After dominating fashion for the past few years, embroidery and value-added surface techniques give way to prints with product development teams around the world, including India, experimenting with different printing techniques, which includes digital printing for the exclusive look. With numerous possibilities of colour variations and innovations in motifs and pattern developments, prints are all set to make international fashion a lot more exciting and vibrant in the upcoming seasons. Banking on to this growing popularity of printed garments with consumers worldwide, retailers and designers are looking at everything new, from ‘birds’ to imitating ‘scarves’ and patterns that are ‘folklore’ to design collections that have never been seen before…
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[tab title=”TRADITIONAL FOLKLORE…”]
Given a modern interpretation to folklore and traditional patterns, a cultural tribal influence is evident to comeback in the upcoming fall flowing into the next summer as well. Similar to the last year tribal prints rage but taking yet another twist, folklore prints this season are closer to Asian tribal of African originations seen in the collections of Roberto Cavalli and Donna Karan and Valentino as prints on knit dresses emerging from a folk art influence.
Taking inspiration from architectural mosaics, the look is of a modern tribalism derived with geometric lines, raffia, plastic, eel skin, anaconda leather, materials that were juxtaposed, colour-blocked graphics and zebra prints in neutral hues adapted into sharp silhouettes, short dresses, cropped jackets, Torero jackets with fringe, high waist trousers and long skirts. Flashes of this look can also be seen with some famous retailers like Old Navy, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters and Mod Cloth.
“Moving for some time now, we can’t really say that folklore prints are new, but taking a break from last season’s embroidered interpretations, for the coming seasons they are printed making the trend economically viable and more feasible for both the exporter and the buyer,” says K. Harini, Designer at Shahi Exports.
Developing the folklore theme both for A/W 2012-13 and S/S 2013, Shahi Exports claims that the trend is a hit, as on one hand where the American buyers have come back with queries for distorted paisleys that are most likely to be the next popular motif once again, the European buyers now becoming more culturally global, are expanding into the developing countries and are therefore looking out for geometrical interpretations of the same with geometric tribal patterns, graphic lines, and mosaic motifs. Other techniques that fit perfectly to derive similar looks are tie&dye, ombre dyeing in zig zag patterns, and ikat motifs, that instead of being developed from the real traditional methods, are being printed by the company.
“Indigo dye being the biggest of all colour tones with a lot of buyers, other colours in warmer hues can also be looked at, with one or two accent colours being added for brightness and uplifting the visual appeal of the overall piece,” added Harini while explaining the design variations possible with folklore. Mainly printed on fabric base such as cotton for summers and polyester, chiffon, georgette and heavy crepes for winters, the company at the moment has running orders from GAP and H&M, in basic shapes like long maxi skirts, peasant blouses and printed tank tops with jersey backs.[/tab]
[tab title=”A FLIGHT WITH BIRDS…”]
Becoming one of the hottest trends for 2012, birds of all kinds, sizes and migrating from all regions will undoubtedly nest in the most fashion updated wardrobes. Taking flight on the runways of high-end designers like Marc Jacobs showing cartoonish parrots on a dress, Giles opting for a swan-esque shirt, Jill Stuart showcasing a soft tangerine and magenta bird prints, Carolina Herrera adorning graceful green, red and yellow sparrows, and gyrfalcons flapping their wings at Reed Krakoff’s studio along with busy hummingbirds adorning trench coats at Erdem, birds can be spotted everywhere in products like T-shirts, jackets, blouses, vests to dresses, tunics and long tops, also being seen at fast fashion brands like Dorothy Perkins, Zara, new look, River Island and Forever 21.
The reasons for such a sudden demand of birds is simple… inspired from the feeling of freedom, the trend is happy and delightful in appeal. “I always felt that after living a hectic robotic and industrial life when you switch on to clothes that depict nature around you, it soothes your stress and birds create a beautiful sense of energy as felt from flowers,” says Raghushree Poddar, Director of Cheer Sagar Exports, who’s latest collection is all about birds.
Nature being the primary inspiration that Raghushree believes will always rule the hearts of people more than the plastic and mechanism, the company’s new range has birds which are colourful, nesting or on flight depicted through prints both screen and digital enhanced further by machine embroidery, hand embroidery, beads, patch work and use of artificial feathers, on products like T-shirts, blouses and dresses.
“While buyers from Europe and South America have enquired for birds of all kinds, Japanese buyers have specially liked the peacock, and as of now we have orders from the Netherlands and Japanese buyers. After lots of liberty prints and florals being worked upon in the last few seasons, birds are imparting the much needed break and it’s actually glamorous to take them over. FOB’s for the same vary on the amount of detail in the product whether it’s print or hand embroidered,” she added.
[tab title=”SCARF PRINTS…”]
Another print trend that will make popular rounds with retailers is scarf prints featuring lavish patterns, vibrant colours and asymmetrical hemlines. More commonly developed on silk or sheer fabrics, high street shops like Topshop are already banking on the trend with a vast selection of scarf print available on shirts, high waist shorts and skater dresses, Zara has on offer printed blazer with scarf and River Island’s placement scarf print skirt are a crowd puller. The look first became big last time around in the 90s with Versace, Hermes and Pucci and is now revisiting in an even bigger way with designer collections walking flawlessly on the runways such as Versace’s silk satin mini dress, Balmain’s satin-jersey harem pants and Etro’s floral print jacquard blazer.
Working on the trend with some flash styles for high summer 2012, but mostly for A/W 2012-13, Goyal Fashions, an export house based in Jaipur, is experimenting with scarf patterns to its fullest with variations such as placement and border prints that are engineered to look like scarf prints once garment is made, bias scarf patchworks, use of actual scarves and sarongs to make a complete garment. “Following strong runway indications, followed by customer requests from more fashion forward brands, shapes like tunics, shift dresses and collared shirts are key alongside some lowers skirts. Some more high-fashion brands are even asking for pants in the techniques like printed, cut and sown to suit the placement of each garment,” elaborated Pankaj Rastogi, Head – Design and Development of the company. Already producing for European and UK customers to hit stores in May-July this year, the team is positive that the trend should go on for S/S’13 as well. Drapey fabrics, rayons and polyesters work the best with such prints, in brighter high contrast colours, with baroque influence, and a floral overdose in patterns.