Lace Returns to the Fore

The cornucopia of styles to be presented at this year's edition of Premiere Vision promises to unleash yet another important wave of influence.

PARIS — Lace historically has woven its delicate legacy across changing fashions — from rococo flourishes and romantic frills to the current vogue for Victorian mourning styles.

The cornucopia of styles to be presented at this year’s edition of Première Vision promises to unleash yet another important wave of influence.

“The interest in early 20th-century lace styles is huge,” said Bruno Lescroart, chairman of French lace maker Sophie Hallette, which has reconditioned old machines to meet demand. “The machines are antiproductive, as they require a human touch, but it’s the best way to re-create the granny-style lace with a handmade look that everyone’s after.”

Lescroart said fine tulle is a hot commodity; in particular, a point d’esprit netting dotted with crosshatch points, most commonly associated with hat veils.

“Customers are looking for lightness,” said Anne-Marie Langry, research and development director for Noyon, a lace manufacturer specializing in the lingerie sector.

Lace will be replacing embroidery in line with the new lingerie trend for lighter, feminine fabrics, Langry said.

“Bordered lace designs with small motifs, such as geometric flowers, are the latest thing for lingerie,” she said.

Other tangible trends include Art Nouveau-inspired nature motifs; transparency, such as Chantilly lace woven with glass-like threads, and textured laces entwined with colored threads to create a rustic, tweedy look, she said.

The vogue for richly colored bohemian styles, inspired by Russia and Eastern Europe, such as Dentelle Darquer’s hand-painted laces or Sophie Hallette’s Russian range, also will be a key look at the show.

“We’ll be featuring figurative Russian designs that are inspired by the roofs of the Kremlin, say, as a motif,” said Lescroart, adding that heavier laces, woven with dyed cashmere, angora and lamb’s wool threads will provide a textured take on the theme.

This story first appeared in the September 13, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.