Denim Première Vision (3-4 Dec.) returned to London once again, having held the interim fair in the British capital for the first time in December 2018. This time, south London’s Printworks venue in Canada Water had been chosen to host the textiles tradeshow. While most exhibitors and visitors we spoke to seemed to prefer last year’s vibrant Shoreditch location of The Old Truman Brewery, the enormous Printworks space lent itself well to the 97 participating denim companies – from weavers and garments manufacturers to metal trim makers – plus the many special installations and exhibits.
The Habitat 21 Project attracted a lot of attention with its tactile yet futuristic set-up. Fashion-forward and eco-responsible, one part of the installation centred on innovative textiles from a wide range of mills, presented in groups of three. The Habitat 21 Project is the brainchild of DPV in partnership with Kristian Guerra, Filippo Maria and the DPV Smart Creation exhibitors, including Berto, Kilim Denim and Orta Anadolu (as seen in the picture below, from left to right).
Another big draw, the Re-Trace sewing workshops led by Alessio Berto, founder of The Tailor Pattern, invited keen attendees to design the perfect jean by studying three iconic models from the M.O.D.E. denim museum, which was inaugurated last summer in Verona by Italian denim manufacturer Elleti Group. DPV also hosted an immersive M.O.D.E. installation, showcasing a lineup of hand-picked denim pieces from the museum’s archive.
Injecting the show with yet more creativity, the Maker Lab section housed a handful of fashion and denim artisans, including chain stitch embroidery specialist Giulio Miglietta, who was on hand to share insights and practical know-how.
In tune with the times, sustainability reigned supreme, both thematically throughout the fair-concept, and also within individual booths. First-time exhibitor Siddiqsons noted that DPV’s exhibitor selection process had been stringent. Said the company’s business development consultant Matthew Fuhr: “Denim Premier Vision only wants to work with the most relevant mills and companies. I they felt we were a good fit this time as we’ve made significant sustainability investments with our 5.Zero laundry system, among other things. As a vertical company, we reason that we have to be as sustainable as we can – any eco-effort has to start at fabric-level.”
Speaking to mill representatives elsewhere, we noticed an urge for transparency. Labeling a product “sustainable” no longer cuts it. Said Cem Ozan San, Calik Denim’s Senior Product Development Executive: “Everyone has to step up their game today and clients increasingly demand sustainable solutions and products. At Calik, we’re making improvements continuously, sharing detailed information about any sustainability claim. You have to be transparent today; it’s not enough to say you’re eco-friendly. Clients deserve to know exactly how much water and chemicals have been saved – or used – in the making of any product.”
Trend-wise, muted colors such as olive, brown and mustard were spotted frequently (though neon brights are still hanging in there), while soft-touch, authentic-looking denim was key in terms of texture. Iskur and Kipas were among the mills offering new era fabrics made of sustainable fibers yet retaining the characteristics of authentic denim; and so too Pakistani denim manufacturer Indigo. Said Rowan Hunt, Indigo’s Business Manager Development & Innovation. “The authentic denim look is going nowhere but consumers demand comfort, and particularly men. We’re getting more and more requests for soft-touch fabrics and these can be achieved with sustainable fibers. Jogger-type denim-look materials are also creeping back in.”
To comment on traffic, the first day of the show was very busy, and the second a little less so, though it picked up in the afternoon when a rush of people flooded the aisles to mop up the last few hours of what was a very good show.
Here, eight highlights spotted across the DPV fair landscape:
Orta Anadolu – height of hemp
Orta Anadolu has been betting on hemp for a while. The Turkish mill’s so-called Gen H collection launched two seasons ago with one hemp-blend fabric featuring 6% of the sustainable fiber. On show at DPV was a whole family of hemp-blend fabrics – from sturdy to lightweight – consisting of up to 20% hemp (less for shirting). Pictured here – a group of garments from the Orta X Blackhorse Lane Ateliers X The Vintage Showroom collaboration – the jacket in the foreground is crafted from Gen H fabric.
Indigo’s new soybean denim
Pakistani mill Indigo presented a sustainable selection of fabrics front and center in its booth. One of its newest innovations – a cotton (78%) and soybean (22%) blend denim. The soybean yields a similar fluidity and soft hand-feel as Tencel, making it a promising eco alternative that Indigo will continue developing.
Bright Dragon’s creative cuts
Bright Dragon, denim mill Prosperity’s new garment-manufacturing offshoot offered up a lineup of design-led denim garments – such as the layered jacket pictured – to demonstrate its creative flair. Bright Dragon offers premium clients small and flexible quantities of garments, using Prosperity textiles with focus on the most sustainable offerings.
The Denim Dog strides forth
The Denim Dog, brainchild of The Denim Window founder Silvia Rancani, added charm to the DPV show landscape. A smorgasbord of premium dog accessories was offered up, including denim dog beds and denim-bowed collars crafted from Tuscan leather and non-transfer Berto denim (so as to avoid your dog turning indigo).
Siddiqsons’ eco shades of blue
Siddiqsons is the first denim manufacturer in its native Pakistan to adopt 5.Zero Aqua laundry system by Jeanologia, thus eliminating most of the hazardous elements associated with denim production. For instance, the system recycles the water used, using ozone to eliminate chemicals in bleach. Pictured here, a spectrum of washes achieved in Siddiqsons’ 5.Zero laundry.
Soorty’s C2C denim and 3D campaign
Soorty brought its new cradle-to-cradle denim range to DPV this season (among other collections). To promote it, Soorty’s teamed up with digital fashion house The Fabricant to create a 3D film and, seen here, a digitally rendered hangtag product picture. Yet another way to cut unnecessary resources – this time associated with physical shoots.
Calik’s bright stripes
Calik brought a number of denim collections to DPV. This neon candy stripe was among the more fashion-led offerings – neon will still be around come SS21. Appearing here, the fabric in washed and unwashed forms.
Shades of the season courtesy of Prosperity
Prosperity presented a range of new textiles – such as this lightweight shirting material dyed in a color spectrum sighted aplenty at the show – muted tones of olive, brown and sulfur yellow.