Denim Première Vision analyses the autumn-winter 2019/20 trends
An impressive installation welcomed visitors with metres of blue material unfurled and suspended as though in a factory. However, these fabrics were not mass runs, but special samples representing the latest denim trends for autumn-winter 2019-2020.
In the bucolic setting of Paris' Parc Floral, the visitors attending the spring edition of Denim Première Vision, which drew to a close on 24th May, had the opportunity to discover a more fashion focused fair than ever before. For starters, this year, for the first time, the trade show's five chosen themes were also interpreted by a renowned designer. Lutz Huelle had come up with a handful of silhouettes for each theme, using the products and innovations proposed by the various weavers, finishers and tailors at work in the world of denim.
"For the layout, we wanted to present the materials as though in a factory. And at the same time, we wanted Lutz Huelle's exclusive work to be an inspirational focal point," explained Pascaline Wilhelm, Première Vision's fashion director. "We had the freedom to choose our materials. We worked with our exhibitors throughout the process. And the design of the thirty products that we are presenting was achieved through a direct link with them. This freedom of choice allows us to show how denim has evolved and what the new possibilities are."
This season's selection therefore presented some interesting discoveries. In the sportswear category, dubbed "Active Denim", the concepts of elasticity and comfort are evidently still a priority. For example, through the application of a special technique, a fleece effect can now be achieved on the inside of denim products. But the sector is also exploring denim's potential to capture market share from the ever present padded jacket, experimenting with elegant and intelligent padding techniques which could lead to some interesting developments in the future.
With "Extroverted Street", the denim on show also incorporated influences from the streetwear trend currently present at every level of the fashion industry, playing with dyes, colours, irregularities and graphics, as well as XXL text motifs.
With the three other themes, the denim sector was able to show that it is coming along nicely as a versatile participant in the fashion industry. The "Impact Tailoring" section unveiled fabrics, construction techniques and finishes aiming to transmit an elegant, fluid vision of denim – a million miles away from the traditional 5-pocket cowboy jean. Products ranged from fabric featuring an origami effect to a selvedge denim, passing through products combining flexibility and weight, or warmth and delicacy, often through the use of wool. All in all, this looks like an intriguing direction for the sector to explore and could result in new products offering classic style and fluidity.
It also looks like denim is trying to get itself back in on the party scene, with exhibitors showing fabrics featuring metallic finishes, sparkles and gold. These effects were achieved through a wide variety of techniques, from jacquard to the combination of an indigo warp with a sparkly polyester weft, to the application of foils.
The last – and perhaps the funnest – theme was "Wild & Wooly Denim". From voluminous shaggy pieces, to fur and velour effects, denim set out to explore other avenues through texture and volume. Fabrics, for example, were felted to varying degrees, offering irregular finishes. When applied in targeted areas, the technique was shown to create something of a degraded effect, creating precise designs in relief – yet further developments which should help expand denim's repertoire beyond the classic 5-pocket jean.
At the same time, the sector is still true to its origins. "In 10 years, I've never seen so much blue," stated Pascaline Wilhelm. "It's a good thing. People in the sector are owning this attribute."
With Lutz Huelle's elegant precision pieces, Denim Première Vision clearly achieved its aim: to demonstrate the varied fashion applications of denim and the savoir-faire of the show's exhibitors. Now it just remains to be seen if brands and designers will integrate these innovations into their winter 2020 collections.
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