Jan 17, 2018 | By Samuel Trotman
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We’ve just back in from Vegas, where we’ve spent the week hunting out the latest denim news, events and trends going on in the city of sin.
New brands: Norman Russel, Tortoise, Forestin’ Gear, Jacob Davis.
Magic trade show re-shuffled dramatically this season, adding ENK under its Project trade show remit and creating a new area called The Tents, housing artisinal and purist denim brands. Workroom was dropped this season in favor of this new Tents area and the merging with ENK meant that many women’s denim brands were closer to the action, after previously being housed in the Wynn Hotel. Capsule was in its usual spot over at the Sands convention center and offered a chilled alternative to the thousands of vendors at Magic.
We discovered quite a few notable brands that we’re going to be blogging about over the next few weeks: Forestin’ Gear from Japan were in their infancy at last season’s Capsule but this time showed a huge range of all-indigo pieces from parka jackets to vests in shades of blue. It was our favorite brand of the week!
Also from Japan, Ones Stroke are a men’s casualwear brand but with a strong focus on denim. Most of their fabrics come from Kuroki and items included a heavyweight herringbone overcoat and a neppy workwear shirt. A brand we blogged about upon their first soft launch with Bloomingdales, the very denim-centric named Jacob Davis were also showing at Capsule and have extended their range to include colored denim jackets, quilted truckers and a large range of laundered denim.
Over at Project we came across Tortoise, a great denim brand from LA who specialize in new laundry technology including laser and ozone. The brand is small and high-end but produces in one of LA’s largest and best laundries that normally serve all the big denim brands. With this extensive wash background, the team have created a patented and top secret ‘Starfish’ formula using all natural and biodegradable techniques to create the range of impressive, vintage garments with no chemicals or harmful processes.
Last but not least we discovered Norman Russell, who has spun a story around his own personal US heritage, creating a tight menswear denim range exploring built-to-last pieces from quality selvedge fabrics. Each jeans fit has a back story and nickname after one of his close buddies and our stand-out pieces where his range of Ecru jackets and jeans.
F/W 13 was jam-packed with new trends: The boro patch shirt is a key look emerging for guys, as were laser laundries and graphic patchworks. The tonal indigo camo trend that we’ve mentioned many times lately, was a strong look for guys and using laser created some interesting and subtle results.
Indigo Camo: Insight, Native Youth, Rockstar
A great unisex trend we also noted was the retro micro repeat. Something we have explored in our recent Retro Resort feature, brands looked to vintage menswear, pajama prints and micro jacquards to create geek-chic surface appeal.
Retro repeats: Koral, Hudson, Kato, Rockstar.
Lastly, the trend for increased dimensional weaves and surface texture is beginning to hit apparel after emerging at fabric trade shows over the last couple of seasons. Jacquard weaves continue but are joined by up-sized herringbones,needle-punched and fused wool with denim, plus tons of intricate and novel ways of updating the quilting trend using graphic artworks and silicone reverse prints.
Texture: Ksubi, Remi Relief, Ones Stroke, Jacob Davis, Big John.
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