The most important textures for Autumn 2006/7 are of airy light lace knits,
jersey knits, loose thread fabrics, brocade and textured cable Aran. Fluid
jersey knit fabrics and brocade are two of the strongest fabric stories for
Lustrous Jacquard damask renaissance brocades, gold sequin fabrics that look
like liquid or molten gold, silk velvet, satins, boiled felted wools and of course fur
make for an opulent autumn. Many autumn 2006 fashion fabrics are
dry looking with checked, chalk striped or herringbone chevron patterned.
Calvin Klein's autumn 2006 range has very full herringbone trousers with chevron running through designs. These herringbone and chevron patterns cross the whole range of
materials right through to fur.
Designer fur and
couture fur can be feathered, shaved or knitted to create
a lighter effect. Shearling furs both real and faux and
such as leopard prints still seem loved by many.
Leathers are embossed with organic surface texture patterns as well as
reptilian/snakeskin effects. For those who can afford it crocodile
leather is a high end finish. Of
the exotic skins saltwater crocodile skin is highly sought after and
commands a premium price even over alligator because of the shape and scale
The skin is flexible and can be re-polished when scratched. Python and
snake are mostly used for small leather items as the scale of pattern is
smaller and the skins are also expensive.
Artisan tooled leather effects encompass
bags belts and apparel.
Coloured leathers using the main colours of fall create instant interest to
more sombre greys and micrometric black and white schemes. So cinch
Often further texture is introduced by weaving leather strips into a new
Finishes given to many textiles especially leather includes
burnishing it with a metallic cast or distressing it.
Gold looks are
especially popular in all materials.
The distressed washed
effects give a mattness and dry look which can contrast well with another
trend for fluid glazed materials.
Smocking, ruching, wrinkling and gathering all add extra texture as does
layering of sheer chiffons.
Wood used as beads and as elements of accessories such as cone heels add a rustic touch to the autumn 2006 range.
Retro print imagery, often abstract, is a fashion fabric trend seen in autumn 2006. It has many
design motifs giving print fabric a
geometric quality. The enlarged oversized floral textiles around have
Painterly effects such as those seen in impressionist Monet qualities. A
pointillist approach makes these overblown flower prints exotic and fantasy
like. Retro prints have been a novel fashion through 2006 and in
particular TopShop UK employed designer Celia Birtwell to produce a range of attractive fresh looking prints.
Computer designed fashion prints and graphic patterns sit happily beside
checks, plaids and tartan fabrics. Blow-up photos create accurate art print
fabrics possible with modern printing methods. Jersey knit is a
popular fabric for winter prints and is perfect for the current demand for
Pattern mixing of prints such as spots with chevrons or scaled up or down similar motifs compete with animal prints. The love of animal print has not abated with animal print trench coats,
shoes and cuffs.
As winter approaches shantung silk and thick duchesse satin and damask
brocades help create the volume needed to achieve the silhouette of the many
reworked sixties styles. These are especially suitable for evening or
occasion events which are car to door.
Rich satins zing when in the jewel tones of
purple and red, are the new fashion fabric trend for autumn.
Arcadia high street company that has done brocade especially well, is the Wallis
group whilst Donna Karan produced a light as air brocade coat for their autumn 2006 range.
Another retailer who has excellent richly opulent fabrics in its garments is
Creamy gold and antique gold toned brocades
are perfect for special dresses and coats for the festive season.
is displayed on out of the ordinary exotic coats, jackets, ball gowns,
evening pants, dresses and even bags. These items of apparel are made
of fabric covered in the embroidery, print or damask weave of exotic birds,
fronded feathers and curlicues, bursting chrysanthemum blooms, luscious peony
forms, leaves, fleur-de-lis and heraldic forms. They conjure up
visions of opulent Baroque luxury and Ottoman delight.
simple approaches to this look with items that have refined black and gold
ornament is the easiest way to adopt this look, as is all gold ensembles.
The braver will find items using strong heraldic mixes of blue, rich rusty
reds, copper and gold to get maxim impact. Beading like this Blumarine
example right is luxurious. Click the image to see the detail.
These embellished rich satins are often cut in kimono style or easy coats and jackets with Bal sleeves. Taffeta textiles are used to create flamenco
ruffles, this striking soft bustle train effect reinforce a
different kind of volume.
Yarns are becoming more rustic, but have a lightness. The new
fashion trend is for thicker looking winter knits, but which are lighter in weight
than traditional chunky winter fabrics. Since the decline of
thicker garter stitch knits in the mid 90s for 'little velvet trimmed fine knit
cardigans' we have come to view wool yarns only as fine yarns. Now in the same way that irregular
lines, ramie and silk have become accepted for naturally occurring slubs, so
too wool mixes that have a more rustic quality will become acceptable on the
high street. There will also be airy
gauze like wool yarns that are gossamer light and fine next to the skin.
One of the strongest textural uses of yarn is without doubt the
revival of the
cable knit pattern. Cable knit patterning as all over
pattern or as single cables is a very important feature of winter, going
beyond knitwear and hats into footwear and handbags. Knitted
Aran knits are on everything from hats to sweaters to bags.
Ralph Lauren had a fall hunting theme using rich textures such as a cable knit olive green
cardigan teamed with tartan dress in silk taffeta. Vassar woman wore a
pencil skirt, cardigan and shirt dresses.
Cosy knit accessories from top designers like Michael Kors and Sonia
Rykiel are sure to be copied by the high street too. Knitting is big again both in
commercial terms and craft terms with knitters reviving old skills.
knit bags are trimmed with calf skin studs and tassels or given the Luxe
finish with knitted in strips of fur. Bags have knit cable panels and corner trims or braids or fringes are worked
in crochet. Fur is used extensively on bags and knitted fur effects are
popular. There are bands of cable on all types of garments, with cable
knit sleeves in coats, cable knit spat like boots.
This patterned yoke style
left and set on a plain body is a great way to
gradually reintroduce patterned knit into your wardrobe. Traditional Fair
Isle and Inca patterns re-emerge from the knitwear archives of years gone
by. This fair isle V-neck knit from Boden has been paired with wide
Many knitted tops have raw edges giving them a funky edgy quality.
Set against the delicacy of lace some totally rib knit garments are
making a reappearance. In
contrast the deep wide rib band is back as in the D&G knitwear above. Marc Jacobs used the wide rib
knitwear techniques to good effect in his toboggan hats. Some knits have shawl collars
with wide deep rib bands.
Lagerfeld showed a new twin set
which was a cardigan worn over a cardigan rather than over a jumper and he
may have set a new fashion trend easy for us all to adopt.
The lacy theme continues as hole like meshes, crochet and macramé pick up on
the airiness of lace films.
Lace and mesh fabric has moved beyond being a mere fabric fashion trim. The summer
of 2006 saw a great love of broderie anglaise as a garment fabric and now as
whole garments made from Irish crochet or lace fabrics. Look way
beyond lace dresses onto lace coats and lace bags.
Michael Kors teamed a tan roll neck sweater with a very 60s pinafore dress with argyle
pattern socks. Use of college tartans revived the Love Story/Ali McGraw look with rugby
preppy stripe looks teamed with maxi kilts and knee socks.
As consumers search for ever new novelty and better quality in
products they feel they deserve, there is clearly a trend for high end yarns
and fabrics. Dominant innovators are the Italian yarn producers. They face competition
from low cost producers such as China Turkey and Korea.
2 years ago in Italy the Manifattura Sesia Mill invested in high end yarns
and dropped basic yarns. The move is toward luxury end fibres. Zegna Baruffa mills
are a leader of manufactured merino yarns and textiles.
Cashgora, made in Italy by the Zegna Baruffa Mill
will soon introduce Cashgora a development from the cashmere goat to the
mass market. It has a
really long staple making it shinier and softer than other cashmere, but with all
the qualities of both cashmere and mohair. Cashgora can create different end qualities dependant on whether it is spun
with wool or with nylon or with camel or alpaca hair.
There is still a desire for tops including knits that can be paired with jeans. This
gives designers freedom to design in a variety of textures and shapes from
cropped to long and belted knits. But the move is away from the
the little chiffon top fashion of earlier years. Tops featuring novelty yarns
or made up as Victorian inspired lace knits may begin to replace the flowing
chiffon georgette empire and halter tops of recent times.
is perennially popular and is still manages to be made up in the latest new
fashion trends. Denim is worked in every style including tuxedo tops,
equestrian denim and boyfriend look denim. Premium denim brands are
making their jeans skinny in dark indigo or black.
Washed and distressed
jeans have passed in favour of denim jeans that look brand new. Jeans
are such an important part of the wardrobe of many age groups and a denim
jacket thrown over a floaty chiffon dress soon dresses it down.
Textiles made from eco friendly materials are gaining interest as some
consumers seek clothes made by ethically conscious companies from the basic
production of eco aware yarns to the working conditions, production
techniques and finishing methods found in garment factories. Bamboo
fabric is gaining favour with eco designers.
Gold braid trims
continue to trim jacket edges creating ornamental Napoleonic
Military effects. Even boots are over decorated with gold trim
in Russian braid effects. This excess military effect embraces double and over
sized button decoration which meanders around garments almost like jewellery.
A trend which has been gaining increasing ground is that of sailor button decoration on pants, coats and jackets.
Big oversized buttons are the fastener of choice of Autumn 2006.
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