In an upfront approach to product development, the Indian apparel industry has chosen to work closer to the season this winter and exporters are conceiving a wide variety of winter clothing in varied concepts. Knitwear, being regarded as the staple winter construction, continues to over shine other woven fabric options in the collections of Fall ’16, but with a twist. The twist is the combination of varied novelty yarns with wool and other winter varieties to create a blurred effect. Interestingly, exporters who generally miss out on knitwear trend opportunities in the quest of playing safe are the ones who are taking advantage of these blurred effects the most. With knitwear constructions getting fresher, the Indian winter wagon is all set to make an impactful impression on buyers…
Be it cable knit dresses, relaxed fit sweaters and ponchos or blazers, pullovers and cardigans, knits this season are not defined by their simple 2D base but by the 3-dimension effect that they create. Call it a daily wear or a statement piece, knits have become more feminine but structured than ever before. This past year we’ve seen resurgence in fun novelty yarns. Boucle, slub and spiral yarns knit a narrative fairy tale of varied patterns with cable, purl and interlocking stitches. With fanciful portrayals of knits in distinct sculptural effects, varieties of intarsia, ribs and waffles are now seen embracing this rising experimental niche. Jacquards in colourful yarn applications create eccentric optical-illusion in volumes. Knits work in sculptural folds and origami, creating layered effects, contrasting lengths and asymmetry.
Showing an impressive emergence this season, the archetypical fleece knits are revamped and presented in manipulated versions consisting of surrealistic swirls on the surface and screen printed floral designs.
Showing off the transition from the light weight to chunky variety of knits, runways of A/W ’15-16 witnessed many designers flaunting delicate cuts, creative details, amazing designs and novelty knit brigades. No. 21’s Alessandro Dell’Acqua took the stereotypically heavy novelty yarn into prurient territory, creating a low V-cut cardigan in this season’s trending army green, paired with a pair of straight-cut floral jewelled trousers. Avelon presented an array of modified argyle patterns on sweater dresses, which gave the illusion of embroidery, whereas, Chanel and Christopher Kane went one step ahead and created 3D textures using varied knitting techniques like, cable, popcorn and waffle stitches. Jonathan Saunders used the blurred yarn in its home territory – heavy gauge and oversized. With a soft colour-block of light grey and mint green, the pale colours bring out the characteristic of the yarn, teamed with a chiffon ankle length skirt, the outfit is both modern and feminine. Whereas on the other hand, Michael Kors, The Row and Trussardi presented their own construes of heavy granny knits.
Picking up the influences from the traditional artistry, the art of yarn creation takes up the centre-stage this winter. Pigtails, Ladders, and many other fancy novelty variation yarns interlace together to form interesting kit patterns. Wool and cotton fibres are tufted, twisted and looped in irregular structures in the process of re-awakening the age-old techniques with a contemporary twist to create a varied look in the yarn used. Multi-colour slubs intertwine with needle punched fur yarns to bring out an artistic and vibrant entity creating assemblies of texturized knits. Medleys of mélange and mixed fibres knit an array of layered and rhythmic braids inducing newness into age old knits.
Proenza Schouler had an allin-one idea, knit from top to toe. The outfit is coherent and contemporary, albeit the yarns being of different colour and texture. The pieces are of heavier gauge but are balanced well with sharp silhouettes such as the hourglass waistline. whereas on the other hand, Marc Jacobs, created tone-on-tone look in a non-minimalistic way with matching pastel coloured yarn on a deep V-neck vest and trousers. Multi-coloured and ombre effect yarns reticulate and revamp the archetypical jerseys, ribs and simplexes, bringing out their distinctive avatars through manipulation of the existing knitting techniques. With an unusual appearance double, popcorn and waffle knits, show an impressive emergence by coming at par with the casual stitches becoming season essentials.
Industry elaborates on the novelty yarn knits…
Selva Point, Chief Executive Officer, Point Knit Industry
“The classics are never going to fade away; we always make styles in single jerseys for our US buyers. But the demand for heavier and more structured 3-dimensional knit is increasing season on season especially from our European buyers. The knits created with mixed yarns, novelty yarns being used is on an increase.”
Amit Kumar Sah, STOLL M1 Plus Programmer and Knitwear Designer, Jeans Knit Private Limited (FFI Group)
“The trend is the same as earlier, we make designs which our buyer demands for. But this season the buyer requirement has gotten a little pattern-centric. Yarn and fibre texture is still the major focus, but the pattern and knitting design has gotten more complex. We are making structures like, honey comb, pine apple stitch, present stitch, rice corn stitch and lots of other stitches using many novel and fancy yarns at intervals.”
Sanjeev Jain, Director, Samriti Knitwears
“We are making form fitting pullovers in wool and fleece in heavy GSM. As we can observe in retail stores and street markets, there is a trend of light weight pullovers and long capes with blurred designs and mélanges. This season we are making the similar styles in much higher weight. We are also developing ponchos in blanket fabric ending with tassels.”
R. Ganesh, Merchandising Manager, Craft Knit Industries
“Buyers are now not asking for simpler specifications, be it in terms of fabric or structure. And as we start our sampling for A/W at this point, the buyers have already sent in enquiries to other countries which give them lesser price point and better specification output. But we are hopeful towards seeing more enquiries in the next 45 days and are ready to fulfil all buyer needs specific to designs.”