Though September is the main event for most textile manufacturers, Europe’s trade show organizers pulled together a few beautiful previews of the fall 2010 collections for the American market last week.
On Tuesday, at Manhattan’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel, a delegation from Italy presented the fabric trends that will be shown at Milano Unica from Sept. 8 to 11. Angelo Uslenghi, the exhibition’s creative director, showed examples of classic Italian craftsmanship with a slight update such as beautiful animal prints under metallic glaze and wool tulles dyed in deepcontrasting shades. But he didn’t skimp on innovation. There was also metalized glass used as plating and macramé coated in polyurethane. “Italy will never be cheap,” said Milano Unica’s president, Pier Luigi Loro Piana, in response to the growing demand for cost-effective materials. “Our value is in quality, consistency and increasingly, creativity.”
Meanwhile, Première Vision Fall 2010 is set to run from Sept. 15 to 18 in Paris. “There is a huge ‘casualization’ of the industry this season,” said PV’s fashion director, Pascaline Wilhelm, speaking of the move away from some of the flash of past seasons. “The mills are not less inventive. Rather, they have a better picture of the relationship between the creative and the commercial.” This awareness yielded interesting results at the New York preview last week at the Metropolitan Pavilion: A new focus on materiality with inspirations from natural sources such as rippled water or the sheen of bronze. “The world is so complicated,” said Sabine LeChatelier, the show’s associate fashion director. “Clarity in design is so beautiful right now.”
But textile organizations pushed more than new fabrics to whet appetites for the fall market. Milano Unica is launching its On Stage project, a runway show on the first day of the exhibition, featuring 10 international design talents — among them France’s Alexis Mabille and Emilio de la Morena of Spain — selected by Franca Sozzani, editor in chief of Vogue Italia. PV announced its collaboration with the Council of Fashion Designers of America to offer VIP services to CFDA members in town during the show. And Textiles From Spain, a promotional division of the Consejo Intertextil Español, ramped up communication between the Spanish textile industry and the U.S. market. “American business is important for Spanish mills,” said Luis Polo, manager of international promotions at CIE. “Establishing subsidiaries or rep offices there will help mills gauge demand and present more focused collections.”