LUXURY LOOKS DOMINATE PREMIERE CLASSE

Byline: Katherine Weisman

PARIS — Rich fabrics and deep colors look to be the key fall trends coming out of Europe, judging from the selections at the most recent Premiere Classe accessories trade show here.
Business at this edition of the four-day show, which is held as part of the Prêt-à-Porter ready-to-wear trade show, was decent but not brisk by most exhibitors’ standards. Total attendance for the Pret-a-Porter was 57,000, which was up 4 percent from the year before, although separate figures are not broken out for the accessories portion of the show, which ended Jan. 30.
Scarves and handbags stood out as the most directional classifications and were done in a variety of novel fabrications ranging from velvet to fake fur. Fashion jewelry, on the other hand, suffered from a dearth of new looks, with ethnic and nature-inspired motifs showing up most frequently.
London-based Liberty Brand Products featured long, wide scarves in such treatments as tartan-printed velvets, with color schemes in the burgundy, deep green and dark gray palettes.
“We have had a traditional range of classic twills for a long time, but this is our third season showing a fashion line,” said Claire Stead, assistant director of scarf production for the firm. She added that the line will be shown in New York for the May accessories market.
Beatrice Lissague, a designer from Bourgueil, France, showed scarves in various luxurious treaments, such as paisley-printed, pleated stretch velvet or cashmere with silk ribbon trim. Oxda Galdea, based here, was offering velvet shawls backed with iridescent taffeta and featuring pockets or hand holes. Imaginative fabrications were also a major draw in handbags. In terms of silhouette, structure was the norm for many lines.
Some firms, such as Cesar et Angele by Alter Ego from Graulhet, France, took a whimsical approach with items such as leopard-print fake fur bags, while others, such as William Aimard-Camus, based here, took a more classic bent by covering his structured bags with Austrian loden or bouclé wool in subdued colors, including navy blue, burgundy and olive green.
Though hats were not a large part of the selection, some of the merchandise did stand out as trend-setting. For example, one new line, Anna Castella, featured hats in fur felt, cotton and silk tweed and various other novel materials. Colors ranged from pumpkin orange to slate gray. Castella is made by Fontes, a milliner in Connaux, France, which has been in business for more than 35 years.
New trends were primarily a no-show in the fashion jewelry category, with nature themes, ethnic looks and buried-treasure motifs — all of which have been in the market for at least two seasons — being omnipresent. However, the long pendant necklaces that had been a staple item of many nature and ethnic jewelry lines had apparently fizzled out and was replaced with delicate, thin choker necklaces such as those from Charabia-Lisaa, a jewelry firm here.

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