Adventure Time

Euro Trend Report – Expect an eclectic mix of circus pompoms, cheetah print and rock ‘n’ roll-inspired denim to journey stateside in coming seasons.

European designers are well known—and loved—for adding a dash of the avant-garde to the kids’ market, and this year is certainly no exception. Recreating a range of childhood fantasylands, from rugged rodeos to colorful cosmos, brands are encouraging their intrepid young customers to explore a diverse range of prints, fabrics and silhouettes this fall, with looks that will inspire imaginative journeys (but are fit for real world adventures, too). Fresh from kids’ trade shows in Florence, Paris, London, Copenhagen and Madrid, we asked an array of style experts—buyers, designers and fashion forecasters—to share Europe’s top trends for Fall ’16. The verdict? Expect an eclectic mix of circus pompoms, cheetah print and rock ‘n’ roll-inspired denim to journey stateside in coming seasons.

Far Out

Kids’ looks are venturing to “a galaxy far, far away” in FW ‘16, according to WGSN Senior Kidswear Editor Erin Rechner. Childrenswear designers traveled to the moon and back, touching down on runways with interstellar designs emblazoned with high-shine metallics, star-studded prints and galactic graphics. Il Gufo even transformed the runway into a planetarium with stars and planets galore. Industry experts point to an influx of recent celestial events as the inspiration behind the space-driven trend—with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens being most salient in kidswear. A colorway of gray, white and silver, along with occasional neon accents, sets the stage for looks that mimic everything from astronaut gear to alien guise, including spacesuit-inspired puffer jackets, printed rocket ship tees and clunky moon boots. “We only forsee an increase in seasons to come working well into all seasonal drops,” explains Rechner, forecasting out-of-this-world success for the trend.

Listen Up

2Have you heard? From poufy to pointy, furry friends are lending an ear to fall accessories, peeking out atop headbands, hoods and hats. In Florence, Fun & Fun’s feline-shaped bedazzled headbands and YCLÙ’s monochrome ear-endowed kitty hats were perched upon the head of the runway’s mini models. Rendered in fabrics like felt, fleece and fur, animal ears add an easy dose of charisma and charm. “It’s a great way of combining a playful look with a sophisticated style,” explains Carol Adams, owner of Torly Kid. “Even my teenager wanted a hoodie with ears on it!”

Jungle Boogie

3Get ready to embrace your wild side. “The jungle trend is a continuation of the palm and plant prints and jungle animal designs seen in SS ’16,” says Beth Clifton, fashion buyer for AlexandAlexa. “But the forthcoming release of the new Jungle Book movie has definitely had an impact as well.” For Fall ’16, prints grew bolder, dominated by cheese plants and palm leaves. As evidence, Clifton points to animal prints in loud, vivid colors, from clashing orange and pink cheetah spots at Kenzo to classic leopard prints with quirky badge details at Little Marc Jacobs. Bold green palm prints also shaded shows like Joules and Dolce & Gabbana Junior.

Wild West

5Say howdy to fringe, tassels and suede as western-inspired fashions gallop into the spotlight. Earthy hues paired with bright rooster graphics liven up Stella Jean’s collection while Cape’s ponchos present a mod rancher appeal with whimsy floral embroidery and pompom placement reflective of a horse’s mane. “Cowboys and cowgirls have been growing as a trend over a few seasons,” says Clifton. “Stella McCartney Kids showed this really well.” From ponies to patchwork, it’s undeniable that designers looking to their lucky horseshoe for fall.

Rock On

4From studded boots to leather jackets, “rock chic” looks added an edge to Europe’s runways. A moody color palette set the stage for the trend, exemplified by chalky typography as well as graphic and illustrated prints like skulls and edgy urban scenes. And of course, no hard rock look would be complete without a pair of distressed jeans, with acid-washed accents and tasteful tears. “I dig denim doing very cool interpretations of this trend,” says Gardner and The Gang Founder and Creative Director Kristin Nystrom, who adds that the trend is très cool, but still understated enough for play.

Clowning Around

7It’s no joke: Several Fall ’16 collections took a trip to the circus, with harlequin prints, polka dots and stripes across a wild color palette of lively oranges and friendly blues. Pompoms stood at the center of the ring as a key circus-inspired embellishment, Adams reports. “Pompoms are a trend I see in the U.S. as well, but mostly on accessories like headbands, key chains and hats,” she explains—the poufy detail had a larger impact on runways in Italy. Dolce & Gabbana Junior, Gardner and The Gang and Fun & Fun were just a few of the collections that clowned around this season with colorful pompoms, funky faux fur and brash multi-color prints.

That 70s Show

8Last fall’s ‘70s comeback is making an even bigger wave this year, with girls’ lines gravitating towards A-line skirts, jumpers and tie-blouses while boys’ collections contain oversized designs on intarsia sweaters, retro overalls and activewear-inspired jackets. The revival of a retro autumnal color palette (browns, marigolds and greens) along with prints like vintage paisleys and oversized florals are all proof that designers are still feelin’ groovy, according to Fashion Snoops’ Trend Editor Ania Witkowski. “A lot of the ‘70s trends are trickling their way into childrenswear from mens’ and women’s,” explains Witkowski. “It’s especially becoming apparent as parents gravitate toward mini-me styles for their kids.”

Pretty in Plaid

9Whether you’re inspired by 1700s Scotland or grungy ‘90s counterculture, plaid should be on your radar as the season’s must-have pattern. Spanning buffalo checks to school girl classics, plaids are a staple of every back-to-school season, but this year European brands are kicking it up a notch with bolder pieces like all-over-plaid harem pants and oversized jackets. In addition, designers like Hilda.Henri and Péro presented plaid-on-plaid outfits that turn an anticipated fashion faux-pas into a fabulous couture statement.


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