The fabrics and prints always form the bare bones of every season’s underlying mood and silhouette. The coming Fall/Winter season will see another wave of reimagining the nostalgic shapes of bygone eras. However, the difference this time is that it is not just about remembrance but taking comfort in the memories and trying to escape from the chaos of the present.
Therefore, fabrics like wool, corduroy and suede that are the ones most in demand instantly signal a calm and luxe coziness, but that does not mean luxury is out; rather the opulence of the past is what everyone is craving for and that is evident in the comeback of fabrics like fur, fleece, corduroy and velvet.
Prints are also seeing a similar set of references where we see modern application of retro motifs and plentiful checks as well as strong stripes. Designers are constantly looking at abstract/expressionist artworks to express themselves and wherever art is not enough; they are using capitalized slogans in clear words to get their ideas across the board.
1) Faux Fur
Nothing says old school elegance like lavish faux furs making a strong case for the maximalist trend that Gucci started with their fur slippers. Fur is everywhere this season from smaller accent pieces like stoles and collar details to heavy coats like the Vetements F/W 2017-18 opening look.
Some designers are embracing the trend in all its boldness, using animal prints and multicolours to channel all the jazz while others are keeping it clean with jacket linings and wrap-ups. Fur is an undeniable crowd favourite making its appearances on the street style scene just as much as the runway.
2) Corduroy & Suede
Say hello to a fabric that is the workwear brother to velvet and has been doing its own rounds on the runways of late. Though we cannot discard velvet as a hit fabric but looking ahead, we predict corduroy as the next big throwback to the ’70s.
The construction details in corduroy make it durable but soft and lustrous; a perfect match for trousers, casual suiting and even overcoats. A similar material that retains the softness factor and emits a beautiful yet understated sheen is suede and serves as the perfect alternative to velvet in outerwear.
3) Cable Knits
When puffer jackets were the most experimental piece of the season, how can we not expect to see more ski outfits getting an update? Ski garments have been making their waves and seemingly, the by-product is the return of chunky cable knit sweaters making a strong case for ‘bigger is better’.
While some designers are embracing heavy knitwear and making large sweaters in brighter colours, others are sticking to classic shades but creating more interest through intense knitting styles.
4) Silk Satin
You can never talk about luxurious fabrics and forget about the power of silk. Being a fabric this versatile, silk is never really out of fashion but this season it is present in all its visibility through the soft glistening satin weaves. As the market for innerwear has increased, thanks to its new acceptance as outerwear, so has the demand for satins.
Silk satin is coming in everything from delicate slip dresses to bomber jackets, suiting and of course, the floor length gowns that were spotted everywhere this award season.
5) Warm In Wool
Soft wools have their own place in winter fashion and designers are looking at ways to let the wools take centre stage with tweeds this time. Reminiscent of the grand English countryside, tweed is easily the wool on our mind. Going beyond the obvious, wool is not just coats but is being used everywhere from dresses to twin-sets and suiting pieces.
Apart from the usual favourites, cashmere is also having its big moment because of its recognition as an investment worthy fabric rather than something that is merely fashionable.
1) Checks Are Winning
Gingham is going strong on both the Indian and international runways and can be seen in supersized to miniscule sizes and in an array of colours everywhere. Plaid is another check that is competing in this race, a pattern that is significantly inspired from the ’80s era suiting styles; it was spotted in multiple winter collections.
As a season focusing more on the strong lines, you cannot end the list without mentioning the print that every designer is using for coats and jackets – the Prince of Wales check.
2) Standout Stripes
Stripes are having its biggest moment of all time, wherein we are seeing more variation in striping than any other prints. The trend here is not just of bold awning stripes but also the crispness of pinstripes, which is always stealing the show.
The use of stripes in flee flowing silhouettes is creating a new balance and imbuing a sense of power in clothing. However, they are not just endowing strong lines to designs anymore but the bright colour palettes and contrasts are giving it a more animated look as well.
3) Explosive Camouflage
Maybe it is an answer to all the unrest and ongoing violence that doesn’t seem to stop or another hunt for protection but military references have been coming from left, right and centre in fashion. Ironically, the most prominent of which is camouflage prints, which is blasting the runways and is present on everything from T-shirts, outerwear to flirty co-ordinates.
4) Abstract Art
Fashion and art have always shared a gallant relationship and for good reason; who does not want to look like a walking piece of art?
This season is all about expressing your feelings on the surface and it is only fitting to make use of abstract artists to accomplish that. Designers are using everything from paint drippings to randomized line drawings, sometimes as small details but mostly going for the full blast with dollops of colours as if someone dropped buckets of paint over their fabric inventory.
5) Retro Flora
One of the most iconic things from the ’70s and ’80s were the crazy textile prints in colours that were never anything less than the brightest hue on the wheel. However, designers are reimagining the same lozenges and eclectic florals in less hideous ways that will work for the modern aesthetic while retaining a hint of the past like a secret.
What was once the quintessential dad sweater pattern – argyle is now the most hip style staple coveted by all the ‘It girls’ in fashion and is finding its place on a wide range on silhouettes.
“Camouflage is definitely a big-big hit and we’re doing it in different colours like grey, green and brown. Apart from winter favourites like berries, burgundy and grey is a very big colour this season and so is khaki green. We are working with a lot of structure play this time in terms of heavy weight oxfords, waffle and honeycomb knits. There are no stripes in the works but checks are the prints of the season. A lot of inspiration is coming from the dandy look, so many heritage line references are visible with buffalo, tartan, shadow checks as well as many windowpane checks. Fabrics like velvet, corduroy and un-cut corduroy are looking sensational. We are not doing much fur but polar fleece linings and sheepskins are certainly happening.” Meenakshi Patra, Pearl Global
“We definitely think heavy is a big trend in knitwear this season. We are using a lot of 4 gauge and 2.5 gauge for knitting sweaters. Hand knitting is also in demand as well as fancy yarns. Though the knit is much thicker; we are using very earthy colours like brown and greens.” Sumit Khanna, Khanna Knitwears & Exports
“We have noticed that there is a huge surge in demand for textures. Therefore, we are using fabrics like corduroy and fleece. Apart from fleece, we are also using fur for linings in outerwear. Wool is also in demand. We are using checks in collar details and horizontal stripes on the front for T-shirt brands like Polo and Bugatti.” Amit Agarwala, Genus Apparels
“We are not working on geometrics but more on variations in stripes and florals this season. Stripes are getting broader for Winter 2017 and they are in contrasting colours for both womenswear and kids’ collections. In terms of fabric, there is a lot of texture in demand and we are achieving that with crocheted laces, poly-taffeta and heavy georgettes. There is a lot of shine as well in the collections as we are using plenty of satins and scuba fabrics.” Amit Kedia, Chimera Threadkraft