The Textile Change


By Chandia Brennen, Women's Wear Editor

Fashion is a constant evolution of brilliant ideas transformed into ready to wear reality. Every season we are introduced to the latest trends and closet essentials, however we are rarely educated on what truly makes our garments uniquely special…the textiles. 

For fall/winter 2013 the most important trend of the season is extravagant textiles, leather and fur. Textile innovation is driving fashion forward with groundbreaking pairings of contrasting materials. For instance, delicate silk is bonded to wool, tweed to vinyl and lace to neoprene, while ultimately resulted in visually captivating pieces. For the fashion industry the quality of textiles is severely important because elements like the movement of the clothing and the way it photographs is what attracts consumers. Soft and supple, high-quality textiles have been revamped this season resulting in exquisitely draped garments and others that were structured for dresses, pants, jackets and coats. It also was mixed with delicate fabrics such as silk and chiffon. So what if you can’t afford a chiffon Marchesa gown!? Simply focus on incorporating quality chiffon into your wardrobe within your desired budget. 


Faux or Fur…that is the question! Many designers including Thakoon, Alexander Wang, Ralph Rucci, Prabal Gurung and Badgley Mishka must have missed the memo about the controversy surrounding fur because catwalks were frothing with sable, mink, chinchilla, fox, lynx, rabbit, broadtail and pony skin. Undoubtedly fur was a major staple in most shows that displayed fur vests, stoles, capes, shawls, shrugs, skirts, pants, shorts and dresses, plus, every imaginable fur accessory: hats, handbags, oversized hoods, belts, scarves and even shoes and boots. (We even spotted a $4,500 pair of yellow pumps on the runway of Celine. We however do not endorse nor encourage that purchase.) And if it wasn't full-on fur, it was a detail or a trim such as on a sweater collar, a sleeve's cuff, the border of a dress' neckline or hemline. While many furs in coats, jackets and trenches were its natural color, the most electrifying ones were dyed in pale peach, chartreuse, blue and moss.

The consumer hungry for glamorous glitter and glitz will be satisfied with fall's sparkle with the emergence of dazzling crystals, flashing sequins, metallic threads and twinkling stones, sometimes they're all used together for a blinding effect. Richly ornamental designs in brocade and jacquard shimmer with iridescent color. The rich fabric becomes its own embellishment! It's often adorned with jewels and heavy embroidery, especially on the shoulders and the bodice. I had the opportunity to view the collections of Pamella Roland, Jenny Packham, Badgley Mischka and Monique Lhuillier at New York Fashion Week and the embellishments were all intricately detailed and uniquely extravagant, further setting the tone for a luxurious season. 

They say “The devil is in the details” and the fall/ winter will be no different. Seams, buttons and even ornamental zippers hypnotize the attention of spectators. The backs of dresses, blouses, coats, jackets and evening wear are draped, gathered, voluminously pleated and sometimes ballooned.

Overall there is no denying the strong emphasis that designers placed on textiles for the upcoming season. It’s a refreshing nod to fashion aficionados that not only appreciate constant evolution but truly value all aspects of the creation.