By  on September 27, 2005

PARIS — What's in store for fall 2006? That's what designers were determined to find out at Première Vision, where they zeroed in on subtle, sophisticated and toned-down looks.

Yigal Azrouël has little time for retrospection. After showing his spring collection in New York less than two weeks ago, he was off to Paris for Première Vision, in search of the fabrics that will define his fall 2006 collection. However, he hasn't completely forgotten about his spring lineup. "Fall will be an extension of what I did for spring," he said, "where the look was relaxed and less structured. It's very important for women to be comfortable in my clothes." Azrouël's spring collection was, in fact, a study in ease, where he showed more day looks than ever before. "Fall will be full of sportswear," he said, "with a focus on daytime dresses, as well as pants and skirts."

WWD got an inside look at Azrouël's design process by accompanying him and his director, Donata Minelli, to five of their appointments at the fabric fair. Key words throughout the morning included lightweight, subtle and sophisticated. "Personally, I don't get my inspiration from traveling as others do," the designer said. "My inspiration comes directly from fabrics."

RATTI: This Italian mill is known for its prints and novelty wovens. It's the overprinted iridescent taffetas, though, that caught Azrouël's eye. "They're so rich looking," he said. "I did taffetas for spring, so it's something that I want to continue." While the fabric is traditionally used for evening, Azrouël doesn't abide by such limitations. He said it all depends on what you do to the taffeta, and that developing fabrics with the mills is key. "I never use them as is, especially the novelties," he said. For the taffeta, he sees a "lighter, more washed version — something that's not so stiff. It would be great on a casual shirt dress." The fabric's floral design is featured in combinations such as brick red and copper; the latter is his favorite metallic for the season. His other picks for fall? Navy and olive. "I love the combination of the two," Azrouël said.

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