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Show must go on despite the forecast

Scorching sun up north and a month’s rainfall in a day down south – this most recent bank holiday weekend was far from as settled as the last one and the bi-polarity of the weather only goes to illustrate just how challenging this season has been for both multiples and independents.

It must be a sobering thought for those who are about to embark on their buying trips for next spring. With plenty of this season’s stock still left to sell and with autumn stock on its way in just a couple of months, it might seem perverse to be going out buying more, especially when you have to predict not only what the trends might be almost 12 months ahead but what the weather will do too (I couldn’t even tell you what it’s going to do this afternoon).

My tip? Forget about the weather, get out to the shows and look for some stunning stock that will sell come tropical rainstorm or Indian summer. The seasons are becoming increasing irrelevant anyway, and with more and more brands offering pre-collections or cruise collections you can barely see the join between spring and autumn these days. It’s about transitional dressing all year round.

Getting time out to go to shows is, of course, as much of a challenge as predicting the weather, but there has been some consolidation of the calendar (beachwear and lingerie fair Mode City has moved from Lyon to Paris to run alongside Prêt-à-Porter, for instance) and to help you plan your trips we have published our 15-page Show Calendar, with plenty of tips on what you will find at each event and how long you should spend there. Good luck, and remember: it’s all about layering.

Lauretta Roberts, Drapers editor

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