SPRING ’97: BRIGHT, TRIM
Byline: Allegra Holch
NEW YORK — Clean silhouettes, vivid color and high tech finishes will be making strong statements for spring/summer 1997, predicts Alison Webb, manager, creative services, Wellman Inc.
Webb detailed her view of the season in a forecast session entitled “Modern Reality,” presented at the fiber company’s offices here.
Modern Reality, she noted, refers to the idea that “clothing has become uncomplicated in response to complicated lives.” Shapes are spare, clean and close to the body. The basic motto is “minimal is more.” “A big point will be made with bright colors,” said Webb. Citrus brights like lime green, acid yellow and turquoise are some of the key shades of the season. These are “pure, bold and striking, in-your-face shades,” she said.
Black and white with pastels as an accent are another new color story for the season, as well as a cool neutral palette that has “a modern edge and a technological feel,” said Webb. Webb predicted that “techno” finishes, such as metallics and reflective treatments, will be a dominant theme in fabrics. As a foil to this, there are textured ideas in refined, rustic yarns, silky slubs in shantung and raw silk for fitted suit looks.
Patterns will be bold and graphic, including psychedelic retro Seventies designs and large abstract florals, fruits and plaids and checks “mixed in downtown combinations,” said Webb.
Webb presented four major trend categories:
* “Natural Synthetics” is all about muted colors and sophisticated prints like nature forms and large florals, as well as coated and stretch fabrics.
* “Retro Modern” encompasses acid yellows and greens, Op Art prints and exotic prints on stretchy synthetics.
* “Rustic Luxury” refers to homespun and rustic weaves, but the textures are elegant rather than coarse, more pulled together than the usual homespun.
* “Summer Cliches” mixes the classic with the funky. Fresh prints, checks and ginghams get all mixed up with a thrift-shop edge. It’s a “flash-back look,” said Webb. “The combination of patterns depends on what your market is. For instance, the junior market will purposely put things that don’t match together.”
Webb illustrated each category with fabric prototypes created by Wellman especially for the presentation, as shown above.