The Best survey, which canvassed 300 Fabrics and Designs exhibitors at the Première Vision Paris show in September 2019, indicates the major colour, fabrics and decorations trends for autumn-winter 20-21. The selections made by international fashion brands are decoded and analysed to identify the certitudes and strong intuitions of designers and buyers. Discover the Best Colors here, as well as the specific strengths of the market, for the woman, for the man and the sport and tech.
A new phenomenon stands out in this session’s Best results. Across the board, when the season’s general highlights are discussed, talk of appearances takes a back seat. The intrinsic qualities of materials are gaining in value. The main emphasis is on ecological issues, on the quality and sustainability of materials. This in no way implies a lack of interest in the aesthetics, which themselves point to a search for differentiation imbued with great refinement for autumn-winter 20-21.
At every stand, sustainable development is at the forefront of buyers interest. Till now, we have seen these concerns mostly in the technical fabric and knitwear sectors. And while the sports and outdoor sectors continue to lead in terms of responsible innovations, the Best survey results confirm that other markets are making major commitments as well. For menswear specialists, sustainable development has become the number-one priority, a score jumping from 10% to 20% in one year. In the women’s universe, decoration specialists are also getting the message. In prints, ecological interest has jumped from 5% to 28%. It’s important to note that research into recycled materials is on the rise at wool mills, embroiderers and lace makers. Organic fabrics climbed 8 points at the cotton mills, and more eco-friendly finishings are on the rise across all industries. While buying intentions are sometimes out of step with order realities, one thing is now certain: thinking in terms of more eco-friendly fashion is becoming a priority.
Handles speak to quality
Handles set the tone. After many seasons of increasingly multiple fibre blends, this winter the more noble compositions are gaining momentum. Pure wool, alpaca and cashmere blends are rising in the selections. Beyond this increased interest in natural fibres, the search for quality is reflected in the choice of more compact fabrics. A desire for a feeling of substance without rigidity is manifested. Buyers want authentic woollen fabrics that are soft and lightweight; dense cottons are softer and suppler; and suit weights are more flexible. In women’s fabrics, a dense suppleness prevails, with draping viscose blends and knits firmed-up by stretch.
The most remarked fantasies have been given a colour-refresh. While yarn-dyed patterns and decors might appear familiar on a graphic level, their new handling of colour sets them off. Nocturnal harmonies in prints, tone-on-tone floral motifs, neutral/intense two-tone houndstooths, plaids, tartans and windowpane checks worked in imitation monochrome. Checks and stripes with contrasting textures stand out in woollens and shirtings: smooth/textured weave plays and bouclette yarns, and inserted mohairs and chenilles enhance patterns. Double faces are surfing this wave of more sophisticated contrasts, and catch buyers’ eyes when finer and softened, with face/back plays on refined fibres and colours.
Casual-cotton weavers report that men’s and women’s buyers’ choices are moving closer together. Stretch fabrics are no longer restricted to women’s collections, and colour choices are becoming more and more mixed. Among shirting specialists, women’s and even men’s buyers put a priority on fluidity. Suiting fabrics, on the other hand, go easily from one universe to another. Printed and even embroidered fancies are broken down in a masculine vein. These converging buying trends confirm the narrowing gap between genders and styles. This call for freedom opens the field to shifted uses, such as the use of suitings for blousons, sophisticated fleeces for dresses, high-performance fabrics for suits and fluid textiles for structured garments. These diverted uses are emerging as drivers of differentiation.