Although time has finally been called on smock tops, womenswear trends barely moved on from last spring
Following on in the footsteps of both the mens and streetwear spring 09 trade shows, the trends at Pure were again little more than a reprise of the most commercial themes backed for last spring.
Some might say that this was a reflection of the mood in the marketplace – with trading getting tougher brands were looking to play it safe – however there were some welcome differences.
For one, this was the season that we finally saw the back of the smock top and all its incarnations to a sigh of relief from a frustrated brigade of buyers. But disappointingly its absence left no other silhouette dominant, with a melee of styles and hem lengths lining brands’ stands.
What did define Pure this season was an explosion of colour which according to buyers went some way to letting brands off the hook for their uninspiring approach to innovation. Nikki Hutchinson, co-owner of seasons in Clitheroe, Lancashire, said: “I loved all the bright colours such as the coral pink, they make the shift from autumn to spring much more obvious offering something new for our customers. I preferred colour on plain garments to the floral prints which looked too samey against spring 08.”
Florals were the most prominent trend still hanging around from spring 08. Even though they came in a huge variety of manifestations, from ditsy micro-florals to full blown blooms, buyers’ reactions were muted, with many saying they had seen too many petal prints already on the high street this summer, and were doubtful of their ability to stay the course for spring 09. Winnie Smyth co-owner of Modissima in Fivemiletown in Ireland was hesitant about florals working for a more mature market. “Our customers are aged 25 plus so the florals just don’t look right for us. I preferred other prints particularly the painterly ones which just looked much more sophisticated.”
Overall Pure underlined how challenging a season spring 09 will be for buyers. With so few new looks on the rails and so many disparate trends to select from it has never been more important for retailers to understand their customers unique for their summer fashion.