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London Fashion Week: Texprint’s textile review Part 2

4 April 2013 by TexSelect in Fashion

In Texprint’s second report on the autumn/winter 13/14 London Fashion Week collections we look at the innovations in wool, surface finishes, jacquards – and at what’s new in technology.

“London Fashion Week has long been synonymous with innovation and the latest round of London runways shows didn’t disappoint as our internationally acclaimed young designers lead the way in exciting new textile developments,” comments Sue Evans, fashion editor of WGSN.com (Texprint sponsor).

Christopher Raeburn, Daks, J.W.Anderson / Photos: style.com

Sophistication came from those collections that showed a quiet simplicity of attitude (though not necessarily of colour), and in many cases, a continuing passion for wool, whether flat surfaced, ombred or more decorative.

Sue notes: “Print wunderkind Jonathan Saunders delivered scrolling appliques on delicate lace and felted wools in place of his signature print and pattern, an interesting move for him.”

Jonathan Saunders / Photos: style.com

“Wool was present not only at Fashion Week in London but also in New York, Milan and Paris where several collections featured full overcoats in woollen fabrics.  Of note were examples of boiled wools, meltons, serges and drabs.  Of particular interest in Paris was Stella McCartney's astute use of menswear fabrics, particularly pin stripes and flannels in worsted weights to add extra drape.  Woolmark feels that wool has made a massive return for autumn/winter 13/14 in both men's and women's wear.  Never has wool been so much at the forefront of the collections of leading designers and brands,” says Peter Ackroyd, The Woolmark Company (Texprint sponsor).

Pringle of Scotland, Burberry Prorsum, John Rocha / Photos: style.com

Utilitarian looks were there too.  Clare Johnston, professor of textiles at RCA, says: “The designers presented collections of men’s and women’s fashion that were modern, desirable and durable.” Not least Christopher Raeburn’s felted wool fabrics, made water resistant with Teflon, a clever and practical innovation that works to enhance his contemporary take on the sportswear aesthetic.

Mulberry / Photos: style.com

Fabrics were often toyed with, and finishes were key. Bonded double jersey, rubber, cire and wet-look coatings were all used by designers to lend an anarchic and unexpected edge.

Felder Felder, Simone Rocha, Burberry Prorsum / Photos: style.com

Refreshing colour and innovative fabrications came from Simone Rocha who showcased a delightful mix of felted wools, heavy lace, cobweb crochet, sparkly tinsel threads and tufts of petal-like texture.  Her baby-pink tones, spongy bonded fabrics and classic structures were both exaggerated and assured. J.W. Anderson showed a collection that was pared down, modern and played with proportions and exaggerated details.

J.W.Anderson, Simone Rocha, Roksanda Ilincic / Photos: style.com

Jacquards found a new direction too.  Used notably by Pringle of Scotland and Temperley London.

Temperley London, Pringle of Scotland, Osman / Photos: style.com

Texprint also notes British designers exploring technology in new and exciting ways.

In the case of Burberry Prorsum technology is used to emphasise the heritage and artisanal quality of the collection as the creative story behind each autumn/winter 12/13 runway Made To Order piece comes to life through smart personalisation. 

Technology in each item unlocks immersive video footage, retracing its journey and celebrating its expert design and craftsmanship. On contact with a touch screen device each piece unlocks a unique video experience, charting its artisan production — including original sketches, runway edits, craftsmanship and personalisation. Undoubtedly an incredibly expensive luxe service, but exciting and innovative nonetheless.

We also love Matthew Williamson’s low-tech Vine video campaign – snappy close-up 6-second videos shot backstage by photographer Sean Cunningham and tweeted live as the looks hit the runway.  On his Facebook page Williamson also shows close-up photos of his spring/summer 2013 collection – Mathew Magnified – a clever way of highlighting the intricate workmanship and fabrics; detail that is often lost on the runway.

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