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Bread & Butter

Marie Davies

Buyers at the Berlin trade show found plenty of proven winners but few new trends

Despite increasing competition from rival trade shows, Bread & Butter upheld its reputation as the key young fashion show on the buying calendar last week. It welcomed a scrum of visitors on the opening morning to its Tempelhof Airport venue in Berlin, including Carl Peddie, owner of four-store West Midlands indie Diffusion, and Lawrence Davies, owner of Essex-based mini-chain Choice, as well as branded multiples such as Bank and etailer Asos.

The general view was that the trends had not moved on dramatically from autumn 10 - heritage outerwear layered over chunky Nordic knits continued to abound - but this wasn’t of too much concern to the buyers in attendance. “I come here to buy my core labels that make me money,” explained one UK indie. “They’re still here.” Another added: “The workwear look has proved itself and it’s selling to my customer now.”

Quilted and down-filled jackets, updated with performance or technical qualities, posed a conundrum for buyers who wondered if the weather would play into their hands for the third year running. All were aware that a mild autumn 11 could kill this trend, but at the same time such key pieces could make a big difference to sales come Christmas.

The collegiate jacket was updated in heritage materials such as corduroy and stripped back to a more neutral colour palette than the brights of spring 11. Elsewhere, at the more directional end, structured blazers and tailored jackets got a look in, often worn over knits and checked shirts, which sometimes came with 1960s-style rounded collars.

The palette was earthy and dusky with mustard, sand and olive key. Chinos and cords in jeans-style fits remained important. Lengths were shorter with roll-ups flashing the ankles, though this probably isn’t a look for more mainstream youths. For the more fashion-forward there was a move back to denim, though at the directional end this had been cleaned up from distressed denim with block washes. Double denim was still in evidence too.

Interestingly, some directional buyers said they were heading to Tranoï in Paris to find “icing on the cake” collections, while others had returned to Pitti Uomo in Florence the week before to fulfil the more formal part of their offers.

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