Remember this scene from the 2006 film, The Devil Wears Prada?
In it, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) dresses down her new assistant Andy (Anne Hathaway), for not understanding where fashion comes from, for not realizing that from the heights of haute couture trickle down the colors (in this case, cerulean blue) and trends that the rest of will be wearing in a few years.
You can watch it here.
Now, I’ll admit that I am a bit like Andy. Living in western Colorado, my fashion sense tends more toward functionality and technical details, especially when it comes to ski clothes.
But I also love to check out the latest styles, trends and designs in ski fashion.
I hope you do, too.
The SIA SnowShow
Each year, during late January, the focus of the North American ski world – at least from a merchandising standpoint – shifts to Denver and the annual SIA SnowShow. With exhibitors and buyers from around the world, this is a good place to get a preview of the products and technologies to be found in stores come fall.
During the 2014 show, these were the trends of notice, as noted by SIA specialists and industry insiders.
1. Increasing high-end sales.
I don’t know if it’s a sign of an improving economy or if skiing women are upgrading from functional to fashionable, but in 2012-2103, the high-end segment of the market grew 9%.
According to Kelly Davis, the Director of Research for SIA, high-end consumers have three demands: flattering, tailored designs; technical, luxe fabrics and warmth.
These demands become design priorities and will trickle down to the rest of us, in these ways.
2. No Marshmallows.
Combining warm, efficient insulation with a slim silhouette can be difficult, but no woman wants to look fat. Down continues to be the compressible insulator of choice, but also look for new PrimaLoft Gold and PrimaLoft Silver down blends.
Some examples? Obermeyer’s Cruz Jacket that uses Primaloft Silver — a synthetic and down blend that insulates without excess bulk.
Also the Skea ANNA Jacket is a thigh length coat with down fill throughout the body and Thinsulate insulation on the sides to reduce bulk and make the fit more flattering.
3. Soft, Smooth, Stretchy.
While there is a focus on soft, tactile fabrics, there’s an equal emphasis on performance. Look for new fabrics with improved technical aspects, including enhanced wicking, breathability and waterproofing. Also, expect more stretch and elasticity for performance and comfort.
Examples include Norwegian brand KJUS’s new highly breathable fabric this season called White Dragon. Look for it in the KJUS FRX Jacket, while Italian maker COLMAR debuts a new fabric with active drying technology.
Also, the performance Etna Jacket from FERA, with a soft, nice-to-touch waterproof fabric that is, as they say it, “motion-optimized.”
4. Fur, Baby, Fur.
In 2012-2013, over half the best-selling products had fur, real or faux, detailing. And this trend continues.
A favorite furry look? The new Danielle Insulated Parka from FERA. Available in high-contrast black and white, this jacket combines athletic styling, with a slim fit, technical stretchy fabric and a luxe fur hood.
Another option that I like? Add some after-market fur in the form of an insulating collar from Tallis. Based in Switzerland, Tallis offers a fur helmet band/collar that’s easy to convert from one use to the other.
I have no problem with wearing a helmet and don ‘t worry about how it looks. So I love using my Tallis as a fur collar. Think of it as a neck gaiter that enhances warmth and style, feels great round your face and can take a plain-Jane jacket or shell to a new level.
5. Brights, Paired with Basics.
Some of the buzz words for this season’s jackets include bold tones, bright pastels, and attention-getting prints.
While many designers are pairing bright colors with black and white prints or solids, others, get a bit more crazy. Look for tropical prints and Scottish tartans from companies like Neve Designs and zebra and reversible neon prints from Skea.
Yep. Neon. It’s so back.
But not for me.
I just got a new FERA Etna Jacket in, wouldn’t you know — Cerulean blue.
I guess it’s back, too!
Many thanks to SIA and their comprehensive daily trade show highlights and story ideas for help with this post.
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