Buyers spent their time in Barcelona backing big brands rather than hunting out challenging new trends
Block-rocking new trends were in short shrift at Bread & Butter last week. This lack of seismic trend evolution was largely the result of brands studying their inherent personalities, and developing collections which set their stalls out for buyers to identify succinctly.
Buyers too were altering their show-stomping strategies, giving over less time to hunting out fresh and quirky item-led collections, and more show-time on the stands of their loudest till-ringing brands. The shifting trading landscape means that for autumn 09 independent buyers are backing their most commercially successful brands with even more wallet space, at the expense of more effete performers.
This trend was not without exception. Having helped line so many retail pockets over the last three seasons, the success of Lyle & Scott had spurred many buyers to seek out and seed further brands with a similar sense of heritage. Economic recessions have a habit of drawing consumers to quality-led product which fly in the face of fashion. And, to brands with more mileage and logistical, marketing and commercial nouse than the latest kid on the block.
Denim styles at the show were polarised between too distinct washes. Treated raw washes were out in force, particularly at the commercial end, with silicon coated denims and resin washes persisting. At the other end of the design spectrum lighter washes including bleached, antiqued, stonewashed and hand-brushed, many with subtle rip and repair details, continued to inch their way into collections, despite this being an autumn presentation. Already catching attention from the fashion press this season, these overly laundered looks are likely to make a bigger impact come spring 2010. In terms of silhouettes, skinny styles continued alongside low-rise looks, boyfriend jeans, flared 1970s fits and a return to flattering boot-cuts.
On menswear, a rugged story informed by the great American outdoors, had quilted parkas, checked flannel shirts, fairisle knits and washed out chinos coming to the fore. A collegiate theme was also prevalent with crested blazers sharing rail-space with single-striped varsity knits, laundered and creased shirts and again chinos which are certain to curry consumer favour in spring 09. And the omnipresent rock’n’roll trend meant perforated leather jackets and classic biker styles were once again out in force.
Detail-led product and the pared-down G-Star-led military/utility aesthetic will also be big news come autumn 09 with more brands teasing their collections into cleaner, moe sophisticated ranges defined by subtle branding, a predominantly grey, blue and black palette and military details such as multiple pockets and epaulettes.