High-tech at New York Fashion Wee

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Fashion – Here is New York fashion week update. 

By Ellen Wulfhorst

The newest in technology is driving the latest in fashion this week in New York, where hundreds of designers are unveiling their looks for spring.

From cutting-edge fabrics to wearable smart clothing, technology will be grabbing the spotlight at the semi-annual event that kicks off on Thursday and draws thousands of buyers, media and fans to see the newest styles.

“Technology is what’s moving fashion forward,” said Ken Downing, fashion director and senior vice president at Dallas-based retailer Neiman Marcus.

This week in New York, Downing said he expects to see romanticized gypsy looks that hearken to the 1970s but are modernized with high-tech patterns or fabrics.

“It’s styled with real sensibility of looking forward,” Downing said. “It’s gypsy with a modern lens.”

Silhouettes will be casual and relaxed but made of fabric that has inherent, subtle structure, thanks to technological advances, said Roseanne Morrison, fashion director at The Doneger Group, which researches and analyzes fashion industry trends.

“It’s a coating. It’s a finish,” she said. “That’s pushing the business forward.”

The newest fabrics are making garments, even shoes, stretchy, softer and more comfortable as well, she added.

“Everything is easy to wear,” she said. “Everything moves with the body.”

The influence of high-tech fabrics on fashion is huge but to the untrained eye can go unnoticed, said Clare Varga, head of youth, denim, kidswear and active at WGSN, which predicts trends and style for the fashion and retail industries.

“That’s the key point here: Performance fabrics are now indistinguishable from non-performance fabrics,” she said. “They are both high-performing and aesthetically beautiful.”

For example, she said, ripstop fabrics were popular in sport attire for being lightweight, rugged and breathable but have proven to be gracefully diaphanous in fashion.


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