With the change of season comes the launch of exciting new forecasts in equestrian and mainstream fashion.
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This year, equestrian designers will embrace the abundance of technological fabrics at their creative fingertips to produce well-fitted and flattering performance and barn wear. In the hunter jumper arena we will see impeccably tailored show coats in predominantly deep navy and black over crisp white fitted shirts. The dressage crowd will continue to wow in 2016 with pops of color and eye-catching design details. While barn wear takes its lead from mainstream fashion with bold color palettes and prints, our beloved lifestyle brands remain enamored with all things equestrian—yielding new collections that are nothing short of fabulous.
LA Saddlery’s Renee Spurge recently sat down with some of our favorite equestrian and lifestyle designers to discover what excites them about our growing industry and to ask how they have evolved their 2016 collections to reflect current fashion trends and pave the way for new ones.
Equestrian Apparel Designers
What do you consider the most exciting trends in equestrian-show apparel and everyday barn wear, and how does your spring/summer or new collection
Noel Asmar | Noel Asmar Equestrian: Every new season brings with it a burst of excitement for a new collection, colors, and styles to offer to our clients. The most exciting trend in equestrian apparel is blending functionality with urban style, and our new spring 2016 collection is our biggest yet. Our spring 2016 Sun Shirts in long- and short-sleeved styles will be featured in amazing colors and UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) 50. We launched our new Italian leather two-sided belts in both gold and stainless hardware that are absolutely gorgeous and so well priced. Color combinations include orange/pink, navy/brown, black/white, black patent/black matte, and midnight navy/red.
Vivian Bolman | Winston Equestrian USA: The new performance-friendly fabrics and fitted styles for show and barn apparel are exciting trends. We use lightweight, breathable, stretchy, form-flattering materials throughout our collection, and our designs are not only stylish, but also comfortable to wear and completely machine washable.
Lorna Goode | Goode Rider: Technology is king! From show shirts to breeches, we are seeing the benefits of new technologies embraced by riders everywhere. Show shirts are made from technically advanced fabrics that wick moisture and protect from UV rays. They are fashionable—featuring built-in stock ties and elegant buttons. High-tech fabrics in everyday barn wear are a must. One of our most exciting new programs is our seamless designer tights and shirts for spring ‘16. Go from the barn to yoga or for a run in these most comfortable, yet stylish seamless-compression fabric tights. The fabric includes silver for anti-odor. Try them for yourself. You won’t want to take them off!
Antonella Lauretti | Equiline Italia: For spring 2016, we continue to see the use of lace overtones enhancing the femininity of sporting apparel. Elegantly embroidered crests adorn many items and add a rich, softening detail. Pastel colors evolve into brighter, bolder tones in the Equiline contemporary collection. Shiny bling gives way to subtle, matte-metal studs that highlight design lines with refined splash.
Ergonomic cuts continue to be finely tuned to enhance the functionality of athletic apparel, and new fabrics that increase comfort and improve performance are always being introduced. Equiline, for the first time, has designed a signature collection in conjunction with sponsored rider, silver team medalist Helen Langehanenberg. With her own strong sense of style, Langehanenberg was delighted to work with the Equiline design team on a fashionably chic collection for female dressage enthusiasts. The collection is scheduled to debut this March.
Tara Roemke | Ariat International: The strong trend for technical fabrics is what I find most exciting these days. It keeps your show apparel looking traditional and well put together, but wicks away sweat, breathes well, and offers a lot of stretch for all the movement required in the saddle. Obviously those same features are great for everyday barn wear, too; you just have more room to play with your style and color for every day.
Our spring line showcases some of the best in technical fabric innovation. You won’t find more premium and practical fabrics for the show ring than the super, high-stretch woven fabric of our new Aero Show Shirt or our incredible Platinum Show Coat. In previous seasons, our Sunstopper one-quarter zip has been a huge hit for around the barn, and we’ve punched it up this year with some great prints and pops of color. Those in the market for something really new will have to try our seamless Odyssey one-quarter zip. It has no side seams and is body mapped for an incredibly flattering, contoured fit.
Do you follow or integrate mainstream fashion trends when designing your spring equestrian collection?
Noel Asmar: Asmar Equestrian is about respecting the traditions of our sport but infusing modern fashion into each design with technical properties that ensure each garment is made with a purpose. We are very excited to announce that our fashion label, a modern, contemporary women’s brand with subtle hints of equestrian influence, will launch fall 2016. You can count on Asmar Equestrian to always be ahead of the fashion curve when it comes to equestrian apparel.
Vivian Bolman: We follow our own philosophy and ideas of timeless elegance and clean designs. Our main focus is using high-quality materials to create well-manufactured classic apparel. We do not follow the fashion trends of other designers but rather we stay committed to the Winston style and aesthetic and therefore carve out our own market within the equestrian world.
Lorna Goode: Goode Rider always implements the trends from the real fashion world. That’s the world our designers come from. We shop around the globe—often in Paris, Florence, London, Hong Kong, New York, and Barcelona—to see what trends are emerging. We look at fashion forecasts from the major trend and color services, and then we design with a nod to the equestrian industry and make it relatable for our clientele.
Antonella Lauretti: Equestrian show apparel is taking more and more influence from general fashion. Tradition has given way to new technical, functional fabrics, and even street designs, colors, and trims are making their way into equestrian style.
The Equiline design team proudly integrates fashion trends into their riding apparel. Traveling to major trade and fashion shows in Milan, Florence, and London, the designers identify trends and seamlessly blend them into equestrian fashion. Paolo Marchetto, the proud owner of Equiline, whose career began in the textile industry, oversees every aspect of apparel development. The Equiline design team continues to be on the leading edge of equestrian fashion, style, and design.
Tara Roemke: Our design team is always keeping their eye on the mainstream market as well as the outdoor-active market and integrating those trends into our equestrian line. Trends like micro-zipper pulls in technical outerwear or bold, gold trims on a lifestyle piece are something we strive to use to keep the line current and relevant.
This spring season put us in a preppy, ’60s-retro vacation mood. It drove the color palette to be bold and awakening, but with a relaxed surfer vibe. We included mini-geo prints and sporty color-blocking. However, the big trend for us was a practical one, Respire. We took a three-pronged approach to help our riders beat the heat this summer: breathable ventilation, cooling finishes, and moisture management.
Our mesh ventilation at the shoulders and mid-layers offers maximum movement and breathability. We added heat-zone ventilation to our outerwear that maintains warmth without trapping heat, and we included mesh insets in our knit tops that offer the full-sun protection of a long-sleeve top while creating the comfort of sleeveless. Additionally, our special-fabric finishes, including moisture management, will help to keep riders feeling cooler and drier all summer long.
What do you consider the most exciting trends in fashion for 2016 and how does your spring/summer or new collection showcase them?
Katherine Hooker | Katherine Hooker London: The most exciting trend this year has been the use of color. Using pink, mustard, and orange, in the different prints that we have in silk, have brought a different depth to our spring line.
Kimberly McConnell | Middy N’ Me: Skirts are trending really strong for 2016, especially midi and tea lengths, with both lengths being shown with a puffy or full silhouette.
We debuted our little Holiday Skirt this holiday season, and it was a smashing success. We will be offering the spring/summer 2016 skirts in knee, midi, tea, and floor lengths in our signature equestrian prints as well as our fun lobster, gingham, and floral patterns.
Carin Rönner | Rönner Design: Once again it is interesting to see how history influences fashion trends and how they are enhanced through time. For 2016, I am particularly excited to see how Victorian era silhouettes and details have an influence on styles for this year.
Looking into our 2016 trends for Rönner, you will find influences from historic scenes, such as sidesaddle riding, beautiful feminine silhouettes, and graceful manners that accompanied these activities. From this inspiration point we developed our prints, color palettes, and textures. You will find a lot of suede, which is big on trend for 2016, and the classic, button-down shirt, which will never go out of style, keeps reinventing itself. Expect to see gingham patterns, details that come in the form of embroideries and application, and, as in every season, our iconic prints that speak for themselves.
Your lines are very popular with the equestrian customer. Do you follow or integrate equestrian fashion trends when designing your collections?
Katherine Hooker: Equestrian fashion is never far from my mind. In the U.K. everyone dresses to go to the races. We dress Venetia Williams, a renowned racehorse trainer, who has impeccable style and elegance. Ascot is one of our busiest times of year. Equestrian events in the U.K. are an exciting time to dress up, and we love to cater to that customer.
Kimberly McConnell: I feel very lucky to have the luxury of offering both riding and resort collections and yes, as a life-long rider myself, everything I design is equestrian inspired.
Our riding collection offers the perfect shirt for the show ring or an afternoon lunch with friends, and our resort collection is designed with equestrian-inspired prints, bits, fox, and horses, along with beachy lobsters, seahorses, starfish, and floral prints.
Carin Rönner: We love everything related to the equestrian world and are always looking for sources of inspiration, either in history or current events. We put a big emphasis on designing our prints as well as the illustrations and shapes on them. This involves a lot of research to ensure we have cohesiveness in the story we are telling.
We do take equestrian trends into account, but since Rönner is equestrian inspired and not exclusively focused on a rider, we try to keep a balance between stable, street wear, and party attire.
LA Saddlery has opened the California equestrian market to companies from all over the world. The store presents new clothing lines that challenge the traditional riding outfit with fresh ideas, high-performance fabrics, and fashion-forward details. LA Saddlery’s main store is located in the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, Calif., and their mobile boutique frequents many of the top California horse shows. www.lasaddlery.com