Antler chandeliers suspend above a towering stone hearth ornamented with antique snowshoes, wooden skis and fiberglass mounted elk heads as snow falls outside a windowpane … well, a digital one anyway.
This was the inviting scene last night transforming the Colorado Convention Center’s Mile High Ballroom into a dreamy ski chalet straight from a storybook.
The occasion? The 2013 SnowSports Industries America (SIA) Snow Fashion & Trends Show.
“For us, coming here we’re looking at the overall transformation of the room,” Adrienne Belk, of Sage Island marketing agency, said. “I thought it was phenomenal this year because it really feels cozy. It feels like you’ve just come off the slopes and you’re seeing the fashion first-hand.
Snow sports industry professionals gathered to mingle over cocktails and a live DJ while previewing fall/winter 2013/2014 collections featuring the latest in ski, snowboard, après and kids gear.
The industry’s premier fashion show kicked off the SIA Snow Show, the largest snow sports industry trade show in the world.
“With the Snow Fashion & Trends Show scheduled for the day before the Snow Show, we wanted to create a party atmosphere, welcome everyone to Denver and set the mood for the rest of the show,” David Ingemie, SIA’s president, said.
And, party it was. Hangout corners with leather-studded couches, vintage sled coffee tables and high-top tables bedecked in an ikat motif alight by string lights created an intimate setting.
But, the spotlight of the evening befell the garments themselves. Where technicality or high fashion usually wins, the collections featured met somewhere in the middle.
“It was really practical,” Vicki Vasil, director of marketing for Board Retailers Association, said. “It wasn’t too far. A lot of brands have lines that have $700 jackets … this gives a more practical application.”
“Quietude” – this was the theme Stylesight, NYC-based trend forecasting service and SIA’s partner, pinpointed for fall/winter 2013/2014 technical ski fashions.
A downplay of the color blocking trend prevailed on the runway.
Fischer Alpine Apparel’s black abetone jacket featured pastel yellow zipper details, while Descente’s cobalt blue and pine green multi zip jacket featured multiple zippers along the chest, each in a different primary color.
Sport Obermeyer took their own spin on blocking colors in an understated way with color-blocked pockets on their minimalistic red batten pant.
“It was really cool how the ski poles coordinated with all the ski gear. It customizes it just like you do your iPhone cases.” – Jessica Nelson, Tool Studios
On the other end, there were pants in watercolor ikat prints from NILS, long underwear to be proud of from POLARMAX and trapper hats with unique ethnic details from Screamer.
But, perhaps what stole the show were Malibu Cowboy’s boots: knee-high, in supple leather and perfect to slip into after a strenuous day on the slopes.
Authentic, countercultural and raw all describe next season’s inclinations in snowboarding fashion. Stylesight called the overall feel “sentiment.”
A tribal theme dominated the snowboarding collections with ikat patterns, custom embroidery, patchwork and tapestry-like prints in wools and velvets.
Ride Snowboards’ mens’ wool bordeaux hooded jacket, a pullover with a gold snap collar in a luxe shade of wine, looked like a modern spin on traditional ethnic pullovers.
In snowboard, camouflage in unexpected colors appeared, as did the continuation of the color-blocking trend in a palette of jet black, ornate yellow and golden clementine.
“It feels like we’re fashion forward to be here; it feels like we’re at the cutting edge.” – Vicki Vasil, Board Retailers Association
The children stole the show traipsing down the runway in hyper-bright, energetic colors of fuchsia, buttercup yellow and apple green with an overall theme of “rapture,” according to Stylesight.
Fun prints of confetti, X-ray and florals made the collections perfect for child’s play.
However, the youth collections were not just about looking cool on the mountain, but also about performance with new padding constructions ideal for ski school.
But, youth collections should never be taken too seriously and they weren’t. A Chaos zebra sock puppet hat ended the youth segment on a lighthearted note.
“The overlap of streetwear and snow continues to be really exciting. It’s just great for the industry. It really broadens how people can wear the clothing, not just for snow – it’s street, outdoor … fashion.” – Adrienne Belk, Sage Island
Après-ski, fashions for the ski culture after the runs all close down for the day, takes skiwear to the streets.
“From a retailer perspective, it’s a great opportunity to branch out beyond the hardgoods people … that opens up tenfold the potential customers you could have buying après-ski who might not be able to buy a snowboard or bindings,” Vasil said.
Even the posers among us should want to jump on the après-ski train after seeing the fashions last night.
In a color story of hushed violet, dark sapphire, ebony and ivory, the high fashion luxury ski collections represented “allegory,” – sophisticated, lustrous and chic, Stylesight commented.
In an air of opulence models graced the runway in noble metals, real and faux furs, satin linings and marbled fleeces.
Mysterious graphic prints of mythical symbols and minimal gothic styles permeated the polished, yet out-of-the-ordinary looks.
Outerwear was the standout. Sabine Sommeregger sent fitted, show-stopping coats down the runway, my favorite being the Sarah wool hand-stitched coat – hooded with a fringed hem and large, colorful herringbone stitching down the back standing out against black wool.
Neve Designs modified the traditional puffer jacket with their mushroom quilted jacket’s tall, rounded neckline, and NILS added a touch of royalty to the ski scene with their indigo fur trim jacket and purple luxe pant.
“We love the Neve outerwear; that’s new for them,”Jackie Darves, buyer for Double Diamond in Vail, said.
HAIR & MAKEUP
The looks would not have been complete without the work of Matthew Morris Salon.
“They wanted it to be ‘just off-the-slopes,’ but they wanted the girls to look luxurious; they wanted to feel luxury with a hint of Colorado,” Matthew Morris said after the show.
To accomplish this, stylists set out to create polished styles that still looked tousled. To do so, nearly every strand had to be sealed individually.
Makeup looks began with the glamorous smoky eye and ended on a glittery, Ke$ha-like tone.
The end of the 2013 Snow Fashion & Trends Show is just the beginning of a long weekend of socializing and doing business for the international snow sports industry.
See selected garments in person at the SIA Snow Show Fashion Lounge. The annual trade show runs from Jan. 31 through Feb. 3 at the Colorado Convention Center. Register online at www.siasnowshow.org.