Industry has to innovate, and fashion is no exception to this obvious rule. The interesting elements, however, are always in the detail of how such innovation is implemented. Fashion designers – somewhat familiar with the importance of detail – are having to become adept at employing sophisticated tools such as laser cutting, as well as new materials, including graphene. This allows brands to meet ever-increasing customer expectations as well as address cultural concerns – particularly environmental ones.
Stella McCartney, Aeance or Ministry of Supply are just a few among those pushing the boundaries of traditional fashion to invent the dress of tomorrow. From water-repellent jackets emulating the natural protection developed by plant life, to smart jewellery doubling as health trackers: here is a selection of the most cutting-edge apparel from 2018, paving the way for the industry standards of 2019.
Loro Piana’s anti-storm jacket
No need to brace yourself for morning commutes under the rain anymore: Loro Piana’s Storm Systems line combines natural fibres with advanced fabric technology. Its Rain System treatment which is applied to the surface of the jacket ensures that it remains water-repellent and protects against dust, dirt and liquid stains. The back of the fabric is windproof, and its light micromolecular and microporous absorbent membrane wicks perspiration outwards while preventing humidity from entering.
Zegna Techmerino’s wash & go suit, and green-manufactured garments by Aence
Suit-haters may reassess their dislike of the workplace staple should they encounter this garment manufactured from Techmerino fabric – pure merino wool that has been treated to ensure maximum comfort and thermo-regulation to keep the skin dry and body temperature constant. The material’s elasticity also ensures a consistent fit while allowing greater movement of the body, two improvements that will be welcomed by those least fond of traditional smart dressing. What’s more, the garments can be laundered at home, washed at a temperature of 30°C using a dedicated case and ironed as needed. Start giving your farewells to your dry cleaner. zegna.co.uk, £1,300.
The laser cut details and bonded non-stitch seams of Aeance’s garments belie their green manufacturing credentials. They’re produced in Switzerland, Italy and New Zealand using textile mills that comply with strict standards that encourage eco-sustainability.
ECONYL Trench coat by Stella McCartney, eco-friendly tights by Aeance, and smart jewelry by Leaf Urban
Econyl is a process that recycles nylon waste from the ocean to create new fabric and remould it for fashion products. The material can be regenerated and reshaped infinitely without losing its virgin nylon quality. stellamccartney.com, £1,365
Leaf Urban Smart Jewellery can be worn as a bracelet, necklace or clip, but it does more than adorn. From activity, stress and sleep tracking to meditation and breathing exercises, it also helps to monitor your health. The design shuns screens and buttons: data can be accessed via smartphone. johnlewis.com, £130
Aeance tights are a model of innovative eco-friendliness: even the Elastane component of this high-performance compression fabric is composed of recycled yarns. The material is warp-knitted while details, including the back pocket, are all laser cut. aeance.com, £180
The Ice Jacket: a collaboration between Dyneema and Stone Island
Since its first heat-sensitive garment was introduced in 1988, Stone Island has consistently innovated its materials, and its Ice Jacket, produced in partnership with Ecco Leather and Dyneema Project, continues this tradition. The leather, which is bonded to Dyneema’s fabric – the strongest and most resistant fibre in the world – is coated with thermosensitive agents that react to temperature changes. These molecules are encased in resin, causing them to drastically change colour as degrees drop. That’s your next party trick sorted. stoneisland.com, £2,995
Aeance’s jacket that naturally repels water
Using renewable primary products, ecorepel Bio imitates plants’ natural protection from water and aqueous dirt, resulting in the formation of water droplets in the morning dew, for example. Applied to the jacket, the thin film produced by ecorepel Bio ensures water is effectively repelled, and is permanently odourless as well as free from PFC. Sustainability meets high-performance. aeance.com, £468
Ten c’s adaptive coat, a 3D- knitted top from Ministry of Supply, ecorepellent trousers by Aeance and Stella McCartney’s sustainable sneakers
With the Original Japanese Jersey (OJJ) by Ten c, you will become what you wear. Literally. The coat is made of a knitted microfibre fabric produced in Japan and finished in Italy, which moulds itself to your body with time and use. Each jacket becomes the personal patina of its user, and is therefore designed to last longer. With such individualised clothing, Ten c hopes to reduce textile consumption and waste. 18montrose.com, £825
This 3D print-knit top is designed to adapt to a body in motion: it is constructed as one continuous piece of fabric with no seams for a better fit. Seamless production also allows for 40 per cent less fabric waste in the cutting process. Instead, the high-loft yarn can contract while at rest to provide weightless warmth, then expand during movement to release excess heat. ministryofsupply.com, £115
Aeance’s ultra-light long trousers are coated with ecorepel Bio’s water-repellent film, which also protects the fabric from aqueous dirt by copying the natural mechanisms found on leaves to protect plants from water. aeance.com, £290
Stella McCartney’s loop sneakers with built-in socks are created with renewable fabrics that can be separately recycled at the end of the trainer’s life. The upper and the sole are stitched together without any glue, so the stitching can be removed and the parts easily separated. stellamccartney.com, £525
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