Spring Summer 2012 Early Trend Direction from Expofil & Premiere Vision

on 16/10/10

Premiere Vision is obviously the largest & most influential fabric trade show and whilst the main focus for September 2010 was the confirmation & sourcing of fabrics for Autumn Winter 2011-12, it also provides a glimpse of what to expect for Spring Summer 2012 via the various International trend agencies presenting their latest predictions and the likes of Expofil (the yarn show) providing the clues.  

Spring Summer 2012 - Expofil
Spring Summer 2012 Trend Forum at Expofil, Image Courtesy of Expofil

Overall Trend Direction for Textiles in Spring Summer 2012

New fibre and yarn directions shown at Premiere Vision perpetuate the mix of natural fibres with innovative synthetics and getting the right balance between the two. Elegant in appearance and supple handles imbue refinement.

There are 3 main yarn categories:
  • Eco-Chemistry – recycled polyester yarns yield performance features in fabrics. Agricultural crops and natural raw materials such as wood and bamboo provide the fluidity and comfort. The blending of both these recycled and naturally extracted fibres leads the industry down a more sustainable path.
  • Naïve Nature – irregularities in yarns are exploited as well as more generous yarn counts. Again as with Eco the blends are both natural and synthetic. Cotton silk and viscose blends for satin looks. Organic cotton, linen and viscose blended with polyester. Whitened linens and irregularly spun cotton. The addition of synthetics such as viscose and vegetable fibres create a matt and shine contrast. Voluminous texture will come from bouclé yarns following on from the importance of bouclé for Autumn Winter 2011-12. Knit constructions offer a display of contrast in fluid/springy, boucle/flat, plain/coloured, blended/plain coloured yarns.
  • Dynamic Nature - a well-being category aimed particularly at the sports sector. Main yarn features are that of generous fluidity, with thick yarns in silks and cottons. Fine yarn blends include cotton/cashmere, cotton/vicuna or silk/Seacell. Bright colours are achieved with blends of trilobal polyester, bamboo/viscose, Tencel, Micro Modal and cotton. Quick-drying properties of recycled polyester fibres blended with cotton, or treated cottons to give faster drying results.

Expofil Trend Forum - Spring Summer 2012
Spring Summer 2012 Trend Forum at Expofil, Image Courtesy of Expofil

Womenswear Fabric Direction Spring Summer 2012 

Womenswear took a significant turn in direction in 2010 with an overriding trend towards a simpler pared down minimalist sentiment. There has been a tangible physiological shift in direction and emotion and this will continue towards 2012. Clothes still need to thrill but must offer reassurance and work on many levels.

Most of the fashion world has recognised and welcomed this shift, seen to be spearheaded by Phoebe Philo at Celine. Fabrics are responding to this change of attention with materials that are more creative than ever, always intriguing to the eye and exquisite to the touch. They must also have multi-functioning and performance properties to suit women’s ever-changing lifestyle demands.

Key Fabric Direction

  • Supple silk twills, heavier weight jerseys, gabardine - with more focus on covering legs with maxi lengths and wider legged trousers these fabrications will be more popular
  • Summer tweeds continue, especially bouclé yarns. Harris tweed for summer too
  • Denims – bleaching techniques, pale blues and greys, twill constructions. Heavily washed finishes make for supple handle. There will be more focus on the reverse side, prints showing through and artfully worn patches with loose weft threads 
  • Voluminous lightness – chiffon and georgette will be very big, sheer fabrics are the most directional as fashion moves towards more separates, blouses in particular
  • Handkerchief cottons, poplins and washed linens
  • White and off-white shades, moving away from so many skintones
  • Soft checks - checks reduce in scale, ginghams and smaller scale madras’s. Ultra soft finishes create volume without so much weight

Expofil - Spring Summer 2012 Trend Direction
Spring Summer 2012 Trend Forum at Expofil, Image Courtesy of Expofil

  • Washed linens and seersuckers, open constructions and distinct yarns
  • African batiks, bleeding print and dip-dyed effects. Deep inky blues and indigos
  • Fluoro colours inject a refreshing alternative for summer, these translate well on recycled polyesters and glamorous techno-synthetics for sports / fashion looks
  • Pleating will be strong especially on sheer fabrics

Menswear Fabric Direction 2012

Menswear continues to push the boundaries and get more interesting year on year. Tony Bannister, director of trend consultancy ‘Scout’ has commented that after a century of little movement in menswear, “dudes are undergoing a fundamental evolution”. “We are right in the middle of quite a profound change in the menswear market, both in the way younger guys are dressing and styling themselves and also how they shop”
More new designers are concentrating on the men’s market and taking some of the focus away from womenswear. Suits will become less suit-like in interpretation and this can already be seen in the fabric developments at Premiere Vision. Bannister added that “technological advances in fabrics will make for closer fits, more versatility and improved functionality. Technology will bring more ‘super fabrics’ and nowhere will this be seen more than the everyday suit.” The lines between career wear and casual wear become more blurred than ever.
At the Spring Summer 2011 ready-to-wear shows at London fashion week the special menswear day has been reported as a huge success by finding links between young designers such as, James Long and Christopher Shannon and the new names of Saville Row ( E.Tautz and A.Sauvage). The men's day has created a buzz and a movement all of its own with very strong designs from a number of new designers

Key Fabric Directions

  • Denims fabrics continue to become more luxurious with finishes and broken colour surfaces, weather worn and faded with heavy washing. Bi colour and tri-coloured yarns, natural denims and chambrays and soft cottons. Silicone finishes give a modern edge
  • As in womenswear, summer tweeds proliferate, more hippy and dandy for men. Weaves are lightweight, checks are muted, marl textures, mini checks and herringbones. Woven bow ties are a key accessory for the youth market
  • Wool for summer suits – high twist yarns and open weaves improve fabric breathability. Dunhill make a suit from Camdeboo, the first shaving of mohair, the resulting suiting fabric is breathable due to the quality of the yarn
Dunhill Blazer
Camdeboo Blazer by Dunhill
Ultra technical fabrics with waxed and silicone finishes. Fabrics are washed and aged first and post treated with silicone and waxed coatings 
  • Raw, natural and eco fibres, natural dyes and muted colours offer up an ethnic yet modern direction for menswear.  Micro knit patterning for luxury casual wear. Micro ethnic geometric patterns for casual shirtings  
  • Modern preppy looks - the American ‘Ivy league’ from the 1960’s is reincarnated. Brands like Jack Wills and an updated Gant are already perpetuating this look so fabrics within this theme will grow for Spring Summer 2012.  Modern piqués, washed ‘dish-cloth style weaves, raw, slubbed cottons to render some texture. Checks and stripes are a big part of the look in ‘old school’ and ice-cream colours
Gant Collection
Collection by Gant 

Featherlight synthetics gain further interest for a couture sportswear look that is both fashionable and functional 
  • Supple suede and leather 
  • Knits – sweater weights, open constructions
  • Open linen and cotton weaves with heavily washed finishes
  • Soft twills and relaxed gabardines for looser trouser shapes
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