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The AW 16/17 Trends to Watch at Denim Première Vision

Denim Première Vision will host 100 exhibitors and over 4,000 qualified buyers seeking the top Autumn/Winter 2016-17 mill collections and denim trends beginning Wednesday (May 27-29) at Barcelona’s Fira Montjuic.

Under the show’s seasonal theme, “Denim Constellation,” which Philippe Friedmann, Denim Première Vision denim expert and artistic director described as “a constellation that connects people, links know-hows and encourage explosive close encounters of a third kind,” Friedmann outlines the ways vintage themes are updated, how mills are pushing to new levels of performance innovation and how sport continues to influence denim.

Here, Friedmann shares with Rivet a first look at the finishes, washes and themes attendees can expect to discover at the show.

Rivet: What will be the key trend themes highlighted at the show?
Friedmann: According to our seasonal theme “Denim Constellation,” we have developed three main trend constellations, which will be the three main families of jeans trends in terms of fabrics, accessories, finishing, washes, colors and shapes that we have underlined for this next AW 16/17 denim season:

  • Orion Explorer: Vintage and the past are updated with new experiments, new processes, and natural, warm and innovative materials.
  • Galactic Dreams: The question is how to push denim up to a higher level of fashion. Denim is proposed with the most poetic allure, where mixes of materials, structures and techniques, forge unexpected creative developments.
  • Another Moon: This theme deals with technology and more sport active jeans. A denim 3.0. Technical blues and metallics play on performance, variations in lengths create disproportion in silhouettes, like an extension to infinity. The influences of sport and technology make themselves strongly felt in denim. Surprising and innovative new materials and cutting-edge techniques multiply.

Through the hundreds of samples exhibitors sent us to build these denim trends areas, which enable us to observe and confirm the latest trends and development, our street observations and industry work, we have seen a raise of technically advanced product—technological developments, even more innovative pieces with subtle finishings and new yarn constructions will be seen on the market.

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Rivet: What type of finishes and washes do you expect to see trending at the show?
Friedmann: Well, what we can tell so far is that we can expect less distressed jeans but more elaborated pieces with stronger hand feel touch. We will see softer and suppler finishings, and more particularly, we can expect dark snow washes on dark color basis.

Rivet: Will we see any particular patterns or prints?
Friedmann: Actually no. We might not see lots of prints and patterns for this autumn/winter season. In fact, far less than for last spring Summer ’16. However, we can expect small specific developments of “constellation” prints according to this season’s theme.

Rivet: Stretch has been a big story in women’s for so long, but do you think stretch and other performance features are picking up in men’s?
Friedmann: As you are underlining, stretch is now essential for women jeanswear. But what we noticed for several seasons is that stretch is also becoming a major performance in men denim wear. This next season it is an actual reality. Thanks to innovation and improvement of stretch performance, we can have stretches that are different for men than for women. Stretches less feminine that can fit a man’s silhouette without being too tight.

Moreover, men are more and more willing to be fashionable. They want comfort but with a fashion touch. Thanks to stretch in denim, they can have urban, sophisticated jeans but with high comfort and suppleness. This denim stretch evolution in the men denim industry follows the evolution of the menswear market in high demand of fashion, stylish and elaborated silhouettes and pieces, along with wearable, comfortable and easy fits.

Rivet: Will athleisure play as big a part as it has in recent past seasons? And do you see this trend transitioning into something new?
Friedmann: As far as “athleisure” in denim is concerned, we are at the peak of the market demand. It can disappear in two or three seasons, as colored jeans did, or it can remain as a new group of products. What we can say, though, is that a few brands are now specialists of sport-leisure and should still play in this field for a while.

Denim Première Vision will host its first “Denim Trend Tasting” seminar Wednesday, May 27 at 12:30 pm. The show’s fashion team will share a deeper look into the AW 16/17 fabrics, finishes, fits and accessories, as illustrated by exhibiting mills, washes houses and accessory makers.