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Fabric: where fashion begins

Feb 13, 2013

Fashion

Fashion begins as often with a raw material, as it does with an inspiring idea. Browsing and touching the fabrics for the Spring Summer 2014 season at the Paris-held Premier Vision, it becomes clear that the vast collections offer everything under the sun

for the world's leading fabric sourcing experts and designers. The collections span knit-based fabrics, silks, leather, trims, wools, yarns, eco and sustainable fabrics, technical fabrics, swimwear, furs and plenty more.

New for the
spring season are raw luxury fabrics. Trend forecasters are unanimously mentioning heavy, compacted and visually raw fabrics are key next season. They are visually more noble than rustic and come in summer weights, like thick cottons and triple yarn weaves.

Hybrid and mutant fabrics are also new next season, for example a linen fabric bonded to a technical knit, or a waterproof silk. The contrasts are endless, such as plain yet decorative, knitted yet woven, luxury with technical aspects. All combined for novel behaviours.

Stripes are also proving a strong story, but not necessarily just vertical and horizontal patterns. They can be overrun, as seen on shirting fabrics, dandy when fine and slender, or wide and blurry. Multiplied stripes were also seen, and can adopt textures, slub effects and even flowers.

Colour is always prominent in the summer collections. Despite the minimal theme being a continuing trend, patterns, brights and pastels combine to produce a new generation of multi-coloured fabrics. Colourful and deep shades mix with subtle plains and fresh washed-outs to balance the look of 'clean' fabrics.

Texture, such as granite or sandy grains can produce raised effects on fabrics. Their dry fresh handle gives a different feel to fluidity, and can influence a garment, such as a dress or top, will drape, as seen on crepe, silk and viscose fabric.

Also seen were a collection of very light, origami fabrics, that are smooth and homogeneous. These are as fine and opaque as they are dense or transparent. Often times they don't appear to be much of a fabric, but they are perfect to fold and assemble, as experts are key to inform the designers.

The environment is an ongoing source of inspiration and of key importance. Premier Vision has launched a section devoted to recycled fabrics, where designers can identify yarns, fabrics, leathers, furs, papers and other materials that are comprised primarily of recycled materials. Performance-led fabrics are also eco-friendly and the questions being asked are what is the current situation of sustainable development in the fashion industry? What are the possibilities and what, perhaps, are the inconveniences?

Lots to consider and it all starts at fabric level.

Image: Fairtrade cotton