Byline: Daniela Gilbert

NEW YORK — Masters of Linen presented their second annual Linen Trends in fabric and color for the spring-summer 2001 season recently at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan.
Given by European trend consultant Ornella Bignami, the presentation focused on key looks in linen for spring-summer 2001, and also touched on styles for the autumn-winter 2001-2002 season.
Colors, according to Bignami, are rich and varied where each color “plays a singularly important role of its own, but also vibrantly mixes and matches with the entire range.”
Key color moods included creamy pastels in light and fresh tonalities, powdery midtones, vibrant darks such as warm red and violet, nature’s whites with a hint of a rustic feel, and traditional neutrals used as a foundation.
The three themes pointed out by Bignami were Feel & Care, Natural & Everyday and Ethnic & Design.
“Feel & Care are all about sensual and tactile fabrics that evoke freshness and light,” she said.
Included in this grouping are glossed and polished looks such as glazed, cired, chintzed, calendered and satin finished linens; airy and feminine open constructions such as lacy looks, perforated and burnout patterns, and high-performance linens designed for comfort and ease in high tech blends of linen and carbon or linen and ceramic.
Natural & Everyday focuses on rustic elegance, according to Bignami, who said, “It’s rooted in the tradition that imparts a natural air to everyday wear.”
Here, an interplay of textures is key. Irregular, dimensional fabric, for instance, is achieved by mixing different sizes of yarns, coarser with finer, and including yarns with slubs, crepes and serges.
Knits in this grouping use heavier gauges that feature sliver yarns for a raffia effect. Double-faced and double- weaved looks, meanwhile, include unexpected bondings such as linen and leather.
Ethnic & Design is “a creative commingling of couture design details with ethnic ornamentation,” said Bignami.
Colorful patchworks of patterns including madras plaids, jacquards and multicolored ethnic stripes are key in this grouping. Also important are leather-like and rubber finishes, as well as subtle glints of metal in linen and metal blends. Iridescent effects are achieved through two-tone taffeta weaves.
Other fabric ideas include the importance of linen blends.
“Blends with every natural and man-made fiber forge an alliance that creates new hands, novel appearances and improved performance, all without hiding the inherent benefits and characteristics of natural linen,” said Bignami.
Linen blended with silk, cotton, wool or mohair is key going forward, as are blends with acrylic, acetate, viscose, Tencel, polyamide, Tactel and Lycra. More adventurous, she added, are blends with raffia, paper, steel, copper, ceramic and wood fiber.
Finishes on linen are another aspect worth exploring, noted Bignami.
“Although invisible to the touch, most of this season’s linens carry easy care or wrinkle-resistant finishes, and many are also stain resistant,” she added.
Additional new treatments include silicone coatings, washing, crackly tissue-paper hands, waterproof, softly brushed and chalky talcum powder hands and nonslip and rubberized coatings.