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Anything new next winter?

Ski wear trends for 2012/2013

Just back from the ISPO, we report on the latest winter resort fashion trends for 2012/2013...

This year’s trends back up what we saw on the slopes last season. There’s nothing particularly revolutionary textile-wise but then again, the market can’t make breakthroughs every year. As the industry generally moves faster than the consumer, it leaves you time to digest the present season’s innovations, such as the new ultra breathable membranes (cf. 2011/2012 ski wear trends). High breathability will be a major selling point again next winter as the brands promote garments featuring thermoregulation, heat input and protection. The 2012/2013 look will be practical and very high quality, and we predict less flashy and more stylish. Winter 12/13 promises to be more discreet...
Welcome to... the newcomers
There are several newcomers... especially for women: Quiksilver Women has launched a highly successful mountain wear collection with items for all budgets, ranging from €199 to €499. Extremely classy, the range is clearly streetwear-inspired, with a perfecto, a parka and an anorak. The trousers are also from off the streets with a great high-waist-hugging model, carrot leg trousers and vintage-inspired leggings. Colours are muted in black or beige, and the collection includes eco-friendly two pieces for those who want to look good while showing their respect for nature.

Bridging snowboard and ski, Dakine, the famous accessories label, has taken the leap and launched into the world of outerwear with a collection of nine jackets and six trousers for men, and six jackets and three trousers for women (between €220 and €429). Promoting quality, practicality and design, the brand has stuck to its principles and respect for mother nature with Bluesign certified materials and 100% recycled PET fabric for some items. Corupt has also produced some outerwear lines featuring cutting-edge colour block. Dolomite, the Italian label founded in 1897, has now launched its ‘Monclerisantes’ range on the French market with Italian style patched puffers! Another Italian label, La Sportiva, world leader in climbing shoes and mountaineering boots, has also entered the textiles market with a collection designed for alpine skiing, racing, touring and freeride, with hard and soft shell, and light, super stretch competition garments. Finally, Adidas Outdoor can also be seen all over the top slopes, with ultra technical and distinctive products.
DaKine moves into skiwear
Colour or not... you choose!
Colours are still in and the range is infinite. You can choose between a wide range of playful and flamboyant colours or... none at all.
Both options are highly fashionable this year. Bright, flashy colours for the 80’s neon look, with bold combinations of violet and orange, red and lime green, like at Norrona, the Norwegian label, adopted by the Haglöfs, Salewa and others... Outfits flaunting more than five colours in a harlequin-of-the-snow style are also hot stuff… you just need to be brave!
Colour block has been around for a few seasons, and many of the labels, whatever their leanings, now feature geometric or asymmetric inserts: check out The North Face, Orage, Picture and Rip Curl...
Rip Curl jacket
There’s also a return to a unified, all-over look: Rossignol has taken this up with the spicy and colourful alpine Pursuit range, featuring all red or all orange, for example, although it still offers its mix-and-match options. Seb Michaud, the professional Sun Valley freeride champion, has also been seen in an all yellow outfit and as pro-riders are generally acknowledged trendsetters, it’s a sign worth noting!
To sum up, if you’re looking for the star colours for winter 12/13, violet will be riding the slopes on men and women alike, lime green is making headway, camellia rose is still popular as is electric blue, orange is making a real comeback and there’s still lots of red around.
However, in contrast to the explosion of colours we’ve been seeing in the last three or four years, clever designers who set the trends rather than follow them have gone back to close fitting, simple cuts in natural shades. Nature-inspired colours are all the rage again, found on versatile jackets with high usage value that you can wear as easily on the slopes as in town or to work. Look for olive and brown, beige and tobacco, navy blue and grey, sometimes combined with brighter colours and sometimes not!
Cuts & styles: close-fitting, tribal, workwear...
Snowboard is often streets ahead of the fashion game. That’s what’s happened with the ‘slim’ which has just reached the world of ski: cuts are more fitted but they’re still highly mobile with all-stretch or soft shell products. Tailor-fitted garments will be high style in 2012/13, with a more urban and casual look for both trousers and jackets, and a lot of longer parkas that can be worn on the slopes or back to work, making a really great crossover product. The crossover is yet another of the popular trends launched last winter.
If you’re a dedicated follower of fashion, you won’t have missed the neo folk, Cheyenne and tribal look that’s been on all the ready-to-wear racks since last season. Well now it’s reached the world of ski. Orage has produced a really cute Eskimo collection. Oxbow is once again featuring the jacquards that made its name, the Skolpen, that it’s adapted for an all-over look on its technically advanced jackets or on a wind-stopper wool jacket. Like Oxbow, many labels are putting small touches of tribal prints on the cuffs or trimmings when they don’t use it as an all-over look.
Ethnic folk at Orage
Sexy but stylish women looking to stand out in the snow opt for garments that lengthen the silhouette, cinch the waist and make legs longer. Stretch ski pants are still hot stuff, and fur and cashmere are also often being teamed up.

Another backward-looking trend, which nonetheless comes round winter after winter, is the neo-retro look with a range of often classic colours like red, white and blue with vintage embroidery trimmings on the back, badges, flocking, zips and seaming. These garments are designed for skiers, but can also be worn for après-ski. Check them out at Schöffel, Fusalp, the 1907 line by Rossignol, Vuarnet, Killy, Odlo...

Puffers never die! Nothing else is as warm, as well-insulated and as comfortable. Don’t forget when you’re choosing goose down, the higher the ratio of down to feather, the warmer the product.
1907 line, neo-retro style at Rossignol
The Formula 1 style is also big on the ski slopes, bucking the freeski, freerando trend. Rossignol with its World Cup line and Vuarnet got the ball rolling. The brand has stepped up the pace with outfits adopted by the Russian national ski team. At Killy, the alpine style predominates with a racing slant. The collection has gone for perfection, using the very best fabrics like Dermizax NX, an exclusive, highly breathable and ultra soft fabric. Schöffel has also designed a sports version for riders on the slopes. Eider has also targeted the alpine skier with its Focus line, while Colmar’s collection shows that racing’s in its blood.
Stylish and comfortable...
First seen in 2011/12, the workwear and lumberjack style has spread like wildfire! Inspired by Carhartt, the labels have reclaimed authentic codes like thick and tough canvas, hooks and rivets, and leather insets that can be attached to ski wear. Faded, cracked, grunge-style jeans give a slim look. 686 has teamed up with Dickies, the benchmark workwear label! Oxbow goes back to its origins with the line developed with JP Solberg, featuring workwear dungarees and the long, fitted jacket with anti-abrasion protections, available in earthy colours.

Another big hit, denim is everywhere. It might be genuine membrane denim fabric or a denim photo printed onto a technical fabric that gives an amazingly authentic look.
Stretch is now a standard. 50% of the Rip Curl collection uses stretch fabrics to name just one. Fabrics are increasingly flexible, silent (they’re completely noiseless when you put them on or fold them) and silky to touch. Their flexibility means you’ll be more comfortable and they won’t hamper your movements. Once you’ve tried, you won’t want anything else…
Workwear at Oxbow
They’ve got it all: funky fashionable kids
Finally, children are all the rage! The brands are going all out to make their mark in this rapidly growing market. Eider, for instance, has made a comeback on the 6/14 year-old market. The technology, design and colours are borrowed from the adult sector, with jacquard prints for girls, checks and colour block for boys.
Picture is also targeting the 8/14 year-old segment: the eco-friendly yellow label has moved into the market with the same high standards and recycled fabrics as for adults.
Fusalp, the sixty-year-old label, also recognises the market’s potential. It’s gone for luxury, with a new prestige line borrowed from the grown-ups featuring top-of-the-range finish and fabrics, and extravagant accessories like hoods trimmed with real fur. Perhaps just a bit over the top… luxury’s not always in the best of taste…
The No Panik line for 2-16 year-olds is more fun: it combines vivid solid colours with floral prints on puffers for girls and lumberjack checks for boys. The fabrics are highly abrasive resistant and lined with polar fabric for warmth and comfort. Luxury also features in the 8/16 year-old girl’s line by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac for Rossignol, in smaller versions of Mum’s wear with puffers in Indian pink, white, or vermillion red with black stripes. Rossignol has based its 8/16 year-olds collection on the technology designed for adults but with purpose-designed prints. It’s also brought out a range for tiny tots between 2 and 6 years old who can slide around the snow in a printed flying suit.

Salewa, 686 and B. Snowboards have come up with an astute way of following children’s growth to make the gear last longer. The Youth Evolution System at 686 allows for up to 5 cm extra growth room thanks to additional fabric in the lining. At B. Snowboards, you can add an extra 3 cm by unpicking the hem. At Salewa, the Growing System lets you extend the garment using a cord. Great arguments to win over parents.
Rossignol Junior collection
Fabrics: a return to nature
When it comes to fabrics, the return to nature is reflected in earth colours, marked by the use of genuine or ‘false’ natural fabrics. Bergans of Norway for instance uses wool in all of its layers from the protective jacket to the thermal under-garments. The Osen de Bergans model is unique in the field of technical garments: this hybrid jacket has a wool and goose down membrane, resulting in a natural, light, warm and windcheater garment. According to Bergans, the Pontetorto wool used is the benchmark in technical wools. Eider offers soft shell in wool, like the beautiful Sacorro jacket.
Many of the (synthetic) polar brands produce a wool effect, like Degré 7 which also produces real wool and cashmere jumpers following its takeover of Clayeux. Among the natural effect fabrics, there’s lots of velvet and canvas in the 12/13 collections.
The eco-friendly wave is growing with more and more brands using recycled PET and taking more interest in the product’s life cycle, like the pioneer Patagonia which recycles jackets brought back to the store. Oxbow also works for the planet with a new 100% recycled and 100% recyclable jacket thanks to a partnership with a French industrial firm that transforms the product at the end of its life. As for Lafuma, the environmentally friendly labels are not just pie in sky...
Weather-wise: linings give all they’ve got 
The garments might seem simple but it’s often inside where it’s all at, and the brands have put everything they've got into thermoregulation. Degré 7 plays with the weather with a jacket that adapts to the conditions. The linings are in down with a system of removable pads. Lumbar support systems are fixed behind the spine with highly breathable padding for maximum comfort. The outside features technology that’s just now being patented: Thermoshape® 100% ultra bi-stretch that shapes around the seamless shoulders for men and around the back for women, following movements to ensure comfort and flexibility.
Helly Hansen is gambling on the air circulation advantages of the Flow System: the label uses hexagonal down or Primaloft padding to provide as much warmth as possible and to evacuate excess warmth and humidity via air channels between the pads.
Eider offers combined insulation with down in the back, and the highly breathable Cocona padding. Columbia continues to promote its Omni Heat Electric heating system and its survival blanket-type aluminium lining. Oakley has devised a modular garment where you can peel off or pile on the layers, adapting to all weather conditions.
The mountain looms high
Ski mountaineering, freerando, ultra steep slopes and corridors…there are more and more versions of the high mountain freeride jacket, and many outdoor brands – mostly Scandinavian but not all – are out to make their mark in the alpine ski sector. While the overall look is generally simple, the colours are bright and contrasting with cutting edge technical prowess in highly breathable, waterproof products that are abrasion resistant, ultra light, soft and flexible. An increasing number of these typical outdoor sport garments are also being seen around town!
For a few examples and brand names:
The Vassi jacket by Haglofs won the ISPO award. In Gore-Tex pro 3L, the air ventilation zips have been moved to the front of the jacket so that air can reach the torso, and they’re easy to get at even with a rucksack. The wide cut means it can harbour a back protector.
The Vassi jacket by Haglofs
Salewa has teamed up with Glen Plake, the living freestyle ski legend. In 3-layered Powerstretch, the collection has left nothing to chance, meeting all demands, including for style and colour.
Montagne d’Eider based its line on high breathability with Gore-Tex® Active Shell® and the new Thinsulate padding for insulation. It also features a specific new sealskin pouch with netting so that water can run off the back of the jacket. The range also includes Neoshell and the new Aquaguard zips with advanced closure technology that keeps water out.
At Millet, the new Couloir Caché line has been designed for riders who combine freeride and mountaineering. Produced in Gore-Tex®, it offers ergonomics, fluidity and protection, with a reinforced Dual Tech construction featuring revolutionary, ultra light YKK zips. for all the latest ski and snowboard wear advice.

We’re also preparing a short review of the latest equipment trends for 2012/13. Check out how to complete your look....
Text and pictures: Sandra Stavo-Debauge
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