Wool was much in evidence at Premiere Vision Paris, in a much-welcomed face to face x digital hybrid show held 20-24 September. Janet Prescott reports.

Bright colours and patterns in the halls set the scene, with flamboyant prints and large-scale motifs laid out on tables in the trend areas.

These bold designs define the optimism of Autumn/Winter 2022/23, with the large and the colourful destined for internet, high street and designer collections, even haute couture.

A/W 2022/23: the season of knit and knitwear

Heralded as the year of knit and knitwear, A/W 2022/23 sees soft layering and extensive use of knit techniques for outerwear, sportswear and hand-crafted designs. This connects well with the more relaxed mood and current appreciation for  handmade and unique items.

PV’s digital market platform showed rows of different knitted swatches in various colourways, several with high proportions of fine wool like 80% wool /20% polyester. Knitted jacquard fabrics and jerseys were seen in grouped collections from Portugal, France and individual mills from Turkey and China.

Sporty knit fabrics, some  with a sheen, straddled the areas between high performance and glamour showing how barriers between different styles  and seasons have merged.

Is the suit defunct?

Classic suit collections were displayed by a good number of luxury British and Italian exhibitors revisiting classics, adding touches of colour and changing the size of checks and designs. Is the suit defunct? Most decidedly not.

Yorkshire mills showed the impact to be had from reworking iconic patterns and exploiting natural shine in, for example, wool with  mohair at Luxury Fabrics. Wool jackets were also revitalised in brighter solid  colours like ginger, blue, green, navy, a  smart/casual appealing to contemporary tastes, some with contrast paisley silk linings.

Read Next: The Rise of Wool Shoes

Sustainability showcased

The spotlight continues to shine on sustainability, with most collections keen to describe eco-credentials, provenance, quality control, and animals raised with care. Standards are  certified, and premised on traceability, renewability, ultimate disposal and sometimes re-use. In all of these, wool is ably and reliably collecting and sharing information.

Smart Creation, the Eco-based section of PV where new ideas come together, included developments in tracking by testing  DNA , one of the advances in this area. In another initiative, HarrisTweed Hebrides and British Wool are partnering to launch authenticated and traceable wool to the market with tech company FibreTrace.

Localisation re-emerged as a discussion topic as buyers look again at being able to name provenance.

Review: Haelixa’s Emma Cavalli shows how using DNA-based technology, wool can be tracked from its source all the way to retail

Climate changes ahead

Young people looking at climate change are making their mark on the fashion industry. The concept of “multi-lifecycles” envisages re-use and repurposing of clothing over time. Wool is firmly in this frame.  The versatility and value of natural fibres  features strongly in  seasonless fashion, dispensing with existing timescales. A whole philosophy is emerging with this focus, bringing in resource conservation, buying natural, reducing waste, and breaking existing moulds.

Learn More: A new film challenges the fashion industry on over-production, synthetic fibres, and social implications

How can fashion begin to build a truly circular economy? The new Fashionscapes documentary challenges the industry to change the way it makes clothes.

Find it here: Fashionscapes: A Circular Economy