The choice of fabrics for spring summer 17 for the womenswear market signals
a balance between evanescence and materiality,
enriched with intersections between sophisticated naturalness,
fresh and bold fantasy and a touch of technicality.
These selections offer up new alliances:
more macro-yarn weaves that are lighter-weight, larger decorations on more vibrant supports, and more subtle irregularities with a refined hand.
TOPS AND DRESSES
Fabrics dedicated to small pieces and fluid dresses are fresh and light. A touch of romanticism inspires the selections and signals a dynamic, elegant style that connects the world of sports and lingerie for highly feminine every day wear.
A predominance of refined crêpes, crêpe-like silks and lightly crinkled finishes in silk/cotton and viscose/cotton blends or 100% natural compositions. An affinity for shivering knits, falsely crumpled jerseys and mini-cloqués.
The only unanimously popular shine was crystalline: powdery gold reflections and silvery sheens. Iridescent silks, pearly or discreetly shiny knits, embroidery with transparent plastic shine and luminous metallic lace.
Buyers loved airy or floaty fabrics such as fantasy chiffons and figured gauze, sports mesh and openwork, and extra-fine lace in vivid colours. Burnt-out spring flowers, cut yarn jacquard with cotton accents, and graphic knits with opaque/transparent stripes.
There was an increase in requests for light and extensible knits and weaves: cupro and viscose mixed with elastane, silky/technical blends, dense and fine lightweight stretch jerseys. A desire for second skin materials.
JACKETS AND ENSEMBLES
For outer and over pieces, buyers opted for fabrics with sophisticated tactile characteristics. They praised weaves with a natural aspect and extremely refined feel, such as soft, smooth raffia, dense and dry linens and fine-grained textured crêpes.
For jackets or dresses that are simultaneously structured and energetic, choices were concentrated on linen/viscose blends and crêpes. After three seasons of constant growth, crêpes are considerably changing. While still appreciated for their spring and suppleness, for spring summer 17, they are distinctive for their regular grain, their profound matte finish and a hybrid identity that falls between silk and cotton.
Amid an increased desire for intensely natural materials, what stands out is the vegetal character of yarns, which are amplified and magnified by open weaves. Increased interest in jacket-weight fine and elongated slub cotton, richly textured monochrome cotton tweeds, thread-like weaves and falsely rustic raffia.
Relief makes all the difference, with increased interest in jacket weight seersuckers, cloqué jacquards, quilted summer knits, textured stripes in contrasting thickness or structure, or solids in undulating threads and rounded weaves.
For little and top pieces alike, whether for day or evening wear, the designs chosen are more readable. In prints as well as embroidery and jacquard, the lines are cleaner, there is more contrast in colours and above all the dimensions are changing. Less demand for small and micro-motifs; medium and very large-scale motifs are the most popular.
Clean and fresh stripes, mostly horizontal top the list of selections. This desire for boldness is evident in the choice of simply geometric embroidery, and clean, oversized polka dots or diamond shapes. Decorations with an ethnic influence are also buoyed by this trend, with requests for abstract tribal prints and pared down graphics with primitive accents.
A wave of slightly bucolic vitality led the selections of decorations toward bouquets and herb gardens with spontaneous designs, such as flower seedlings that were quickly sketched out, painted, or drawn in ink or marker. A romantic freshness can be found even in dressier clothing: laces and embroideries create spring-like collages; bucolic motifs are enriched with floral over-prints and petal applications.
Lighter-weight jackets, more substantial trousers, a more chic suit,
a shirt that’s at once sophisticated and casual.
Checks gain ground in suiting and fresh stripes are in demand for shirting:
the spring summer 17 gentleman wants to free himself of conventions with elegance.
In the quest for a knowing balance between a strict and a relaxed look,
the linen influence and lightweight materials play a major role.
The ambivalence between elegant and casual remains at the center of desires for shirting. While still present, the casual influence is evolving quickly. The sophistication of fabrics and the subtleness of fantasies bolster the character of city shirts.
Among the very top most sought-after fabrics are cotton/linen blends and 100% linens. This desire for vegetal feel is confirmed by the success of pure cottons with slubs. It’s worth noting that their irregularities are appreciated so long as they are not rustic.
Buyers who were more focused on formal fashion were drawn to very light characteristics. Chic shirting for men was demanded airy yet not transparent, without obvious openwork; what’s most appreciated is their fineness.
Chosen mainly for city shirts, mini-figureds, dobbies and discreet jacquards are often associated with subtle yarn dyed effects. Weaves with figurative designs, such as animals, flowers and small abstract patterns have overtaken plaids – the most-requested motifs for several seasons.
In yarn-dyed fabrics, there is equal demand for two-tone and multicoloured designs: what’s important is a tonic contrast of colour that ranges from clarity to vivacity. Design dimensions also hew to increased readability, with medium scale trumping small scale for both plaids and stripes. The statistics are tied this season: stripes are up while plaids are losing ground.
JACKETS AND SUITS
Suiting moves away from the casual influence that had relaxed the masculine silhouette these past few seasons. While steering clear of formal wear’s rigid codes, menswear buyers opted for materials that let them re-style jackets, suits and trousers with elegance.
The hidden qualities of fabrics make all the difference when it comes to lightness and technicality. Menswear buyers preferred airy and fresh woolens or chic, extra-fine synthetic blends. These fluid fabrics herald lighter suiting with dynamic ease.
A touch of rusticity with lively visuals and refined hand makes for a seductive alchemy.
This desire favors linen blends, slubbed yarns and vegetal suiting. There’s a pronounced taste for a dry linen touch for men, with the lion’s share going to dry crêpes that, until now, were reserved to the women’s market.
Men’s fashion is opening up to fantasy – no doubt about it! The solids that were chosen are not completely solids: they have micro-reliefs, seersucker or jacquard effects. Discreetly figured suiting continues to make headway, mainly for jackets.
Visible differentiation is what high-end designers are after. Fantasy takes the upper hand, plaids and stripes become noticeably more visible, larger and more contrasted. The colour choice for city men is more daring.
Genderless is the key idea for relaxed fashions that have close ties to the world of elegance
yet blue the line between masculine and feminine.
Men no longer shy away from silky-like fabrics and
share with womenswear a certain fluidity and shine.
The casual silhouette is fresh thanks to lighter-weight fabrics
and the lightening of subtly washed-out finishes.
TOPS & SHIRTS
Buyers opted for little relaxed pieces that struck a balance between authentically natural fabrics, more refined hands and charmingly simple visuals. These preferences herald more fanciful tee-shirts, sweatshirts and shirts that are simultaneously casual and light.
The denim shirt is a key piece of the men’s wardrobe and this season extends to the relaxed women’s wardrobe. Buyers moved away from light classic denims in favor of fantasy weaves, dobbies, stripes and figureds. Washes are most popular in gradations of ever-fresher blue.
The authentic touch of the season is undeniably the vegetal aspect of linen. In shirting, plaids are woven with slub yarn; linen-y end-and-end weaves are popular when washed and softened. In knits, the vegetal aspect predominates, as much for the sweatshirt with irregular fleece as tee-shirts in 100% linen and linen-viscose.
For both shirts and knits, stripes stand out: this season they are popular in bayadere with stark contrasts and wide spacing.
For small, mainly womenswear pieces, fantasy motifs play on slightly transparent supports: façonné cotton voiles, cut yarn, dotted Swiss, jacquard knits and diaphanous jerseys with transparent stripes.
JACKETS BLOUSONS PANTS
The spotlight is on freshness, as much in terms of touch as bright and washed colours. Everything that evokes vegetal nobility drew notice, including the fineness of slub linen and the firmness of fine, dense cloth. Lightness is often associated with stretch for “skinny” styles that appeal to both genders.
Denim with a difference
In jeanswear, the finish no longer makes the difference: here, materiality is the gauge of quality and buyers were seeking to move away from the classic diagonal by choosing dobbies or ultra-simple cloths. A technical touch is noted, with an emerging attraction for waterproof, breathable indigos.
For trouser weights, the desire for lightness translates into increased selections of refined stretch cottons and very dense cotton-polyamide blends. That density was also popular in more fluid versions with cupro et Lyocell blends.
For easy, elegant bombers and jackets, scuba knits and 3D meshes were popular in more natural compositions of cotton and linen combined with synthetics. For woven jackets and trousers, dense linens and cotton-linen blends were most popular when supple and dry.
Sport & Outdoor
This world’s key word of the season is “casual”!
The relaxed cotton look has never been so popular among tech buyers.
Sport and outdoor wear get even closer to urbanized sportswear.
Beyond the casual trend, usage calls for reassurance, even more technicality,
lightness and flexibility for ever-closer fits and greater ease in all circumstances.
URBAN SPORTS & OUTDOOR
While the visuals for selected fabrics are discreet, the assertive character of their touch makes all the difference. Elasticity is a must, while a compact hand gives way to materials that are more springy, light and fresh.
For outerwear pieces, active sports and fitness brands were looking for more moveable elasticity that were less girdle-like and more lively. They chose more fluid extensible knits and light, bi-stretch shirt weights.
The cotton wave dominates all the fabric selections for jackets and parkas.
The cotton touch is of primary importance, even for 100% synthetic fabrics, which have an almost natural matte finish. Denim and chambray finishes were highly appreciated. High-performance cotton/synthetic fabrics gained considerable ground for waterproof poplins and gabardines, breathable raincoats and windbreakers.
This season, lightness inspired buyers’ selections for all kinds of clothing. For windbreakers and high-performance jackets, lightness is at a premium. The synthetics chosen are so fine they practically disappear in the hand, become translucent or even transparent for protection that is quite nearly immaterial.
The worlds of sport and the outdoors re-center on fabric choices with sober visuals. For pieces such as tops, buyers’ favorite designs are mainly small and discreet. These appear in tone-on-tone prints, damask jacquards or in discreet embossing.
As a counter-current to these primarily matte and sober selections, pearly reflections and light metallics emerged as the favorite finishes for buyers looking for coatings. These choices herald raincoats and jackets with precious clarity.
Swimwear specialists selected ever-finer high-performance and bi-stretch materials. Here again, lightness goes hand-in-hand with technicality, chlorine-resistant fibers, UV-resistant colours and quick-dry materials that lend themselves to a number of fantasy treatments.
Mostly requested in prints but also sometimes in jacquards, floral designs seem to be lifted from the jungle’s depths: petals are shaded; leaves appear and disappear in tone-on-tone motifs. Here, the ethnic influence is discreet, with a preference for small and mini in tonal colours.
Swimwear buyers were attuned to the season and chose fresh, bold visuals: striped polyamide/elastane knits with acid or fresh contrast for feminine, graphic bathing suits. Woven wide and bold stripes make for highly visible bathing shorts. Enlarged mesh beachwear makes a sexy, sporty statement.
Best Spring / Summer 2017
The Best survey conducted during Première Vision Fabrics gathers and relays buyers’ reactions to solid and decorative fabrics for spring summer 17. This season, our teams interviewed 291 exhibitors representing every specialty: high fancy, embroidery, laces, knits, prints, silkies, shirting, tailoring, lining, tech, premium relax and high-end jeanswear.
Best survey results break out international buyers’ preferences in various markets (men’s, women’s, casualwear, sport and outdoor). The survey then presents the top colours and leading fabric directions. Post-show, a closer analysis of these fabric and decoration choices offers an overview of emerging fashion trends for spring summer 17.
Already, several themes are common to different markets. This season, lightness is gaining ground across sectors. The desire for naturalness is moving away from rusticity in favor of a dry feel; a blast of technicality works itself into everyday wear and the apparent simplicity of visuals evoke a fresh, tonic and refined spring summer 17.
DRY MATERIALS WITH A SEDUCTIVE FEEL
Across sectors, selections focused on fabrics that, beyond their visual aspect, champion differentiation.
An arid feel, strong vegetal sensations, and very natural linens are becoming highly attractive.
Solids have a rough yet fresh character, in bare cottons and suiting with a subtle irregularity of fiber.
Matte crêpes are popular in knits as well as in woven fabrics for their grain and long-lasting fluidity.
Even in lace and embroidery, a soft hand is less sought-after than dry feels.
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SHIVERING TEXTURES ENRICH SURFACES
They love it when it moves! Buyers gravitated toward living fabrics, with fresh, moving surfaces.
Among top picks: seersuckers for suiting and shirting, for both men and women.
The attraction of light textures holds especially true for crêponnés, rippling knits and slightly cloqué silks.
Wrinkled effects on fluid fabrics were particularly attractive to women’s buyers and, more discreetly, for shirting with an un-ironed finish.
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THE NEW ESSENTIAL LIGHTNESS OF FABRICS
Unanimously, buyers were looking for lightness first and foremost. Collections are already showing a blast of freshness.
Suiting is deliberately airy, the trend is toward refined yet dense cottons, and men’s shirting flirts with transparency.
That transparency comes through in silks and knits, where the desire for lightness translates into cut-yarn jacquards, hollowed-out stripes and burnt-out prints.
Lightness brushes with immateriality showing a selection of ultra-light technical fabrics among tech players and ever-finer iterations of Chantilly by lace-makers.
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BOTANICAL LUSHNESS TAKES OVER DECORATIVE FABRICS
For decorative fabrics, designers offer up vivid reinterpretations of nature with slightly prickly herbariums and fresh, bracing watercolour gardens and bouquets.
The most popular all-over prints feature wildflowers and floral grounds scattered with birds.
The meeting of flora and fauna was also popular in more tropical variations, in which jungle foliage and flowers are populated with exotic animals.
The passion for plants is also notable in laces, with a selection of designs that are leafier rather than floral.
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GRAPHIC STRIES GET BOLDER
Buyers were drawn to the frankly bold visual impact of stripes for spring summer 17.
They yielded to the temptation of confident simplicity in enlarged stripes for shirting.
They went for contrasting bayadere horizontal stripes in silk and knit, in multi-coloured versions, mixing light and bold stripes or opaque and transparent ones.
The appeal of strong and dynamic visuals extended far beyond just fabrics for small pieces.
This season, big, bold stripes are cropping up on suiting and appearing generously on linens and summer tweeds.
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IMPERFECT COLOUR GIVE SOLIDS MORE NUANCE
Apparent simplicity that’s richly produced is one of the season’s key fabric directions.
For this reason, the most popular solid fabrics are not truly uniform.
First among finishings and looks: washed-out fabrics! This goes way beyond denim selections.
In shirting, knits, trouser-weight cottons and even tailoring, variations in colour intensity and washes are highly appreciated.
This taste for nuance comes through in decorative fabrics, with subtly gradated silks, imperfect screen printings, and freshly faded motifs.
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