SPRING ’96: MORE BRIGHTS, LESS SHINE

Byline: Margaret Mazzaraco

NEW YORK — Bright colors and subdued shine will be key trends for spring-summer 1996 fabrics, according to presentations made here recently by three top forecasting organizations.
The forecasts came from Angelo Uslenghi, marketing consultant for the Moda In fabric fair in Milan, previewing the next edition to be held March 5-7; Li Edilkoort, president of Paris-based Trend Union, a forecasting firm whose twice-yearly presentations are a highlight of the Premiere Vision fabric fair in Paris, and Margaret Walch, associate director of the Color Association of America, whose forecasts are derived from a panel of professionals of industry segments, from fiber to retailing.
Here, a look at each presentation.

Moda In
“[Brights] will influence spring 1996 fabrics, reflecting the European consumer’s attitude to break away from negatives, and wanting a more colorful season,” said marketing consultant Angelo Uslenghi in his discussion last month at the Italian Trade Commission here.
Key colors derived from flowers will include poppy red, peony pink, geranium red, cornflower blue and goldenrod yellow will all be popular, while those taken from fruits will highlight apple green and orange, said Uslenghi, discussing the spring palette, which will be featured at the next Moda In, March 5-7.
“They are important when mixed with neutrals, such as ivory, and three grays — pearl, asphalt and cement gray,” Uslenghi added. “Beiges like ivory sable and coffee bean browns are excellent, coordinated with these neutral tones. The key is to contrast the fabrics with brights and neutrals.” He discussed three fabric groups to illustrate his spring predictions.
Joy, highlighted by surface interest, including a satin — either pearlized, iridescent or anodized. Other ideas include such fabrics as Thirties men’s pajama stripes in bright-and-dull effects, and Sixties botanical prints. Some fabrics in the group recall items such as plastic and metal, Uslenghi noted, citing a shiny leather fabric with a gold effect.
Adventure, another group, is characterized by “literary exoticism,” Uslenghi said, noting an influence of African and Asian themes in “the colonial style,” described by such authors as Ernest Hemingway and Isak Dinesen. Gabardines and basket weaves with iridescent effects, Madras and mattress ticking stripes in tone-on-tone colors reflect the trend. Other spotlighted looks in the group have the look of authentic handcrafts, such as a coarse carded cotton. In thicker effects, the fabrics were embossed or quilted, resembling the garb of tribal chiefs.
A third group, Coolness, showcased minimalist patterns such as pin dots, salt and pepper textures in fine-count yarns and as drapy fabrics. Solid weaves were also emphasized.

Trend Union
“Fashion is in for a big change,” said Trend Union’s Li Edilkoort, during her talk at the Fashion Institute of Technology. “In Paris, they [couture and pret-a-porter] have a style we announced last year for summer 1995 — satin, elegance and glamour,” she said. “We have seen satin in most of the shows, and also glazed satins.”
It represented a strong pulling away from deconstruction to glamour and glitter, she said.
However, she continued, “by spring 1996, we will be so fed up with disco stuff, the trend will be towards elegance with still a touch of glamour.” The shine of disco fabrics will be taken down a bit, but shine will be still important in interpretations of “retro elegance.”
Edilkoort said there will also be fresh looks in such ideas as terry cloth and other cottons, and a comeback of a more aggressive uniform-oriented casual wear. The latter, she said, “is like post pret-a-porter, using more detail, more pockets, more hardware.”
She also highlighted a fresh, springlike urban mood, like “an April day in Paris,” mixing natural elements with man-made fibers, “country material becoming citified.” Important colors are city grays like cement, Edilkoort said, and urbanized greens such as acid and khaki. Inspiration also comes from naturals, grays and browns, taking color and luster one step down, she said. “Think of pearl colors going lighter to grays and beiges and then using darks only as accents,” Edilkoort said.

The Color Association of the United States
“Pink, orange and lime will set the colorful, upbeat mood, said the association’s Margaret Walch, citing eight groups of colors that will dominate spring 1996.
“Each group evokes an idealized, almost fantasized notion of a section of the United States,” said Walch.
One group, Artifice Miami, is highlighted by tropical pastels, “which are also evocative of the Fifties as well,” she said. “We’ll see pinks, corals, soft celestial blues and turquoise in feminine dressing.”
Another group, Artifice Baja, is characterized by bright orange, cherry red and magenta, reflecting Hispanic and Afro-American tastes. The strong brights will be used “head-to-toe by the daring,” Walch said. “For the less outspoken dresser, they’ll be seen as accent colors in floral motifs, patterns and weaves,” Walch said.
A third collection, Artifice LA, highlights the West Coast customer and uses turquoises and minty and tropical greens, Walch said.
Dark colors continue in lesser amounts, Walch noted, referring to Kennebunkport, a group reminiscent of men’s rep ties. Olive greens, deep burgundies and navys are used more discreetly in outlines and accents in the group.
Browned and Canyon, two mid-tone groups, are evocative of American Southwest earth tones in changing light, said Walch. Key colors are Canyon Rose, Southwest Pink, Indian Red and River Green.
Bayou, the final group, emphasizes whitened pastels.

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