The winter 2013–14 children's fashion previews were presented at the 76th Pitti Bimbo fashion fair in Florence last week. This year's trends are consistent with the path taken last season and favourite touches such as crystal decoration, ruffles, and retro inspiration still hold strong. Here are our highlights of the most prevalent trends that you'll expect to see next winter...
Colours... Purple, emerald green, grey, mustard yellow, cherry red, black, whitemonochrome, pastel shades, metallic tones in silver, copper and gold.
Fabrics... Brocade, textured and tufted fabric finishes, cords, tule, Swarovski decoration, metal rock'n'roll studding, plain wool, herringbone tweed, big chunky textured knits. Sweat fleece is used for trousers and jackets for boys and, as an economical measure, for dresses and jackets for girls, sometimes overprinted to imitate lace or knitwear.
Pattern... 70s inspiration with stars and hearts are very popular, tiny bird prints at Cavalli and Gucci, little hearts at Iludia and stars at Monnalisa. Aztec and tribal prints are seen at the more sports-inclined labels. Animals and woodland creatures, such as owls, foxes and squirrels, are still incredibly popular for graphic prints and appliques and, in keeping with a heritage theme, there was plenty of tartan and plaid for both boys and girls.
Shape... Fit 'n' flare skirts, pinafore and A-line dresses, drop waists, asymmetrical hems, and higher at the front lampshade shape for girls were particularly common. There was also a lot of fine pleating for skirts and dresses, sometimes with drop hems.
Padded jackets were everywhere for both sexes, partly because of their practicality and sellability for the season; there were certainly fewer plain wool overcoats this year. Where there were wool styles, they tended towards the classic Chanel style or a modern clean look with collarless lines.
There was quilting using patterned fabrics, another 70s retro inspiration, notably with a jacket at Cacharel but also in boyswear on knees and elbows for a biker look.
Accessories... Lots of badges, bow ties or glasses for boys, who often had heavy accessorising using chunky scarves and contrast coloured socks with rolled-up hem jeans, flat caps and the odd Mohican pull-on hat.
Girls got net veil hats, knee socks, gilets and skinny waist belts and Russian-style Cossack fur hats which will have gone down well with the record 400 Russian buyers at this edition.
Boots were often trainer style high-tops or brogues all covered in studs, sequins, mixes of metallic and leopard print or multi-buckled and strapped. Metallic leather is not going to be going anywhere soon as it seems still the most popular choice for leather boots from ankle to knee high.