By  on September 11, 2007

PARIS — Lace manufacturers are ready to unveil a cornucopia of styles for the latest session of Première Vision, ranging from all-natural to experimental designs.

Designers at Sophie Hallette, for example, have been trying out new architectures and volumes for fabric.

"Rather than using [external] ornamentation such as beads, we've treated lace as a material in itself, using tulle and unusual threads [such as mohair] to achieve new visual and tactile effects," said Pierre-Alain Cornaz, the house's artistic director.

One new "phantom flower" design features motifs that appear to shift like shadows across the fabric, an effect achieved through a multilayering and interweaving of threads.

"[In certain cases], we've manipulated the fabric to such a point — by ruching it, weaving it, lacquering it, say — that it stops resembling lace," said Cornaz, adding that the house's more technically adventurous designs nonetheless remain functional.

Many houses elected gray as the season's ruling shade, with broken tones and muted metallics also rife.

"Shimmery fabrics always work well for the holiday season," said Anne-Marie Langry, head of marketing and creation for Noyon.

Alchemy, Eastern Europe and "camouflage revisited" count among new themes for the house, with an emphasis on natural fibers.

"A natural touch is especially important," Langry said.

Also on the nature trail, Solstiss will be exhibiting a number of vegetal laces, combining natural fibers, such as cashmere and wool, with botanical prints, such as bamboo and foliage.

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