.

Perhaps it is true that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. One might think so with a glance at these KNIT LIKE WOVENS. Of particular note, Candiani’s new fabric lies somewhere between a calvary twill and knit jersey.

While that concept was first introduced a few seasons ago, a newer expression comes in the form of NAPPY and TWEEDY fabrics. Normally when referring to a nappy fabric it’s only visible upon close inspection, but this time around, excessive naps populate denim and open the door to tweedy textures.

Admittedly, denim brands are only just starting to think about fabric for Fall-Winter 13/14 now and some of the trends mentioned above are skewed more towards womenswear. Nevertheless, I’m a firm believer that these new trend-driven developments are just what the market needs to get us all back to denim (whether it looks like it or not).

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Filed under Denim, Materials, Tradeshows

A Touch of VELVET

As Milan Fashion Week kicks off for Fall 12, velvet quickly rises to the top as a must-have material expression. Velvet blazers, suits and pants are featured, while Dolce & Gabbana highlight velvet trim on tailored items.


Filed under Designer, Details, Key Items, Materials, Runway

Sheer Madness

Edgy European collections introduced the concept of sheer layering for Spring 12. However what we saw in Paris was much more forward, especially considering that sheer materials often nodded to a very feminine influence. In New York designers present transparent fabrics in a more subtle and commercial way.

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Marled or Mesh?

Burberry, Jil Sander, Gucci

In addition to the other sweater trends I mentioned earlier this week, MARLED SWEATERS become a hit on the runway, especially at Jil Sander. Also on the knitwear front, Dolce & Gabbana introduce net-like OPENWORK. The look emulates a relaxed Riviera mood, reflective of many Milan collections for Spring 12.

Dolce & Gabbana

Along similar lines, MESH becomes an important material for the young men’s market, often signaling an athletic twist.

Dolce & Gabbana



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Filed under Designer, Key Items, Materials, Runway