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London Fashion Week: Texprint’s textile review Part 1

3 March 2013 by TexSelect in Fashion

With London Fashion Week over we thought it useful to highlight the breadth of autumn/winter 13/14 fabric directions being explored and developed by British brands and designers.

This season textiles are worked together and manipulated to create layered or multi-dimensional effects.  It is no longer enough to talk of knits, weaves or prints – weaves are embroidered or coated, felted flat fabrics are printed or embellished, knits are exaggerated, and prints are layered over jacquards or under sheers.  We are also seeing completely new types of fabrics being created by rethinking handcrafted techniques such as crochet and lace making.

Clements Ribeiro, Sister by Sibling, House of Holland / Photos: style.com

“In the digital age we are seeing an innovative amalgamation of technology and handcrafted looks. The whole digital print revolution started on the London runways and has transmitted down to the high street at every level so it was interesting to see pioneers of the medium like Peter Pilotto and Holly Fulton take a different route for autumn/winter 13/14, combining digital technology with something altogether more textural as both designers introduced embroidery, appliques and patchwork into their silhouettes,” says Sue Evans, fashion editor of WGSN.com (Texprint sponsor).

Peter Pilotto / Photos: style.com

Holly Fulton / Photos: style.com

Clare Johnston, professor of textiles at the RCA, agrees: “Just when we needed it, the catwalk shows were uplifting and inspiring. The fabrics exuded luxury and invention. Prints and patterns continue to be bold and brave with less reliance on obvious digital imagery and more use of individual and imaginative design.”

Silhouettes are also being reconsidered; note Peter Pilotto’s squared off and oversized jacekets and coats, inspired by the Spanish Renaissance painter El Greco, and embroidered with bold strokes of painterly energy.

Peter Pilotto / Photos: style.com

Moving on from her signature collaged, quirky and colourful digital prints, Mary Katrantzou’s new direction saw what Sue Evans describes as: “hauntingly beautiful monochromatic landscapes,” digitally printed over jacquards and brocades and worked into strong Japanese-esque silhouettes.  Also included in the collection are embossed leather and black-on-black jacquards.

Mary Katrantzou / Photos: style.com

Mary Katrantzou / Photos: style.com

While talking of fabric mixing and layering, Sue comments: “At Tom Ford, we were introduced to intricate floral embroideries fused with plush astrakhan furs, while at Erdem delicate print flower motifs were taken into another dimension when combined with laser punched cut-outs on a technical bonded fabric base.”

In his most beautiful, demure and modern collection to date, Erdem Moralioglu moved beyond his more familiar cocktail wear looks by showing a collection of confident and sensual fabrications.  Layering sheer over texture, lace over print, and using ostrich feathers, oversized sequins, or bright, three-dimensional embroidered flowers to lift the fabric surface.  He also showed tweeds, gleaming with shots of neon or plastic raffia, and softened by delicate threads of ostrich feathers wafting over the surface.

Erdem / Photos: style.com

Erdem / Photos: style.com

Christopher Kane also played with unexpected fabrications.  A modern take on sculptural Guipure lace and passmenterie-type trims on panne velvet dresses, interlocked along seam lines or cut open to give shape and allow movement.  Feathers were used extensively: to look like fraying seams or to create three-dimensional flowers; and cut jacquard jersey in a camouflage pattern gave the impression of a scratched and unfinished surface. Humour was here too, in the brightly coloured brain scan embroidery on an organza tee-shirt.

Christopher Kane / Photos: style.com

Christopher Kane / Photos: style.com

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