Premiere Vision A/W 20/21

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Wool Steps into the Limelight 

Colour and construction inspire while checks take centre stage at Premiere Vision Paris. Janet Prescott reports

Premiere Vision Autumn/Winter collections for 2020/21 showed the growing focus on responsibility throughout the supply chain, largely aided by shifting public attitudes. It was an edition full of ideas on colour and construction raising many possibilities, an optimistic edition despite fluctuating prices in International markets.  Wool fits the bill in many ways, in pure qualities well as techno blend qualities, as well as playing its part in circular economy initiatives. 

Wool Checks In 

Checks were the motor of winter’s designs for men and women, whether small gun checks for wool shirts and jackets, clean ginghams or blurry and brushed.  Black and white, urban grey and colourful windowpanes made statement designs for coats. 2020/21 reserved starring roles for warm wool knits and heavier weight weaves in fashion for unlined jackets and coats. Handwoven Harris Tweed Hebrides wool in beautiful unusual colours including a pale turquoise and lavender.  In this vein, large, brightly coloured wool checks, including PV’s key ‘purple addict’ shade, came in confident plaids like orange and black, at Scottish and Italian mills, characterising winter drama for voluminous wool overcoats. Some fabrics were brushed for a blurred effect which made them softer and cosier, some coarser, in thicker wool.

Conventional suiting checks in warm brown and cooler grey tones were sometimes overlaid with coloured windowpanes in various interpretations as at Turkish mills, Altinyildiz and Yunsa in woollens, worsteds and tweeds. Shenzhou Woolen featured mono and double. stretch fabric. Fox Brothers showed an elegant interpretation of luxury tailoring fabrics in deep brown autumnal tones. Both Turkish and Chinese wool mills reported the growing popularity of separates for jackets and trousers in wool and wool blends.

TexSelect's Wool Winner

This PV edition marked the last for the illustrious TexSelect (Texprint), which has linked talented graduate designers from UK universities and the industry over its history through its unique mentoring scheme. TexSelect will be carried forward by Premiere Vision in the PV Awards, the decision to carry on the valuable work formally welcomed by TexSelect’s chair Barbara Kennington. The Woolmark Company TexSelect Award was won by Jaeyong Kim of Central St Martins, London University, whose striking work with wool was praised as exceptional by the judges Edward Crutchley and Alan Scott, the prize presented by The Woolmark Company’s Julie Davies.

Getting Technical 

Technical fabrics were gathered in the Sport and Leisure area, with wool as a major component for hard-hitting performance. It showed that outfits with serious protective features for ski and mountaineering can be ultralight, multi-layered and washable, like quilted jackets with both wool fabric and filling, underlining the interface between sports and fashion. Shepherd, the Chinese Merino specialists presented the latest in VR to present a potential revolution in remote sizing and design. 

New avenues for wool keep it in the limelight; Optim Merino wool tops which stretch during processing, and when wet finished lead to a very dense fabric, fit for double-face, drapes and soft handle Merino fabrics. Wool shoes and wool denim with a traditional twill weave, Wool fur, cropped and brushed for the shearling look, Digital printing directly onto fabric, producing a photographic quality, allowing for less waste and water usage - very much in the spirit of the times.


Image credits: TexSelect; Janet Prescott

Images: TOP - Yunsa's bright checks and unusual colour choice in wool blend jacketing. CENTRE: The TexSelect judges review the winner's work. BOTTOM: Revolutionary digital printing br Ratti Italy on wool, shown on The Woolmark Company stand.

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