At Premiere Vision, held Sept. 17-20 in Paris, France, natural fibers with wool, cotton and silk blends took center stage. Corduroy, hounds- tooth and herringbone also made a strong showing as designers and buyers geared up for fall/winter 2004/05.
Tartans and estate checks were doing well at Lochcarron of Scotland. Newest were cotton/wool estate checks with a special finish that added a crinkle effect for a more contemporary feel. At Calzeat & Co. Ltd., woven plaids looked young in jacquards that created a distressed feeling through design.
Ratti introduced its Second Skin line, fabrics using soybean fibers that can be used alone or blended with other fibers such as cotton or silk. Also new were ink jet digital prints on all kinds of fabrics such as silk/Lycra blends. Ratti High Fashion highlighted rich reds, burgundies and purples in velvets with gold pigment prints that added a glittery beaded effect.
In sportswear fabrics, corduroy and denim received equal billing. Indeed, Uwe Kaiser, buyer for the men's wear division of C&A Stores in Europe, said: "We feel that corduroy is as important as denim and will continue next year, especially irregular wales with an iridescent look."
In the outerwear section, Diane Boyer Irwin, president of Vail, CO-based Skea, an outerwear sportswear firm, said she was impressed with "very unique treatments and combination of hand, texture and pattern such as printed embroidered sheer organza layered and combined with a slubbed knit that looked like shearling." This was one of the fabrics at Texapel, which showed many double-faced outerwear fabrics.
Fancy yarns added color and texture in wool and wool blends using mohair, boucle and metallics of all kinds. AJM France added a touch of metallic to plaids while tweeds looked new with multicolor mohair yarns against a black ground. Multicolor and copper metallic yarns enlivened camel tweeds at Isoule Textile.
Stripes continue to be important, looking newer in irregular versions or creating huge printed swirls. However, plaids are the natural progression along with squares and rectangles, which are highlighted in optic and geometric patterns. Art Deco and Art Nouveau influence patterns from jacquards to prints. At the same time, pretty florals with a drop of nostalgia were among the best sellers.
In terms of color, expect a color explosion of the pink to red to prune family for fall. The best selling colors at the show for women's wear were ketchup, fuschia sorbet, pink plaster and black. Dark blackened shades were the best sellers for men's wear.
RAYE RUDIE is an Apparel contributing editor who has covered the fabric and fashion industries for more than 25 years. Based in New York, she may be reached at e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring/Summer 2005 Premiere Vision
Feb. 25-28, 2004