Why Metallic Fibers Are Hotter Than Ever for Fall 2010

Though we may still be in the doldrums of a recessed economy, there is no reason to let your wardrobe reflect caution and retraction.

Remember, fashion is always moving forward, regardless of tight pocket books or high unemployment. Bring the merry back this Fall/Winter season and make a bold statement in garments that sparkle, shimmer, and dance with metallic fibers.

The design houses of Chanel, Balmain, Armani Prive and Lanvin, as well as Loris Diran and Tadashi Shoji, have used metallic fibers in their collections for several seasons.

However, advanced textile technologies are providing new and innovative ways for designers to incorporate this continuing trend into their collections, and make this trend more accessible to the average consumer.

“I have been using metallic fibers in my collections for women since 2006, because it is a way to differentiate between women and menswear. Women have the luxury of being able to wear something as glamorous as gold lame and silver,” says Loris Diran.

“We use copper in our 2010 Fall/Winter Unspoken collection … Copper works well with warm, brown winter colors,” continues Diran.

In his 2010 Fall/Winter Unspoken collection, Loris Diran referenced the Silent Movie era. “If you look at the photos of what Louise Brooks, Gloria Swanson, and Theda Bara wore, they used a lot of metallic colors and fibers … Metallics brought out dimension and highlight that was used in clothing, make-up and hair. This whole aesthetic worked perfectly with our Fall/Winter 2010 collection,” says Diran.

Tadashi Shoji is also advancing this Fall/Winter trend. As the designer of choice for such red carpet divas as Monique, Deborah Messing, Tyra Banks, Emily Walsh, and Taraji Henson, Tadashi Shoji has expanded his consumer base by using metallic fibers in synthetic and cotton blends.

By incorporating these technological fabrics, which has been used by Japanese textile makers for some time, Shoji has been able to successfully dress a more voluptuous woman while maintaining his signature aesthetic of show stopping, classic silhouettes.

Some of these new technologies allow metallic fibers to hold shape, when combined with wools and cotton and synthetic blends, even after many washings or dry cleanings. When combined with cotton blends, metallic fibers also add an iridescent sheen.

This added bling is evidenced in Chanel’s 2010 Fall/Winter collection where cuffs and hemlines are embellished with metallic fibers, elevating the classic Chanel silhouette to a work of cheeky frivolity; a frivolity that is much needed in this dour, economic climate.

The innovative use of metallic fibers in linens lends itself nicely to resort and Spring/Summer collections, as well as menswear.

“To make a well-tailored men’s linen jacket and give it wonderful creases and textures is really exciting,” says Loris Diran.

Though you may not have the celebrity of Rihanna or Penelope Cruz, metallic dresses and accessories will make you feel like you are a part of the glitterati, even if you never saunter or strut on a red carpet.


Photos courtesy of Ernest Green and SirenPR.