Byline: Allegra Holch

NEW YORK — Florals and geometrics will continue to be strong for spring ’98, but hand-drawn interpretations will give them a fresh look.
These were among the forecasts presented by James Siewert, manager of trend direction for Trevira, at a recent series of presentations for manufacturers, retailers and designers at the company’s offices here.
Using a slide presentation for an overview of key trends from the spring ’97 runways in Europe and New York, as well as trend boards, fabric swatches and vintage outfits, Siewert put together trend predictions for spring ’98.
He presented four trend categories for the season, calling them To Nurture, To Decorate, To Season and To Shape.
To Nurture revolves around what Siewert calls a “garden effect,” pointing out floral motifs such as a singular flower, drawn by hand, or smaller, crowded designs with a folkloric effect. For vintage inspiration, he showed a Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress in a brown and white floral print.
To Shape continues the geometric theme of past seasons, but what makes the look new, said Siewert, is that the patterns have a hand-done look rather than a uniform, computerized feel. When computer graphics do occur, they’ll illustrate natural subject matter, such as flowers, he said.
To Decorate takes its inspiration from the Twenties and Thirties, with sheer fabrics, meant to be layered, playing a starring role. Crochet knits, and feminine pretty looks “bordering on intimate apparel” are key for this category. Summer velvets and lace — sometimes in printed versions — are new ways to treat classic feminine fabrics.
To Season picks up trends from around the world from such destinations as China, Japan, India and Morocco. “There is lots of decoration, and an understandable print story,” said Siewert, showing exotic paisley prints, folkloric embroideries and chinoiserie effects. A gold-trimmed Raj-style shirt was a vintage look Siewert displayed as an example for this trend.
Siewert also observed that “change is happening in fashion.” “The change is happening in terms of who’s designing the clothes — there’s a changing of the guard to a younger crowd, for example, John Galliano at Dior, Alexander McQueen at Givenchy, Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton. And Miuccia Prada has become the person to look at for color and print direction.”
According to Siewert, all this change is setting the stage for next spring, and keeping up with what this “new guard” is up to will be very important.

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