Premiere Vision looked good visually and appeared very successful by the number of people in the aisles and stands. The fabrics on offer were distinguished by being colourful, high quality and backed up with the element of individuality which marks out the Paris exhibition.
As far as wool is concerned for the Spring/Summer 2018 season there were several key issues which played well. It is clear that wool is now specifically selected for high summer fashion, both in increasingly interesting blends and as 100 per cent qualities.
At the same time, it is ideally placed to profit from growing interest in establishing sustainable credentials. This applies particularly to larger brands at the high quality level as well as retailers on the high street, who now see information about fabrics and sourcing as an important element. The purity of the product, as well as the now expected easy care, no crease, no iron aspects are important to the intelligent customer. In this, wool comes from a position of strength.
In addition, wool is an intimate part of the athleisure trend, often providing the soft, comforting elements of high-tech double face fabrics with, for example, one synthetic side, one wool, offering a stylish water repellent outside fabric, with others doing a different job inside. Chinese and Korean companies in particular have made great inroads into this area, providing colourful casual wear, with performance features which are explained in swing tickets and labels. Premiere Vision had set up a table tennis space to entice buyers to this area, well placed with examples of sportswear and fabrics exhibited in the PV Yarns area and nearby stands.
British woollen and worsted mills made a good showing, with their fabrics elegantly displayed on the UKFT stand, fashionable selvedges and key colours mingling to show how fine wool, woven in light pastel colours with checks, stripes and blazer designs can attract for the hottest summer weather. Italian exhibitors too, showed their inimitable approach to classy classics revisited.
Abraham Moon, Yorkshire, had 52% wool with cotton and a little cashmere, citing the fact that interest in blends had increased to service the trend in more frequent buying and the need for trans- seasonal fabrics. Colour has moved into classic summer suiting patterns, with pinks, lilacs and dramatic contrasts macro and micro checks and stripes. This brought womenswear buyers on to the stands many classic names, such as Holland and Sherry. This appears to be a growing trend, as women in senior industry positions ask for the quality of cloth which their male counterparts enjoy, and represents an important niche for mills to develop. Salt and pepper looks, small elements of colour in the fabric, were seen in lightweight fabrics. Chinese and Turkish mills used good blends of wool/silk and linen for extra effects in texture and surface interest in lightweight cool weaves.
Wool was frequently blended with silk for the slight sheen which is an attraction for many designers who used it for fancy summer tweeds mixed with for instance, cotton and Lurex. Knitwear with a wool content benefited from the loose, airy constructions which formed a part of the season’s design favourites, with transparent and semi-transparent looks Wool for knits and dress weights was the senior partner in blends with linen and silk, the result being light, soft and with a good drape. trending. Light, bright yarns were knitted in loose, large gauge designs, sweaters, cardigans and gilets.
– Janet Prescott