Materialism is out and value-driven fabrics are coming into focus, according to upcoming textile trends for fall 2023 — and the shift is driven by a culture that has traded decadence for a “desirably discreet and powerfully authentic” take on textiles, according to Première Vision New York.
At its summer edition held last week on July 19 to 20 at Center 415 in New York, the show took a hybrid approach to debuting upcoming textile collections and trends, which allowed for an in-person experience that was well trafficked and an online marketplace that catered to a virtual audience.
Desolina Suter, fashion director, Première Vision, told WWD that its thematic trends for fall 2023 “gravitate toward strong choices that favor radical, personal fashion approaches — an invitation to navigate between discretion and extravagance. The season takes a frugal creative approach, rich in ideas yet economical in means, which puts good sense back to the forefront of product design and drives technological and aesthetic innovations.”
Suter described the season’s materials as “soberly opulent” luxury, with hues that offer a wide range of “flavorful, clashing or soothing” colors that together “steer a path between discretion and extravagance.” Color descriptions speak to collective experiences and commonly shared activities throughout the pandemic, such as Syrah Red, a deep Bordeaux; Dripping Wax, a soothing, airy taupe; neutrals called Comforting Grey, an ashen hue with a purplish undertone and Grey Silence, a lighter dove shade; Egg Yolk, a rich, buoyant yellow, accurate to its name, and Craft & Art, an alluring mocha brown.
At the core of textiles this season is environmental impact that is baked into both creative and design processes across the segment. “Sustainability and technical creativity are both driving the season,” she noted. “On the sustainable side, natural ‘historical’ fibers such as linen are increasingly popular. But alternative ones are gathering attention as well, such as hemp, nettle, cellulosic fibers from recycled garments. These processes are the market’s answer for durable, sustainable products, traceable from their very beginning, and liberated from their petrochemical origin.”
Various forms of recycling, reusing and transforming are a reason for hope, surprise and fascination, Suter said, and brands are creatively using agricultural by-products such as orange peels, banana or pineapple leaves, hemp or nettle in textile production.
“The latest technological developments allow these raw materials to be transformed into paper or artificial fibers for fashion. Reused fibers are turned into new cellulose fibers and woven again, cotton fabrics are recycled and re-spun, denim is recycled without being bleached to make blue yarns without additional dyes,” she added.
The trend story presented at Première Vision New York aligns with this hopeful vision for the industry. Celine Khawam, a textiles historian that led the trend presentation at PVNY, said, “This summer edition highlights quality, singularity and creativity, keywords anchored in authenticity and inclusivity. The textile trends of tomorrow are in continuity with those of today as they embrace the idea of a new beginning and direction that is still in progress. Recycled resources and fiber blends are at the forefront of this journey.”
Khawam told WWD that concerns of overproduction and shortages of materials caused by high demand led brands to repurpose synthetics and natural fibers and combine their fiber properties to elevate the quality and longevity of fabrics. And there is an emphasis on blends such as hemp/cotton, linen/wool, viscose/nettle, polyester/wool/silk or the combination of several leather tanning methods, Khawam noted.
Growing interest in sleek ecological solutions such as vegan leather also popularized of late, as “the market is flowing toward sustainability,” according to Jen Ko, the showroom manager at G Tex Inc.’s New York location. “International corporations to small boutiques have been requesting eco-friendly products; therefore, we are trying to manifest these issues as uncompromising for our clients. We can see inquiries about the preferences regarding the sustainability of fabrics, upcycled or any story of natural materials contained.
“We speculate that this reality becomes not a matter of adjustment; it is for making changes to share in this vision for our next generation and future,” Ko said.
Patterns for fall vary widely with ’70s-inspired designs and palettes, tie-dye silks and bold prints that engender a cheerful optimism. New York City-based Nikki Martinkovic Print Studio, an eponymously named design agency that specializes in creating exclusive prints, said brands are craving color. Nikki Martinkovic told WWD, “We have seen an uptick in brands wanting colorful prints for fall. I think we are all seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and are ready to add a little vibrancy and color in our lives.
“We have found that clients are less focused on a specific type of print and more focused on finding interesting color combinations within each print to add to their collections. This is something we truly pride ourselves on — color is our thing, something we are known for in the industry,” she noted.
The textiles segment sports a sunny outlook as the industry indeed appears to be moving toward authentic transformation. Khawam told WWD, “The textile market is ever-growing, and several companies have adopted new strategies, such as repurposing recycled materials and resources, to align with how we understand textiles today. Implementing a system of values based on transparency, trust, diversity and equality within the fashion industry is challenging.
“Brands are becoming supportive of their customers as they grow more conscious and mindful — outlining a space for creative innovation and new opportunities.”
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