The Fall/Winter 19-20 trends presented at Denim Première Vision in Paris Wednesday embrace spontaneity. For the coming season, denim will be neater and more polished, while at the same time, wilder than ever.
“This season, we are happy to see denim going beyond the usual 5-pocket pants. Denim is moving up with a new vocabulary of shapes,” said Pascaline Wilhelm, Première Vision fashion director.
There’s fluidity between fashion and denim. Whereas denim tends to dwell on the past—be it heritage workwear or nostalgic ’90s—Wilhelm described the new season deep with shades of blue, novelty textures and a focus on how denim can adapt to its new niche market, including sport, streetwear and evening. “Denim, a few years ago, was on its own. Today denim is open to many new prospects,” she said.
New wool blends and sophisticated jacquard weaves bring with them fresh opportunities for designers to revisit their tailoring roots. Wilhelm said denim is “emerging from its purely masculine look” to reveal more subtle and sensual fabrics with no gender attached. The result is high-end fabrications intended for tailored trousers, jackets and outerwear. “The fabrics make the clothes,” she added.
Wool aspects can be visible, such as natural-looking surfaces with irregular yarns, Wilhelm described, or hidden as brushed wool on the inside of a jacket. Pin stripes, herringbones, Prince of Wales check and classic window pane patterns play up the tailoring story, but are updated in blue.
To contrast, relaxed heavy denim inspired by street style is gaining momentum in the men’s and women’s categories. Wilhelm described the trend as urban, graphic and inventive.
Fabrications are made with thicker yarns to add softness and fullness to silhouettes. Nonchalant styling like cozy knits and cocoon-like shapes are key here. Techniques that pump-up volume, such as smocking placed on shoulders to create an exaggerated ruffle, are made simply to surprise—a necessary quality in today’s fashion world, Wilhelm said.
Color blocking and contrast stitching add a youthful feeling. “Reds are still important. It would be good idea to keep on them,” Wilhelm suggested. Garments are further personalized with patchwork made up of fabrics with different weights, behaviors, graphics, embroideries and colors. Likewise, trims are decorative with cracked painted leather effects and deep engravings.
Creative trims and accessories are crucial to the season’s most glamourous trend story, evening denim. Wilhelm said hardware with reflective finishes, ceramic and jewels play up the theme’s emphasis on fabrics with shimmer and shine.
The trend consists of fabrics with smooth or dented surfaces, iridescent and silver coatings, and the blending of indigo with stardust. Shine is placed in organic patterns, while jacquards with metallic plastic yarns catch light in weaves. Mirror-like yarn on the fabric backing add a glam rock surprise to reversed cuffs. Cloudy finishes and blurred colors are used to create lively surfaces, Wilhelm described. The effects are carried into trims with labels and patches made in cloudy pop colors.
Denim breaks all norms in the season’s most fantastical denim concept consisting of denim fur and novelty yarns. Wilhelm describes the fabrics as funny, impulsive and tamed wildness. “They obviously are derived from a powerful sense of imagination,” she said.
The tactile and highly visual treatments can be used outside or inside garments as lining. Fun yarns in denim, abstract patterns and sailor stripes turned outside to give a treated look add a shock of fashion, while velvet with thicker ribs add coziness like a plush toy.
Fabrics become more technical in the season’s active denim trend, Wilhelm noted, by focusing on durability, thermal protection and freedom of movement.
Mobility is a non-negotiable in active wear and jeans wear is following suit even as fashion trends move away from skinny silhouettes. Wilhelm suggested denim brands look closer at how sports brands construct their garments.
Thermal protection will also be key for winter.
According to Wilhelm, it can be achieved by mixing quilting (in contemporary or traditional patterns) with wool or Thermolite blends. Waterproofing and zippers add functionality. Denim with high resistant protection also lives here. Fibers like Cordura are a common ingredient, but Wilhelm noted that there are more special constructions in 100 percent cotton which pass stress tests for certain outdoor and performance markets.