MILLS FIND TIME IS RIGHT AT INPROGRESS

Byline: Lucie Muir

CERNOBBIO, Italy — Textile mills showed richly colored fabrics of cotton, silk and synthetic fibers in printed and burn-out styles at Inprogress, the mid-season fabric show that ended its two-day run Wednesday at the Villa Erba on the shores of Lake Como, five weeks after the main Ideacomo fair.
The show made its debut in November, and buyers at that time complained about the event being so late in the year, and about the scarcity of new fabrics and international buyers. In a radical mood swing, exhibitors now are pushing for Inprogress to replace the long-standing Ideacomo, apparently buoyed by their efforts to bring out new fabrics and the tendency among many of their customers to buy late.
“This show is perfect for ready-to-wear designers who generally work later in the season and who come here to find what they couldn’t find at any other European fabric showcase,” said Alberto Scotti, director of Cugnasca, a division of Mantero.
Monica Franceschini, export manager for Rainbow, a division of Ratti, said, “I’m amazed by how late people are still buying and by the quantities they are asking for.”
However, American and Japanese buyers were no-shows, once again dashing organizers’ hopes of pulling a more international clientele. According to exhibitors, buyers shopping the fair were predominantly Italian, French and German.
“Inprogress is for the Italian market,” said Jacopo Etro, sales manager for the textile and clothing division of Etro. “If it is to become an international event, it should come just after Premiere Vision, which would make it a lot easier for foreign visitors already in Europe to return to Italy.”
The 36 exhibitors had plenty of new styles to pique buyers’ interest, mostly in natural fabrics that were updated with diverse printing techniques. Linen, the season’s earlier smash hit, was played down — despite the hype generated at Europe’s leading fabric fairs — in favor of cotton in traditional and new fabrications and synthetics. Silk continues to be a mainstay of the show.
“We believe in the return of fabrics such as poplin,” said Mauro Clerici, president of Nero Su Nero. He also pointed to the new collection’s cotton devore with burnt-out zebra stripes and cotton and Lycra spandex blends.
Nero Su Nero’s fabrics had a significant emphasis on vibrant colors. “Trends are extremely important to us. Once we have found the right color or blend, the rest falls into place,” said Clerici.
Some 50 new fabrics were unveiled at Dondi, all in heavier constructions than past offerings. They included pure cotton, Missoni-style crepes and jacquards in shades of orange and rust. “It’s the fabric’s hand that counts today,” said Maurizio Gualdi, Dondi’s export manager. “Anything with a crepe hand goes.”
In Dondi’s fashion-oriented Punto Tessile collection, viscose and polyamide blends and silk georgette came in rusty tones, while cotton tulle dazzled in metallic shades of silver and gold. A light viscose with bold stripes was also popular.
Ratti brought all its fabric divisions to Inprogress; it had decided not to show at Ideacomo. The Ratti Donna line included flocked silk taffeta, silk organza with delicate floral prints, silk jersey devore and cotton jacquards in metallic colors. In the Ratti 7 line, viscose and polyamide blends had Chinese flower motifs.
Shantung was a bestseller in the Rainbow division in a floral print, and velvet and silk devore came in brilliant new colors in response to customers’ requests.
Etro decided to make only a few additions to its collection, which in Jacopo Etro’s opinion was “good enough as it was.”
“We added a few fabrics which came to mind, but focused mainly on new prints based on different techniques,” said Etro. Here devore and raffia were overprinted and denim was printed with glitter that was then corroded. “Buyers asked for sophisticated neutral colors at Ideacomo, so this time around we cut down on pastels and added beige, blue and brown,” said Etro.
Overprinting techniques were also followed at Mantero, which offered a printed rayon flock and yarn-dyed linen devore. There were also lightweight silks, stretch viscose and linen blends. Khaki colors were added to suit demand.
Brown and blue were a color story at Teseo, which showed new shantungs and organza in shades of both.
Textile designer Silvia Botta looked further ahead with her new collection for Clerici Tessuti. Natural fabrics focused on movement and color in a collection of smooth silks, silk shantungs and cotton jersey in fresh shades of cream and pale yellow. “Women want elegant yet comfortable clothes that move with the body, are extremely feminine and are well-researched,” said Botta.

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