WOOL BLENDS BLOOM FOR SPRING ’98
Byline: Allegra Holch
NEW YORK — A host of new ideas have been developed in wool blends for spring ’98 and are being previewed at the Wool Bureau offices here.
Donna Locascio, sourcing manager of fabrics for the Wool Bureau — the U.S. arm of the International Wool Secretariat — is showing the ideas at by-appointment presentations at the Bureau’s offices at 330 Madison Avenue.
Standouts in the collection include a wool and ramie chambray denim, printed wool and linen, and sheer organza in wool and nylon.
“We went to our weavers in Europe and Japan and asked them to develop innovative but commercial product,” Locascio said. “My job is to excite the domestic mills, to inspire them. The point is to get people excited about wool.”
“Spring is the hardest season to sell wool,” she said. But the International Wool Secretariat is “expanding to broaden its base into blends,” she said.
Blends are clearly the key element involved in achieving some of the very sheer, lightweight looks she showed in such combinations as wool and silk, wool and viscose, wool and nylon, wool and ramie and wool and linen. Some use blends of three fibers.
“Blends are really modern, and will really spark the market. Right now, domestic mills are developing wool and viscose blends in a big way,” said Locascio.
In her trend presentation entitled “Wool Bazaar,” Locascio gives an overview of looks from the spring ’97 runways along with related development fabrics for spring ’98.
IWS will highlight the new developmental blends in its booth at next month’s Premiere Vision fabric fair in Paris. It will also display six trend categories Locascio said she sees for spring, noting that she took much of her inspiration from the exotic food markets of international bazaars.
The six categories are:
Pasta. This focuses on what Locascio calls “flour colors, such as biscuit, with spinach and tomato red as accents.” Looks she showed included a wool and silk boucle with a powdery finish, and wool and silk combinations with a frothy sheen.
Fish is “a fun story, with a lot of shimmer, glitter and beautiful reflective fabrics with a dressed-up feeling,” said Locascio. Locascio pointed to mohair blends that are compact and smooth; wool and viscose and wool and nylon blends with a mother-of-pearl iridescence, and transparent wool netting and tulle effects as key looks.
Salad takes its inspirations from leafy greens and fibrous celery stalks. Key fabrics include wool and silk organza with a papery feel, printed wool and linen blends, lightweight summer tweed and wool and Lycra spandex hopsack.
Caramel is “a wonderful color story,” said Locascio, citing amber and golden brown with bubblegum pink. She showed lacquered effects in wool and silk blends, as well as wool and Tactel nylon blends for a shimmery aspect.
Roots and Spices focuses on warm browns, oranges and purples. Locascio highlighted textured looks in wool and silk boucle, slubbed yarns, stripes and small patterns, cool summer jersey and fabrications with a dry hand.
The final category, marine, includes wool boucles, terry-textured wools, jerseys and chine yarns that when used in blue and white give a denim-like chambray effect.