Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Authenticity key at Capsule Paris, brands focus on heritage design values

Capsule spring/summer 2010, Paris
26-28 June 2009

Progressive streetwear trade-show Capsule, hosted its third Paris edition last month, with a discerning offer of mostly menswear and accessories brands. Contemporary, designerwear, casual and sportswear labels showed summer collections that majored on authenticity and heritage design values. Many brands told the story of their making with localized, vintage inspirations.

It's one of the best, not to mention earliest indications of the forthcoming season's trends - and boasts an impressive list of international retailers scouting brands that will make a difference. Even US trends website PSFK said it wished it could have attended. (Despite the fact that Capsule travels to NY and Vegas in the next month for repeat shows - I guess they just couldn't wait.) Well I couldn't wait to post my report either! I've highlighted trends and a few of my favourite brands, plus posted my usual album of photos - see end of report for link.

Captions top to bottom: Haversack, Creative Recreation, Camo, April 77, Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair

Organiser Edina Sultanik-Silver said she thought the mix of labels from Europe, Japan and the US was Capsule’s strongest to date and after only three seasons the show has quickly become a must visit for independent boutiques and department stores. She added there has been an influx of Japanese, Asia and US buyers this season paying particular attention to the British contingent due to the weakened pound. “The show is pitched as both progressive and saleable and we feel the market level is coming together with an interesting mix of heritage and new brands, balancing edgy with mainstream.”

Commercial trends & key pieces

Summer outdoor pursuits, classic nautical and authentic workwear pieces appeared as commercial themes. Light summer knits and jersey outerwear were surprising bestsellers among exhibitors. Highlights such as fine gauge cable fisherman knits, matelot stripes, short workwear or equestrian blazers, worn-out look shirting or long-sleeve placket front tops, whimsical floral prints and pleat-front tailored shorts all injected some newness into the men’s streetwear and contemporary arena for spring/summer 10.

Brands to watch

Top picks from visitors at the show included Cole Rood & Haan, Haversack, SNS Herning, Norsea Industries and Our Legacy. US fashion journalist & stylist Cator Sparks said: “I love the original story-telling aesthetic behind brands such as Our Legacy, Gitman Vintage, Cole Rood & Haan or SNS Herning. Fashion brands have to show their authenticity nowadays.”

Online retailer, My Wardrobe creative director Luisa de Paula added that British brands such as Garbstore, JW Anderson, Peter Jensen, Oliver Spencer, Lou Dalton, B-Store and Lyle & Scott were her key show picks.


5th Avenue Shoe Repair – this Swedish contemporary brand has become a hot export from Stockholm Fashion Week, and with womenswear as popular as its menswear offer the label is attracting an increasingly high-end stockist base. Key pieces for spring/summer 10 are drop crotch trousers, asymmetric seams and shorter blazer style jackets. Inside out lining and pocket details ensure parka style coats look fresh while washed out linen shirting and bleached denim add a summer vibe. A whimsical paisley print for shirts and tailored shorts injects some pattern interest.

April 77
– French denim and music brand April 77 is growing in collection size as well as global stockist list. Now separated into premium and core lines the three main themes for SS10 were rock n roll music, 80s denim or Apache Indian. Watch out for the myriad stone-wash denim options (on treggings too), camouflage or lumberjack print patterns and Apache Indian meets mid-Western desert styling touches.

Camo – Italian designer Stefano Ughetti looked to equestrian inspirations for his sportswear inspired collection with Arabian style dressing a clear direction. He learned how to ride horses especially for the designing process (in order to understand the functionality needs of riders) and named each piece after specific breeds. Dropped-crotch trousers and shorts alongside striped front-placket shirting and jersey polo shirts are key and a perennial bestseller for Camo. While the bold colour palette of solid colours for unlined cotton jackets with leather pockets and trimmed fine gauge knit cardigans, simple SB2 soft-structured blazers and simple front pocket tees are all key.

Haversack – Japanese label Haversack is one to watch for its love affair with British and establishment dressing aesthetic. Military and nautical themes appeared on tailored linen and light wool jackets or more casual jersey based safari-esque pieces. Plenty of pockets on outerwear pieces and layering of paisley shirting, chequered knits and gingham jersey jackets had an eccentric appeal. Put it all together and this Japanese collection looks well travelled.

Norsea Industries - The rugged appeal of the ocean was also central to Lancashire based label Norsea Industries with designer Stephen X’s new collection called “The Romance of Nature”. No nonsense brushed cotton twill jackets, chinos, cotton striped knits and whimsical fish or floral illustrated designs adorned jersey tees and plain tabard button down tops. Classic designs from days gone by made modern again for discerning menswear fans who like to keep it simple.

Our Legacy – Jockum Hallin from Swedish menswear brand Our Legacy says that the label’s design ethos was developed with the Swedish outdoors way of life in mind. Everything is kept simple and easy to wear with hunting & fishing style jackets, corduroy giets, soft-handle washed linen shirts, jersey or loosely tailored shorts and light knits all key. Hallin says the idea behind the collection is that the wearer passes on favourite or cherished pieces to future generations.

SNS Herning - The authentic fisherman cable knits in light merino wool and sea-island cotton from Danish brand SNS Herning were one of the highest quality brand offers we’ve ever seen. This young brand is still finding its feet (with a healthy kick start from Dover Street Market in London) makes second-skin knitwear with a heritage dating back to the 1930s.


Creative Recreation
– the West Coast sneaker brand that features zip away high-top construction has extended its range to include summer-wear hiking boots and a range of canvas and leather brogue style shoes with asymmetric lacing details and soft rubber soles. The core range of high-tops has been updated for summer with over-painted and white-washed canvas, suede or leather options, texturised weave materials and dip-dyed designs.

Cole Rood & Haan
– a new heritage offer from US luxury accessories giant Cole Haan sees handmade tanning and last-making for shoes come into spotlight as the brand embraces the story of its beginning. With press notes stating: “In 1928 Cole, Rood & Haan Co was introduced in Chicago, the epicenter of the Jazz movement. Through his flair for design, Trafton Cole created the company’s reputation for quality and craftsmanship while Eddie Haan elevated the brand to one known for service and style.” 80 years later their spirit is back and parent company Cole Haan can enjoy its history once more. Autumn/winter 09 was the brand’s first outing at retail so spring/summer 10 will follow its limited distribution. Light tan, vegetable dyed leathers, contrast panels of canvas and pale lacing feature in the small collection that has a washed out and lovingly created quality feel.

– British footwear brand F-Troupe offered new madras and ticking stripe designs for its simple desert boot styles. Lightweight primary coloured suede boots carried the label’s signature hiking style lacing and the new white sole design carried across for boat shoes and lace up brogues.

Springcourt – the French sports shoe legend has embraced pattern and print for summer, with madras checks, pixilated graphics and Aztec designs as highlights. Grey marl canvas was a basic contrast to the metallic coloured leathers that had a more rock vibe especially the stars n stripes with gold and silver metallic options for statement footwear.

For captions and more photos:
Capsule SS10 Paris June 09