Fulfilling its reputation as a guide to the coming season's fabrics, Lille show Tissu Premier kicked off the spring 08 season by offering both transitional autumn 07 and forward collection spring 08 trends. In womenswear, the neutral palette with subtle metallics continued, but was offset by bolder, more directional citrus shades alongside violet and retro prints.
Key menswear fabrics were also pale, with dove grey linens and crisp white shirting cottons to the fore. Interest came from coloured denim in vibrant shades of tomato, violet and butter, as well as madras-checked shirting in hot red, orange and canary yellow.
For kidswear, mini repeat prints were bold and predominantly floral. Narrow stripes on jersey remained important, while lime green and sherbet orange offered alternatives to traditional pink and blue. Laundered finishes were essential on crumpled linens, faded khakis and lightweight cottons, many of which were organically sourced.
WHAT THE BUYERS SAID ...
"We're here to look at spring 08 trends. We're very impressed with the bold, bright prints, particularly in citrus shades - colours are often dictated by what the kids choose, so pink is always popular with little girls. Hopefully these sherbet shades will catch on."
- Designer Angela Osbourne and design director Paula Carter, Banner Childrenswear Group
"Tissu gives an early but realistic radar that I can communicate to our factories. Mills that come here are those we make showroom appointments with, so it's worthwhile for everyone. My team make buying decisions here, especially for key pieces. Too much fabric is wasted by buyers who wander around shows looking for inspiration without making solid decisions."
- Womenswear design manager Sidney Rhule, We stores in northern Europe
"I'm here for kidswear, but I like to have a peek at the trends emerging in womenswear and menswear too. Spring 08 is the main focus, but I'll also be watching for transitional fabrics for autumn 07. I like the scale of patterning on kidswear designs this season, especially the retro geometric and layered prints - it's quite a clean look."
- Design director Lindsay Crutchley, A&J Carter, supplier to M&S and Mothercare
"We are surprised at the number of prints, and will be amazed if they are still so important for spring 08. We're here to source fabrics for our July, August and September deliveries. Prints and metallics will be the biggest stories."
- Assistant buyer Carol Fisher, senior buyer Melanie Buckingham and senior designer Angela Chan, Warehouse
"My main focus is to find trends for spring 08, but also to fill in a few gaps for autumn 07. The Italian mills are leading the way for short-order deliveries. We do buy from China as our priority is to get a good price, but they can't compete on the faster turnarounds and consistently high quality of the European mills. The Italian mills offer the whole package."
- Womenswear fabric sourcer Kate Easton, Next
"Whimsy is aimed at the 35-plus market, so the big challenge for spring 08 is to incorporate the new younger-focused trends into the range. The metallic futuristic look will be tricky, although the frosty pastels that I've seen here do nod in that direction and will be key. The citrus brights and new print ideas will work well in highlight pieces."
- Senior designer Clare Williams, Whimsy, Godske Group.