With a range of fresh collections, the IIGF this year in terms of design and product was undoubtedly more global, showcasing a better understanding of the international trends backed with skilled execution. The exporter seems to be more aware of the likes and dislikes of their buyer, developing products that are well researched to fit perfectly into the buyer’s ideology. What was even more interesting was the way exporters have been playing with their strengths to produce designs that are more contemporary by just adding different innovations to a traditional technique. With a more professional approach to product and business being observed at the fair, AO Design Team observed and spotted the presence of certain dominant trends that have been in forecast for Spring/Summer 2012, perceived differently by individual exporters.
As fashion globally is becoming more relaxed and free, the whole world seems to be going for a bright sunny holiday in the summer of 2012. Following a casual approach in design, with formals becoming more eased out and making way into the casual wardrobe, and vice-versa, silhouettes are loose and light. Observed as same for all the markets, the next season is more about trousers, shorts and denims, making skirts take a back seat for a while, which has in turn put India into a strong position with its forte in tunics and blouses, as they are the pieces that are best teamed up with these lowers. Dresses are yet again a favourite, which are more or less creative pattern variations of the basic tunic with an increased focus on colour, techniques and prints.
Prints have become bigger, bolder in a much brighter colour palette that has a general influence towards nautical and stripes with flowers being seen in endless varieties. The key to use the flower is although the same – its huge and bright, placed aesthetically on the pattern in certain areas and not repeated as an all over. Roses, lilies, abstract shapes in flowers and even leaves and grass are all being experimented with. With stripes – they are unequal, placed at varied distances and in contrasting bright colours.
But for a market that is more subtle and doesn’t work with a lot with bold prints, ‘solids’ are the new option. As forecasted by AO and a lot of other companies worldwide, ‘solids’ is one of the biggest trend in times to come with both bright colours, and pastel shades being in demand at the fair as well. An obvious reason for this is the increased popularity of the colour blocking trend which gives the customer the freedom to layer different colours in the same ensemble for an individual style. In tune with this look, a lot of fabric manufacturers are coming up with innovative textures in the basic fabric type, twills, cotton drills, chambray, and new weaves which impart character to the basic solid coloured fabric to make it even more stylish. A lot of exporters used linen, light weight cottons and loose weaved fabrics combined with laces and crochet, all to enhance the value of a basic solid design. Techniques such as different washes and tie&dye to achieve an ombré effect were also used only to impart colour to the design.
Another trend that one could not have missed at the IIGF was the use of cotton lace, cutwork cotton fabric that imitates lace, eyelet lace and crochet, best executed in white. The classic colour holds the intricacy of lace and cutwork in the most chic manner, making both of them minimalistic yet stylish trends in themselves. Last season the trend was for allover lace fabrics; this season the exporters have combined lace trims at hemlines, necklines and sleeves along with solid fabrics; giving the trend a fresh and new touch making it more commercial and for the masses.
Team AO talks to companies about what’s in and selling…
Rajeev, Sr. Merchandiser & Designer, Colour India
The next year will be more about bottoms and therefore blouses are selling like hot cakes. There have been a lot of buyers from Australia as well as Europe, like Vandeurs from Denmark, with huge demand for cotton and cotton silks. We had a collection of solid colours this time, as forecasted by WGSN, which has received a very good response.
Anil Ahuja, Owner, Ahuja Web
Since the next summer will have a gypsy feel to it, silhouettes like tunics, blouses and maxi-dresses in a varied colour palette of pinks, reds, oranges, limes and a lot of white is what we have experimented with. The most popular colours for the season are corals and yellows. Since a lot of pastels were present in the last summer, people seem to have become bored and are looking for Brights this season, and the cuts are deeper, more flamboyant and body conscious. White has been the best seller as it’s a classic and clearly shows the quality of the fabric. Among a lot of buyers that visited from Europe and USA, Tory & Burch and El Corte are one of the biggest when it comes to orders.
Sapna, Merchandiser, Shah Originals
The buyer is looking for bright colours, florals, stripes and big motifs; with USA bent towards big flowers and bright colours, and UK looking at whites, cutwork and solid colours with stone wash. The floral are more like Chinese style rather than last year’s liberty prints. This time the silhouettes are simpler, like tunics and long dresses with no embroidery or sequin-work.
Sandeep Kukkar, Director, Paprika
The European client seemed to be more interested in small florals in bright colours, for day wear. Ditsy florals have been the most demanded item so far, after cut-work and schiffli fabric. Our clients mostly include buyers from Germany, UK, Spain, USA, along with brands like Miss Selfridge and BHS. Since denim is an evergreen part of everyone’s wardrobe, silhouettes like short blouses are also being demanded. Colours like turquoise, pink and white form a huge part of their sales along with prints designed to match the denim fabric and colour.
Rupa Dutt, President, Lady London
Buyers from Japan, Brazil and Europe are looking for tops and tunics in a variety of styles. White and prints are selling equally well, with a lot of crochet tops, skirts and yarn dyed blouses. White has always been the preference of buyers.
Pankaj Rastogi, Head of Design and Development, Goyal Fashions
The prints this time are very tropical, with a relaxed holiday feel to them. The colours are very bold and saturated with a very futuristic appeal. Neons are also slowly crawling back into the scene. As far as the silhouettes are concerned, there are no skirts but dresses, tunics and jumpsuits are very prominent. Tunics have been a milestone in the fashion business as they are a complete package, with the freedom to wear them in any way, like a blouse or a dress. The clients include Spanish, French, Italian and UK based buyers with brands like New Look and Dorothy Perkins.
Anuj K. Sadh, Owner, Euro Expo
Although there is a lot of print in the market and in demand, the buyer desires medium-sized flowers as the bigger patterns make the wearer look big too. Solids like green, blue, mauve, beige are also very famous, along with silhouettes like flared, tiered-maxi-dresses.
Vikas Gulati, Owner, Young International
The buyer is demanding florals, but with a little value addition to them. We use techniques like tie&dye and embroidery over basic floral print to enhance it. These are based on buyer feedback as well as from forecasts done by Modo, Collezioni, etc.