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Wool was a strong inspiration at Milano Unica Winter 2019-20

“The recent edition of Milano Unica Winter 2019-20 offered a sneak peek into opulent designs combined with a strong focus on sustainability. Sustainability was the theme of the opening symposium and panel discussion at Milano Unica. The green imperative was emphasised by Ercole Botto Poala, President, Milano Unica, in his opening remarks. The trade show highlighted a vibrant dash of colours including reds, browns and golds. Classic suitings got a fresh look with bright blue and fabrics were also cozy and tactile with brushed surfaces. Designs, whether in weave or in prints, sported bright elements comprised of unusual combinations of tones and frequently large-scale oversize decoration, whether checks, slubs or shadow designs. This decoration is due in part to a revival of the large-scale canvas, such as the long great coat and the continuing popularity of the tailored jacket for men, who are wearing it in different, more casual ways.”

Wool was a strong inspiration at Milano Unica Winter 2019 20 002The recent edition of Milano Unica Winter 2019-20 offered a sneak peek into opulent designs combined with a strong focus on sustainability. Sustainability was the theme of the opening symposium and panel discussion at Milano Unica. The green imperative was emphasised by Ercole Botto Poala, President, Milano Unica, in his opening remarks.

The trade show highlighted a vibrant dash of colours including reds, browns and golds. Classic suitings got a fresh look with bright blue and fabrics were also cozy and tactile with brushed surfaces. Designs, whether in weave or in prints, sported bright elements comprised of unusual combinations of tones and frequently large-scale oversize decoration, whether checks, slubs or shadow designs. This decoration is due in part to a revival of the large-scale canvas, such as the long great coat and the continuing popularity of the tailored jacket for men, who are wearing it in different, more casual ways.

Growing fascination with provenance

The collection derived inspiration from provenance or origins, which gave scope for using interesting wool like coarser British breeds such asMilano Unica Collections Wensleydales in a variety of undyed shades, or the curly fleece of ancient breed Escorial from New Zealand and Australia, in fabrics by Yorkshire mills Wm Halstead and John Foster. The fascination for items with a history continues so woollen country tweeds, worsted classic pinstripe suits and soft, classy fabrics like flannels and sophisticated twists came to the fore. The understated classic worsted Merino suitings of Italian and British classic mills had small areas of bright yarn or shadowy patterns introduced, making them look new and interesting. Herringbones were writ large, houndstooths were boldly contrasted, black on grey for instance, and overcoatings were brushed and patterns blurred.

Underlying trends

Opulent, rather theatrical looks, including metallic effects were displayed in the MU trend area mixing up fabrics and different traditions. Gold decoration and embellishment in satin and silks were placed alongside slubby, thick woollen and worsteds and bouclé fabrics for womenswear, including examples from Japanese mills. Winter shirting included printed wool jersey. Digitally printed wool jackets, e.g. Prince of Wales check designs, might be worn with jeans, as garments find a new role with another generation.

Despite rising wool prices, exhibitors reported strong demand for the fiber, since pries of other raw materials were also increasing, some at an erratic rate. The advent of technical wool has made a big impact. Reda Active and Zegna’s technical lines have raised the fibre’s profile further. The intrinsic value and added performance quality of wool is promoted in various ways across the board with various qualities of thermo-regulation, crease resistance, breathability, and waterproofing for use in the travel suit. This year the trend for bigger, longer coats and interesting semi-formal jackets is serviced by more heavy weight cloth, double-face, multiple-ply wool, bonded fabrics, and unlined versions in substantial hairy and coarser fabrics opening new areas.

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