Autumn Winter 17-18 Fabrics

Best Autumn/Winter 17/18

3 days of surveys at Première Vision Fabrics / 296 weavers interviewed, in 12 sectors / 257 samplings collected

Buyers want something cosy, and comfort that makes no style concessions. Autumn-winter 1718 is primed for fantasy and elegance. It’s time for lightness and warm suppleness… along with quality technology prized more for its actual functions than look.

Dense suppleness

Suppleness is high on everyone’s list. This consensus is written into a broader story of elegance, moving away from a casual nonchalance, and evident in both women’s and menswear. Full, dense, alive and pliant handles met with success: draping, enveloping, free of any rigidity, and above all always elegant. These choices open up a whole new field of chic contemporary looks combining presence and agility. As a result, diagonals are the highest they’ve been in the surveys for 10 years. Choices also indicate a return to blends with viscose and Lyocell.

Offbeat patterns

Fantasy takes off: choices went to patterns that turned their backs on standard archetypes. The houndstooths and Prince of Wales selected were offbeat and distorted, with new scales and colourways to give them a new twist. Check favourites – enlarged to the max in jacket and coat weights – stepped away from traditional looks. Strange, darkly romantic flowers were among the favourites in prints, and out-scale motifs were liked in jacquards and lace. For outdoors, camouflage patterns tended to precious or figured versions, in unusual colourways.

Frank regularity

Buyers are on a hunt for perfection this season. They want absolute plains, really regular structures, visibly neat constructions, totally smooth surfaces. The desired look is neat and chic, in suitings as well as in technical synthetics, and above all in jacket- and pant-weight cottons. Even menswear heads off in this new direction: plains overtake blurries and chinés.

Weightless warmth

It’s winter: buyers can’t escape a need for comfort. The game-changer this season: wool warmed up with a light hand. The protective performants buyers selected are cosy, fluffy and soft. This wave of warmth surges through fancies and decorative grounds too, putting velvets front and centre: embroidered, printed, jacquards, and yarn-dyed velvets.

Multi-colour darks

In a real surprise for a winter season, multi-colour aspects scored very well, in both the men’s and women’s markets. Buyers like dark and multicolour fabrics, far removed from gaily-coloured looks. They enjoyed this different way of working tone-on-tones, and the secret richness brought by colour depth.

A definite yes to recycled fibres

Fewer declarations and good intentions this season, but instead a concrete turn towards ecological and responsible production. The demand for fabrics made from recycled fibres increased significantly in all sectors. These textiles are even starting to seduce the fancy women’s market. The most committed buyers were those in active sports and jeanswear.

Yarns make the difference

This season, a fabric’s seductive appeal derived from the creativity of its yarns. The surprising handles that appealed to buyers derived from the twist and density of the fabric’s yarns. The singular plays on weaves that caught the eye of show visitors relied on a subtle use of fancy yarns inserted in stripes, checks, jacquards and embroideries.

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