GAUGING FALL TRENDS AT 40 DEGREES
Byline: Caroline Cambridge
LONDON — Unisex styles with lots of beaded and zipper details were in full display at the 40 Degrees exhibition of street and casualwear, held here Feb. 20 to Feb. 22.
The show is in its eighth season organized by EMAP Fashion, a subsidiary of the British media group EMAP. It attracted more than 450 companies, including about 100 new names.
The organizers did not release attendance figures for the show, but exhibitors said it was quieter than in past seasons; overseas visitors were buying less because of the strength of the pound against other currencies.
Another problem was that 40 Degrees did not coincide this season with London Fashion Week, which includes the designer runway shows and a designer exhibition. This meant some foreign buyers could not attend 40 Degrees because they had to go on to the Milan shows.
A spokeswoman for the British casualwear brand All Saints said 40 Degrees “is a good show for us, but we haven’t seen the volume we usually see.”
One of the major fall trends continued to be an emphasis on detailing, including embroidery, sequins, fringing and ruches, as well as zippers and asymmetric or off-center seams. The use of exposed seams was particularly evident in denim, where brands such as Tim Bargeot, a French company, showed tight-fitting tops and skirts with external pockets and horizontal and vertical seams for decoration.
Cropped and fitted jackets, often with zip fronts and high necks, were among the most prevalent styles, as were drawstring-waist pants and denim. Bonded and coated fabrics in jackets and pants were seen throughout the show, while new fabric treatments — from vintage looks on denim to paper-hand fabrics for combat pants — were also abundant.
Timezone, a German brand, launched its new cotton poplin paper-hand combat pants and a new lightweight polyester denim.
Unisex styles were still much in evidence among the directional casualwear companies. An official at Boxfresh of the U.K. said the company had been successful at 40 Degrees with both its two-year-old women’s apparel line and its core men’s wear collection.
The women’s line was directly inspired by the men’s and featured simple, clean lines in chunky sweaters, cropped trousers and short and long jackets with funnel necks.
Details included hidden zippers, asymmetric pockets and off-center seams; neutral greens, grays and blues were augmented with splashes of eggplant and bubblegum pink. One of Boxfresh’s newest takes for winter was fake leather, which was used in laser-cut skirts and coats with raw edges. The company also introduced flannel wool, which it used in tops and coats. Other styles popular with buyers were a bonded poplin cropped and fitted jacket and cropped trousers with a dip-fronted waist, a Boxfresh spokesman said.
POD of the U.K. also showed mainly unisex styles, including outerwear with designs that featured “cold” exteriors and “warm” interiors. Matte-finished canvas jackets, skirts and pants were in monotone shades of black or gray, but were lined with Polarfleece in warm lemons and pinks.
The collection, like many at the 40 Degrees show, relied on simple lines and details for decoration.
For example, combat pants had snaps so that lengths can be adjusted, sweaters had quirky thumb holes in the sleeves that stretched over the hands and zippers were everywhere, concealed or revealed, to zip up splits in skirts or to zip off trouser legs.
The Italian firm Rifle was a first-time exhibitor in the directional casualwear sector and updated its classic denims, chinos and sportswear lines in fabrics such as overdyed canvases, cottons and denims to create a “lived-in, vintage look,” a spokesman said. Colors ranged from classic khakis and blues to reds and oranges.
Another Italian label, Fornarina, was one of the few that shifted away from the monotone colors, functional styles and unisex themes. It was returning to 40 Degrees after a three-year absence and relied on color, applied decoration and textural contrasts.
Inspired by America’s Wild West were low-waisted, fitted pants in a new washable suede with cut-out detailing on the hems; colorful long felt coats with wool trims were inspired by Russia. Variations on the popular cropped and cuffed jeans were seen in multicolor crochet trims, Chinese fabric inserts or silver glitter cuffs.
All Saints also used an abundance of texture, decoration and color, including ruching, brocade and beading. Colors ranged from shades of green to rich reds and pinks; styles included cashmere and lambswool tops with high necks and beaded decorations, chunky hand knits in shades of coral, and ruched and sequined fitted shearling shirts with zip fronts and high collars.