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NEW YORK — Ask any designer, and they’ll tell you it all starts with the fabrics. So what’s up for fall? A potpourri of sorts — there are rich embroidered looks with a tribal spin; an array of supple, luxurious silks; punchy new prints; home furnishings-inspired looks, and even an ode to the original sultry siren of sin, Mae West. Here, some of the most intriguing textiles of the season. — Daniela Gilbert

“This is a white silk organza fabric from Solstiss printed in black with one of my favorite Mae West quotes, ‘I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.’ Part of the inspiration for fall was strong, opinionated women from an era where that was not necessarily de rigueur. This quote is repeated over and over, which creates a stripe effect on the fabric. The threads are also hanging from the words.” — Lela Rose

“This season I’m playing with volume, new proportion and everyday luxury, so this jacquard from Italvogue really captures the essence of this collection. The chenille is very rich and luxurious, while the playful floral motif feels young and whimsical. This particular mill is doing chenille jacquard exclusively for us, because I loved the reverse side and that’s what I’m using.” — Cynthia Steffe

“I was inspired by tassels, ribbons and velvets and wanted to create our signature tweed in a very fresh way. This ribbon Donegal tweed by Zibetti is a modern interpretation for the present-day princess.”   — Douglas Hannant

“Fabrics for fall are highly textural and tactile. It’s all about the mix of rough-hewn fabrics that have a hand-made, natural look with glossy, lacquered refined fabrics. Oftentimes both of these qualities come into play in the same fabric, such as in this one from Ramis.” — Peter Som

“This velvet by Denholme has a special process that’s applied to the back, a sort of rubberized effect that gives it this sculptural pattern. I was first drawn to the color, which I love, and then to the special technique, which made it different. It has a certain opulence and richness that goes with the feeling I have for fall. It also looks great in this evening coat — that’s always an issue, finding something wonderful to go over an equally wonderful dress.” — Tracy Reese

This story first appeared in the February 5, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“This silk chiffon from Jakob Schlaepfer is embroidered with sequins and then overprinted, right on the sequins, with a large, multicolored floral design. I am attracted to the beauty of the colors and the floral design, but especially the unique technique that was used to create the print.” — Derek Lam

“Our fabric inspiration for fall is the darkness, mystery and secrecy of a forest at night. Cinderella’s fabrics are shadowy and rich with a lightness to create volume without weight. Metallic jacquards, always a signature for Palmer Jones, have deeper, richer overtones in midnights and dark wood shades, such as this one from Bucol.” — Palmer Jones