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Adventures of A Knitting Time Traveler: Spin Expo 2020

Most of the time working in the fashion industry can make you feel like a time traveler. When I have conversations with other people in the industry there is a good chance that at some point in the conversation someone will pause and ask “what year is this”. Like a time traveler dropped into a new reality. I’ve been watching a lot of Outlander.

Many of us spend our days working from a few months to even a few years ahead of the real world. If you’re a buyer you’re a few months behind a designer who’s working a few months behind a mill, who’s a few months or years behind a trend spotter. Depending on who you’re talking with it can be extremely confusing. Trade shows are a touch stone. The moment when designers can explain their products to buyers and, in the case of Spin Expo, when mills and trend spotters can share what they’ve been up to with designers. Maybe it’s because I’m a nerd at heart, but Spin Expo is my favorite part of the high fashion knitwear industry. I started coming about five years ago and my lanyards sit on my desk reminding me of something to look forward to throughout the rest of the year. It’s my World Cup.


Every year around the same time I make the trip to a Marriott in NYC, almost as though on auto pilot. Until I reach a black van with the words Spin Expo typed out on the side. I rarely ask the driver if I’m in the right place. We simply give each other a knowing glance. Mine “Are you going to kidnap me or take me to yarn?” His “Please don’t be obnoxious and get in the van”. Without any further verification I get into the black van and act like I’ve never been in a fancy car before that moment. I love going to Spin early and on the first day for a lot of reasons. But if I’m honest a big piece is that I get to have a party van all to myself. There’s something about having a disco on a Tuesday morning that brings me so much joy.

After checking in I take the obligatory wander through the booths. The older I get the less and less I care about what other people think of me, but this fashion crowd is particularly judgy. When I feel like I have spent enough time looking professional I make a b-line to the magical trends room. The show is for Fall/Winter 2020 so it will be a while before you see these on the runway and even longer until you see them on the rack.

The rooms are broken down by the inspirations that trend spotters have pulled together. It’s an opportunity for the mills to show designers exactly what they are capable of. It’s also a way for designers to envision what the yarns will look like when they hopefully order yardage or cones.


This year’s trends, or should I say the trends for 2020, are broken down into the following categories: Memories & Performance, Disruption, Refuge, Emergence, and Personal Patterns. I was pleasantly surprised at the lean towards inclusivity and diversity in the trend descriptions. I have to say it’s nice to know that trend spotters believe that’s the direction the industry is going in. For now we will just have to wait until Fall 2020 (shows come out in February 2020) to see if the designers decide to bring these ideas into their collections and companies. My hope is that they will. Below are my favorite moments from the future and a simplified breakdown of what they mean.



Memories & Performance

Functional*Intelligent*Futuristic*Form Fitting*Stretch


Disruption

Blends*Contrasting Combinations*Twists On Traditions*Chaos*Funky Knitwear


Refuge

Breaking the Mould*Recycled Plastics*Unfinished Appearance*Blending Natural With High-Tech



Emergence

Traditional But Imperfect*3D Textures*Simple Shapes*Boundary Pushing Fibers


Personal Patterns

Gender Fluidity*Accessible To Everyone*Comfort



Drool Worthy Techniques
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Which swatch was your favorite? You can follow my Instagram account @bobbleclubhouse for your daily dose of all things fiber. Until next time, happy crafting! 






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