Just like Pitti Bimbo, this season is the 73rd edition of the FIMI childrenswear tradeshow. With more than 260 exhibitors, it is the largest so far held at the exhibition centre in Valencia. Custo Growing was notably missing from the stands, although with the increased numbers of exhibitors and press prescence, the fair felt at it's most lively. The catwalk shows, also increased in number from last season, showcased plenty of emerging trends.
Monochrome voluminous dresses dominated the occasion wear catwalk - in Spain, the celebration of Communion is so popular that there are a giant number of designers to cater for the dresses required. We met the designer of label Cap-Ras, Els Dendooven, who works with her mother-in-law to create such outfits. Els told us that whilst traditionally these gowns are brilliant white and almost larger-than-life, she is working to inject more of a fashion edge into her collection. We certainly spotted dresses with rose detail, peach and nude hues and knee lengths, pink and grey layered dresses and boho gowns with draped sleeves amongst the more traditional, larger affairs. The boys strode confidently down the catwalk in Hugo Boss suits with the sleeves pushed up, lending an '80s vibe. With the furore still surrounding the Royal Wedding, perhaps the trend in Spanish occasion wear could travel further afield.
The 'Fifties vs the 'Eighties
Voluminous, knee length circle skirts with flattering drop waists are in for girls next Summer, giving a somewhat '50s feel. We loved the elegant styles seen at Fina Ejerique, offset with drop waists. This is set against the '80s vibe in boyswear, presented in neon T-shirts with white knee length shorts, cool shades and a definite trend for slicked back shoulder length hair, which we didn't see at the February edition of FIMI.
Frills and Fancies
As we saw at Bubble, the design is in the detail for SS12. Elena Rubio presented swimsuits with ruffled edges and mulit-ruffled bikinis. Oversized bows are a trend that is here to stay as seen in lots of the hair pieces and on dresses - as seen at Nurietta. We also love the trend emerging for scalloped edging, which has been popular for SS11 womenswear, and spotted at Chloé and Fina Ejerique amongst others.
As ever for the summer months, pops of colour are sure to be present. Hot colours for SS12 include neon orange and bright turquoise, as seen at Hugo Boss, set against brilliant white and navy blue for both boys and girls. Lilac is another key colour for the season, as seen on lots of the swimwear cover-ups and at gorgeous girlswear label, Fina Ejerique. Luxe sportswear is also popular, as seen at Monta, where we again saw the boys wearing pushed up sleeves, hooded short sleeve zip jackets and loose fit knee length shorts - highly reminiscent of the early '90s TV programme, Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Plenty of number prints on the back of jackets and on legs of shorts. This styling was also seen at Tumble 'n' Dry, in a more chic style - with the addition of harem trousers for girls and a slightly softer colour palette. Oca-Loca, a girlswear label which is hugley popular in Spain, showed lots of brightly coloured grass skirts, lime green dresses, hot pink crop tops and juicy headwear that Carmen Miranda would be proud of.
On the stands...
CWF presented Timberland, DKNY and Hugo Boss; we wondered whether Little Marc Jacobs will be the new additition to the stand next season. Turquoise and orange were prominent on clothing and footwear. Molo once again rocked the neon-colour vibe, with the addition of some super-cool bright orange and yellow rucksacks worn by the little mannequins.
Chloé certainly stole the style show, with some gorgeous high-fashion pieces for girls. We loved the silk orange jumpsuit with bow-tie waist, thin straps and ballerina front top. Continuing the ballet feel, a white multi-layered tutu skirt was teamed with an understated nude T-shirt and scallop edge pumps - an adorable outfit.
Spanish label Tarantela showed an impressive collection (not too dissimilar in styling to Chloé) with a balloon skirt orange dress and a petrol blue skirt teamed with a chalky, ditzy print top and straw trilby - all very cool, 'Kate Moss goes to Glastonbury' festival chic.
All photographs and videos taken by Catherine Hudson using the iPad 2, available at Vodafone price plans from £229