FLORALS BLOOM FOR SPRING ’96
Byline: Margaret Mazzaraco
NEW YORK — Florals and conversationals were the major spring 1996 trends at The Print Show and Inprints NY, both held here last week.
The three-day exhibitions, which featured original artwork for prints, concluded last Thursday.
Exhibitors said business was brisk, signaling a pickup in print interest.
Inprints NY, sponsored by Eileen Mislove, held at Arno restaurant here, showcased 13 U.S. art studios, which in addition to their own work showed 35 collections from Europe, Korea and Israel. One London studio and one Tel Aviv studio also participated. Mislove reported a 30 percent increase in the number of companies that visited, compared with the show held last January. The Print Show, at Parsons Midtown Center, was sponsored by the American Association of Apparel Textile Design Studios and Agents (ATEX). That event featured 23 art studios and sales representatives, showing art from the U.S., England, France, Italy, Australia, Spain and China. Additionally, five studios focused on antique documents and textiles, and two exhibitors sold art books and forecast services. ATEX said there were 750 visitors, about the same number that attended a year ago.
“Butterflies mixed with flowers and conversationals are spring trends and are bestsellers,” according to Cathy Leese, sales representative at Marilyn Kern Textile Designs. “The conversationals represent travel, shells and fish themes and are sometimes mixed with flowers, reminiscent of Thirties and Forties looks. They’re in brights, such as turquoise, blues, reds and pinks.”
Galinda Wang, designer of La Chine, a better sportswear and blouse manufacturer here, selected a number of ideas at Kern, including monotone tropicals.
“We do a lot of conversationals, which are also important, and currently we’re doing well with them in resort themes, like clothing and fun paintings, such as pop art,” Wang said.
Lydia Caffery, director of marking service of Avondale Mills, in Sylacauga, Ala., was viewing designs from The Colorfield Design Studio, London, a new entry at the show.
“I’m looking for colored dark grounds with winter florals, like wildflowers, to interpret for spring 1996 and will buy some floral prints here,” said Caffrey. “I also like the toile prints to interpret for the mass market.”
Terry Grossman, managing director of Targatex, a converter in London, said he bought three prints from Groot Co. Designs, including “classic Liberty-look flowers, which I can recolor and recolor.” “In Europe,” he said, “plain goods are still the main item and stores are very slow to take risks with prints. The only thing helping is the reemergence of the printed tea dress.”
At London Portfolio, Neil Grabel said buyers were asking for fun conversationals. Selling well, he said, were patterns with figures of Carmen Miranda — the colorful Brazilian singer of the Forties.
The Print Show
“We had a strong reaction to our Home and Garden Group,” said Jean Wasil, art director of Tom Cody Design. “It’s clean and nontextured, moving away form the overprinted look of fall ’95.”
Wasil said bestsellers included blurred florals and micro florals, both intricately painted.
“Buyers were shopping for key ideas, and it’s really the start of a strong print resurgence for spring 1996,” Wasil said.
At The Style Council, Joe Castaldo, president, said large-scale flowers in multilayered effects were among the attention-getters, along with conversationals with botanical themes. As for color, he said key looks include “Fifties retro brights, which are slightly dulled, including green, pink and a sepia-tone purple.” “It’s going to be a good print season,” Castaldo said. “All the shows in Europe showed prints, and that filters down to the ready-to-wear market here.”
Looking for ideas at the Style Council was Roberta Weisse, product manager of Charming Shoppes, Bensalem, Pa. Her areas include plus-size sportswear and bottoms. “I’m looking to fill voids for spring ’96 and summer ’96,” Weisse said. “We’re seeing a lot of large-scale florals and conversationals. For spring ’96, prints will be much more important.”
Paddy Cohn, designer of Inner Secrets Inc., Harrison, N.J., bought florals at Pesah Design France and was looking at florals at Sweet Pea International Textile Design Studio. “We’re getting a better reaction compared to last year,” said Mirina Carapella, Sweet Pea’s sales representative. “People are buying from diverse markets, including lingerie, home furnishings and men’s wear.”
Linda Enke, fashion director of Victoria’s Secret Stores, Columbus, Ohio, said, “We’re responding to color, and we’ve bought print designs from both shows.”