By  on June 7, 1994

NEW YORK -- The combination of stripes and textures is the hot knit trend in Europe and will be big in the U.S. for spring 1995.

That was the prediction from fashion consultant Ron Rubin at a recent breakfast seminar called "Windows of the World," sponsored by the National Knitwear & Sportswear Association at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers here. It was attended by more than 130 apparel manufacturers, designers, retailers and fiber and yarn executives.

Rubin's presentation included his photos of fashion-forward store window displays in Paris, Milan, London and New York.

In highlighting the growing use of stripes, Rubin focused on horizontal black and brown patterns on natural or slate gray and natural. The textured element was played up in flake yarns. Texture was also used to create stripe effects on solid-color sweater knits.

Companion vertical stripes were another story, sometimes in bright colors. In several photos, Rubin showed various sweater shapes using a number of bright colors worn with other knits, such as skirts or tops in bleached white or navy.

In other color news, Rubin said slate grays and silver were directional for activewear-influenced clothes that can be worn as streetwear.

Turning to silhouettes, he played up the idea of "bits and pieces," featuring small sweater shapes, from above the waist to hip-bone, layered over each other. In one photo, a halter was shown over a fine-gauge knit turtleneck and both were under a big loose cardigan.

"But the new short, waist-length sweater is the important direction," Rubin said, adding that vertical open effects are a key trend for this type of sweater.

Latin American looks were also given prominence, especially in deep rich vegetable-dye colors with brights. Woven ethnic patterns, which included Peruvian and Mexican serape and blanket stripings, were translated into short vests, knit skirts and bare midriff sweaters. Some of the pieces featured black bindings.

On a final note, Rubin talked about "rediscovered attic clothes," vintage-look body-skimming dresses and knitwear, done with printed georgette appliques and trims. The palette was done in what Rubin described as "not-so-sweet colors of grays with grays and browns and brown heathers."Following the presentation, table displays of knitwear from six U.S. knitwear manufacturers were displayed for hands-on viewing, showing how many of the concepts in Rubin's presentation could be translated into American-made knits. Participating in the display were Beverly Hills Knitting, Los Angeles; Gloray Co., Reading, Pa.; Gotthelf Knitting Mills, Boonton, N. J.; Winona Knitting, Winona, Minn., and Hampshire Designers and Blue Morgan-SWAK, both New York.

"It's a nice idea, seeing what people can do with novelty yarns and stitches and what they actually did with what appeared in the slides," said Debra Ayer, knit designer of American Knitworks, private label and better sweater manufacturer here.

At Blue Morgan-SWAK, Evan Salton, president, noted the display worked well in drumming up some potential business.

"In the last 15 minutes, we received over 20 business cards and I'm quite overwhelmed by it, " he said.

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