NEW YORK -- Beppe Spadacini is lightening up these days -- or at least his designs are.
Como's premier textile designer exhibited his change of perspective here during a recent visit to preview his artwork for prints for spring and fall 1995. Romantic flowers, shells, Indonesian batiks and ethnic graphics from central Africa are major themes this season, and they're all done in very light natural colors -- ecru, beige, sand, coffee -- mixed with black, as well as a range of pastels. It's a departure from the bright, sophisticated tropicals that Spadacini has been known for and that turn up in designs from top international fashion houses -- including Missoni, Gianfranco Ferre, Hanae Mori, Gottex and Adrienne Vittadini -- as well as textiles from firms in Italy and New York. "We buy his original artwork," says Silvia Canepa, director of Canepa of America, the U.S. sales office of Canepa SpA, Como. "We like what he does, and our customers like them, too. We print them on different qualities of silk and cotton."
A secondary objective of the trip was to find licensees for printed scarves, ties, leather goods and other accessories. These are sold in Spadacini's own Milan, Bangkok and Singapore boutiques, along with his apparel line, which will be shown for the first time at MODIT February 25 in Milan. In addition, Itochu International Inc., the Japanese trading company, sells Spadacini's creations to boutiques and department stores in Japan.
During an interview, Spadacini offered some views of the industry. He blames the poor health of the European print business on the overabundance of trends flooding the markets.
"There's no one trend or two, like there was earlier in Europe," he said. "It's 30 years that I have my studio, but in the last two years, I have not seen anything like this before -- too many trends, with too much ethnic, hippy, punk, tropical exotics and African. It creates a lot of confusion. Apparel designers and the textile industry are doing too much at the same time. Customers get confused and they don't know what to buy. You can see business is not good."Nor does Spadacini think that it's an easy problem to resolve. "It depends on the apparel designer. When the Milano shows began, there were only one or two directions like flowers and stripes in the shows." Now, of course, every designer does his own thing.
All the state-of-the-art technology flooding the textile industry also gives Spadacini pause. "When you make an illustration by hand, it's different," the designer said. "But the other way, the design is sterile and dull. This has become a big problem." Recently Spadacini has had copyright problems with apparel and textile companies who are photocopying illustrations from art books he has published and reproducing them on fabrics.
On a more optimistic note, Spadacini willingly shared his predictions for fall 1995. Color, he promised, "will be like the colors of the Biba department store in London in the Sixties -- wine, purple, dark blue, black and fuchsia." Using that palette, the designer plans to do Art Deco-style geometrics and paisleys with a Russian feeling, embellished with Victorian flowers. Spadacini also noted that the big trend in Italian mills is viscose solids and jacquards, which are then printed. And finish is very important, especially new treatments like stone washing and sanding.
However, it's a fiber that's really captured Spadacini's imagination. "The most amazing material I found is Tencel," he said. "You can do anything with it. I have used it in my men's sportswear for shirts, jeans and jackets and it's good for prints. You can make jacquards...anything you want."
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye