I had the pleasure of going along to the LMFF Fashion Forum 3: The Wool Renaissance late last week, and let me tell you, wool was never dead. But it is having new life breathed into, with amazing new innovations in weaving, bonding and graphic printing.
We have known for a long time of the brilliant thermal qualities of wool, and how blending it with other natural fibres such as silk, mohair and cashmere can change the look and feel dramatically. I have been using these blended textiles for some time now, but it is making a notable resurgence on the high street with textile innovation becoming more cost effective and embraced by local up and coming designers.
It's quite ironic however, that something like 90% of the wool that is woven in Italy, the UK and China comes off the back of Australian sheep. The Europeans have been weaving wool for centuries and are the absolute masters, whilst China has come leaps and bounds in the last few decades and is producing equally beautiful cloth sans the innovation and edgy design.
In terms of upcoming trends, there are plenty, and its all about TEXTURE. The AWI (Australian Wool Innovated) and Woolmark Company have developed the Wool Lab. An authority that works closely with trend forecasting agencies and designers to highlight seasonal trends. For Winter/Autumn 13/14 we are noticing that a lot heavy weaves like Tweed, Twill and Herringbone are prominent. As are bold warm earthy colours like deep red, green, orange and brown. The look is worn, vintage and layereda and textures are intended to be doubled up also. Think contrasting trousers, jacket and vest in subtle natural shades.
Of course you don't have to wait til the end of the year to find these trends in Europe, you can get them now with me. All in time for our winter, which has to be just around the corner.
Here are some of my picks: