Backcloth A/W 12/13

1. Hardcore Knit

Plain-purl stitching or purl-plain stitching, moss stitch, intarsia knits, half or full rib knits, new variations and experiments with very thick wool and thread: all of these warm the heart on cold days. Heavy pullovers with rose-knit patterns, remilled wools, oversized fisherman’s jerseys and open mesh chain collars. As winter deepens, shawls and capes, knitted jackets and diagonally cross-knitted vests go along with us, and cardigans enter into a Norwegian look.

Labels: Bieq, Burberry, Imps & Elfs, Kidscase, Ki6?, L’Asticot, Le petit Lucas, Little Duckling, Macarons, Molo, Popupshop, Rita co Rita, Simple Kids, Tootsa MacGinty

The art of knitting probably came into being in the Middle East in the second century and, over time, new techniques, patterns and target groups developed. While in the 16th century stockings were knitted from silk and the exclusive reserve of the upper class, around the year 1850 machine-knitting came into being in the course of industrialisation and a growing public took advantage of the “flexible material”. Now knitting has become an art form for example through yarn bombing by the Urban Knitting Guerrilla who cover telephone booths or trees in colourful knits. Fashion in turn benefits from this kind of creativity.

2. Ménage à Metallic

Gold, silver, bronze – this season everything is shining. Precious metals from head to foot for the brave. With their futuristic look, the smooth, glossy surfaces on jeans, skirts, leggings and leather jackets provide a sense of innovative materials and high quality fabrics. Lurex winds its way through tights, cardigans and smoking jackets, often also in connection with lush garden colours. Bags and shoes in metallic nuances round out the shiny image.

Labels: Bellerose, Cdec, Chloé, Il Gufo, Le Big, Max & Lola, Miss Blumarine, No Added Sugar, Parrot, Replay & Sons, Scotch R’Belle, Sprout by Gro, Wild

Shine is one of the six typical characteristics of metals. The atoms arrange themselves in a lattice structure of positively charged ions. This structure allows free electrons to re-emit almost the entire electromagnetic spectrum, including X-ray wavelengths. This creates shine and reflection. A favourite feature for magpies, glamour aficionados and mirror manufacturers.

3. Native American

As numerous as are the various Indian settlements, so too the many ethno-elements of the American indigenous peoples are varied and individual: feather decorations as prints on jersey, fringed jackets out of red-brown leather, even atypical prints on down jackets. Aztec designs knitted into leggings, leather skirts in natural berry tones, tulle skirts with real feathers woven in, eagle prints and pictures of wolf heads.

Labels: Gsus, Il Gufo, Lamantine, LeaLelo, Molo, Munster Kids, Nadadelazos, Roberto Cavalli Junior, Scotch R’Belle, Soft Gallery, Stella McCartney, The Brand, Tom’s, Tootsa MacGinty, Wovenplay

The indigenous peoples of northern and central America chose their clothes according to region, climate and the animal species of the region, and also to which group they belonged to. The various patterns and appliqués on the leather shirts, skirts, poncho-style jackets and moccasins displayed which tribe they belonged to. On festive occasions, their clothes would be more richly decorated, with porcupine quills, later also with glass pearls, horsehair and elk teeth. Accessories such as chains of bear claws and feather head-dresses completed the look.

4. Mix it

This season will be bright – and brightly mixed. Dots with zigzags, psychedelic stripes and Vichy checks, black and white checks, floral designs, houndstooth plaids, herringbone, Prince of Wales checks. These are teamed with clashing ornamentations and geometric shapes incorporating circles, block formations and peacock plumes. The resulting look is ultra-colourful, in brilliant pink, yellow, blue, green, purple, orange and red. A motley mix of textile bric-à-brac.

Labels: A for Apple, Boys & Girls, Frankie Morello Toys, Gsus, Indikidual, Marimekko, Marni, Max & Lola, Mini Rodini, Roberto Cavalli Junior, Simple Kids, Soft Gallery, Zorrro

In textile jargon the design is also called pattern repeat and is a repeated, continuous element used for decoration. It is uniquely created by printing, dyeing, knitting or weaving. Mixing patterns in the styling stage is regarded as the supreme creative discipline and is the crucial fine line between style and excess.

5. Oh Peter Pan

Peter Pan’s collar is re-released. Freed from the high-necked conservative image, it appears in the most creative shapes and adornments. Removable, with sequins on silk dresses, with crystal appliqués, also rustic with fringed edges on a pale violet cotton cape. The well-known white lace-edged variation on a white blouse is still present, but achieves a new aura due to unusual combinations with ultra-modern items.

Labels: Armani Junior, Elsy, Fendi, Finger in the nose, Il Gufo, Kitipongo, Marmelade & Mash, Marni, Max & Lola, Monna Lisa, Morley, Petit Bateau, Scotch R’Belle, Simonetta, Wovenplay

The Peter Pan collar appeared in the 1920s, a golden age for art, architecture and science. In 1924, Peter Pan, the main character in James Matthew Barrie’s children’s story, appeared for the first time in film – with a Peter Pan collar. This, presumably, was the source of inspiration for the fashion world which produced this playful and at the same time stern collar and baptised it “Peter Pan”.

6. As the animals left the forest

As if in a green encyclopaedia, animals and children romp together in the forest – in terms of fashion, of course. An owl with wide eyes and fitted beak perches on a backpack or clones itself a hundred times on a dress. Wolves, deer and bats display their faces in fine-line drawings on long-sleeved sweaters. Foxes are slyly knitted in red through cardigans, or get printed next to Bambi in cartoon or photo style. Only the bear appears as a warm, hooded pullover with fluffy ears.

Labels: Anne Kurris, Bonnie Baby, Finger in the nose, L’Asticot, Morley, Munster Kids, Oilily, Soft Gallery, Stella McCartney, Waddler, Zorrro

In this era of urbanisation and growth of supersized cities, a nostalgia for nature and serenity increases among the asphalt and concrete buildings. In megacities with populations in the tens of millions, there is room only for pets, rats and pigeons; the forest is far away, the zoo not affordable for everyone. So fashion brings wildlife into children’s rooms and takes children for an imaginary walk through the animal kingdom. 

7. The urban bow tie

In modern garb this beautifully tied accompaniment appears in a new urban variety. On pullovers as an appliqué, combined with a denim shirt. The look: awesome. Bow ties in fluorescent colours, huge and pink on a bright dress; also on a butler’s blouse for fun over a sporty jersey sweater. Checks are also fine, but only on T-shirts. And, in the right combination, and also padded and made from velvet.

Labels: Bang Bang Copenhagen, Mini Rodini, Molo, My little Dress Up, Scotch Shrunk

The bow tie, commonly also called dicky, is the elegant sister to the tie. This formal accessory was already being worn in a similar style in the 17th century, but only on festive occasions. Over the past few decades all ties have lost popularity in terms of general use. The bow tie has established itself exclusively for use with tailcoats and tuxedos as well as by waiters and snooker players.

8. Storytelling

Clothes tell stories – not only the wearer’s stories but also their own. Some brands base their collections on imaginary heroes and every season give them new adventures to experience. Others print or knit whole stories on their clothing and provide a matching picture book. Some brands suddenly produce protagonists as T-shirt prints or campaigns while other brands have picture book children undertake exciting tasks in their new collections.

Labels: Anne-Claire Petit, Anne Kurris, Mini Rodini, Munster Kids, Poppy, Oilily, Polo Ralph Lauren, Scotch R’Belle, Simonetta, Tannhauser

The telling of a story with pictures on a substrate has been a constant human activity ever since the early cave drawings. The ancient Egyptians illustrated their temples with carvings in relief; in the Middle Ages legends and events were knotted and woven into tapestries. The advantage of pictorial representation lies in the elimination of the language barriers, whether written or spoken. This type of design always married usefulness and decoration.

9. Elite School

Classic and traditional, but conventional only to a certain degree. The school uniform is flexible. The duffle coat transforms into an A-line or the waist is dropped and fluffy teddy bear lining is added. Jackets are made of grey jersey and even school coats of arms with lions appear embroidered on sporty sweatshirts. Tartan is brightly blended ad appears on checked dresses, shorts, knee-high stockings and sneakers; there are tank tops, striped polo sweaters and loafers whose Budapest seams reveal unexpected colours.

Labels: Armani Junior, Bellerose, Boss, Burlington Junior, Dondup, Fendi, Finger in the nose, Fred Perry, Il Gufo, Miss Blumarine, Pepe Jeans, Polo Ralph Lauren, Simonetta, Sisley, Tuss

School uniforms have long traditions, especially in countries where free education for children was established early. This first occurred in England as early as under the rule of Henry VIII, and in Japan in the late 19th century. The school dress of British elite schools is typical, distinguished by the shirt, trousers or skirt and jacket, mostly with tie and leather shoes. Some countries, for example in Germany, where school uniforms have not been the norm for about 60 years, are starting various projects to introduce school clothing, albeit contemporary and functional.

10. Colours in the Cold

Are the colours in winter subdued and in summer loud? Not always. The gap between yellow corduroy pants and pink ponchos is filled with coats in lemon or apple green, rust-red anoraks, banana yellow parkas and purple clog boots. Jeans are vivid blue, dresses in crab-red or in the colours of the rainbow. Not to be forgotten: prints in fluorescent orange, turquoise and rose red.

Labels: Bellerose, Benetton, Burberry, Diesel, Kik-Kid, Kidscase, Maan, Morley, Nono, Oilily, Re-Hash, Tannhauser, Tumble ’n Dry, Woolrich

In general, the colours of clothes match their surroundings. Camouflage in the jungle, khaki in the desert; bright with the blossoming flowers in spring and summer; and in winter when the trees are bare and the gloomy nights long, the colours remain fashionably dark. Plants and animals match their colouring to their circumstances, camouflaging or displaying themselves. Since humans manage their own life conditions, they are freer in the choice of colours and can deliberately make themselves feel more comfortable and warm on dark, cold days with a colourful ambience.


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