Every season fashion throws out a word that has editors reaching for their dictionary. There was devoré (a pattern formed by burning the pile away with acid), Trompe-l'œil (a visual illusion in art) and the season Versace created Vunk, Donatella’s high end take on punk. Following on from the A/W14 shows, AnOther dissects this season’s fashion fabric lexicon.
Bouclé – Yarn with a looped or curled ply, or fabric woven from this yarn
Bouclé was created by Coco Chanel in 1954. The buckled tweed is signature to the brand, recognisable in classic Chanel suiting, as well as being reinvented every season in oversized curls, beaded embellishment and various sugary palettes. For A/W14, bouclé is applied to ragged-hemmed coats, slouchy box jackets and paired with torn jogging trousers and trainers. It was also seen as a homage to 80s Chanel power suiting at Meadham Kirchhoff in glittering lilac and navy.Smocking – Decoration on a garment created by gathering a section of the material into tight pleats and holding them together with parallel stitches in an ornamental pattern
Developed during the Middle Ages, smocking pre-dates elastic as a means of creating stretch fabric. Alexander McQueen combined this needlework technique with scalloped edges, pleating and pom-poms for an earthy A/W14 collection of gothic trapeze shapes and decadent tiers. The method was also deployed at Rodarte in the form of mustard and pastel honeycombs.Chevron – a V-shaped line or stripe; applied in a zig-zag fashion.
The insignia V was traditionally used within military uniforms to indicate rank. This season’s fashion army includes oversized chevron prints on Prada knitwear and painterly zig-zags washed across Burberry coats.Crêpe Georgette – a thin silk or crêpe dress material
Named after the early 20th century French dressmaker Georgette de la Plante, crêpe Georgette is characterised by its crinkly, sheer surface, created using a tight, twisted weave. For A/W14, Maison Martin Margiela used the lightweight fabric to create delicate dresses inspired by 1930s nightwear, while Valentino applied it to pop-art florals and harlequin diamonds.Armurè – A fabric woven with a raised pattern similar to chain mail
For A/W14, Fendi applied a painterly cubic print to armurè fabric. They took the idea of matching a technical fabric with an artistic pattern, something they also used on mesh. As tribal-inspired clothing and sportswear continue to spearhead fashion, armurè sits comfortably between the two. A previous favourite at Miu Miu, the term translates to armour in French and can be recognised by its cobbled surface.
Text by Mhairi Graham