PARIS — Despite a cloudy outlook for Europe’s textile industry, mills recently surveyed by organizers of the Première Vision textile trade show said business had picked up, though not to levels prior to the beginning of the 2008 economic meltdown, according to Philippe Pasquet, the event’s chief executive officer. The next edition of the show, shortened by a day, is set to run Sept. 14 to 16 at the Parc d’Expositions in Paris-Nord, Villepinte here.
“There is a positive trend, but there are lots of question marks over the years to come,” said Pasquet. He said in lieu of the heightened creativity seen over the past couple of seasons, the fall 2011 collections reflect a more sophisticated mood, underscoring the notion that added value for mills, during such challenging times, is their greatest weapon to overcome the financial uncertainty.
“Mills that produce in countries where production costs are high have realized that the way to go for survival is up, not down,” said Pasquet.
The lineup of 31 new mills set to show at the event includes Australian producer Michell, which specializes in merino wool jerseys; Dormeuil, a supplier of high-end men’s wear cloth, and Central Encajera, billed as Spain’s last-remaining lace manufacturer.
Sorting through fabric swatches in the run-up to the show, Pascaline Wilhelm, PV’s fashion director, noted a mood of “professionalism” among mills.
“It’s not at all a show-off season….It’s more profound and chic, with new interpretations of strict,” said Wilhelm, citing chic wool denim fabrics, cashmere blends and ultralight wools.
Technical fabrics also have sobered up, she said, displaying more opaque, chalky finishes.
“Like alternative medicine, there’s a gentler approach,” Wilhelm said. “Technical properties are invisibly at work — the whole cosmonaut thing is over.”
Other key directions include plays on textured wintry fabrics such as shaggy pelts, fake furs and playful mohairs, and unusual interpretations of rustic fabrics and yarns, such as Shetland wool.
Costume National founder Ennio Capasa will preside over the second edition of PV Awards. Jury members include Johan Buskqvist, head of design at Adidas; Tiziana d’Acquisto, fabric purchasing, research and development for Jil Sander, and Linda Loppa, director of the Polimoda, International Institute of Fashion Design & Marketing in Florence. A Special Woolmark Prize 2010 has been added.
A new forum, dubbed Relax-Distinction, will showcase fabrics bridging the formalwear and comfort categories. According to a recent study conducted by PV, the direction is increasingly popular in the men’s wear sector.
Texworld, the concurrent value-oriented textile trade fair, has upped its quotient of apparel manufacturers with vertical production chains to more than 150 exhibitors in response to growing demand from visitors for finished product. Most of the firms hail from Asia, with a few European subcontractors in the mix. The event will run Sept. 13 to 16 at Le Bourget.
New exhibitors signed up for the event include Portuguese denim specialist Troficolor Texteis SA, Indian embroidery specialist Ridhima and Russian linen firm Rulinen Group.
A new exhibition, Designers & Fashion, Fabric Experience, explores fabric’s journey from thread to finished garment, featuring a range of fabrics from exhibitors. Designs by students from the ESMOD fashion school in Paris will be featured in the Designers & Fashion, For Future section, also using fabrics from Texworld exhibitors.
A new meeting point, Designers & Fashion, Services, aims to hook designers up with exhibitors. Texworld’s organizers reported a 30 percent increase in certified eco-friendly mills scheduled to show, compared with September 2009’s session, representing a total of 121. These include Taiwan’s Handseltex, De Licacy, Be-Mode, Winfultex and Otny Textile; India’s Raymond Uco, Alok and JCT, and China’s Hemp Fortex.
Japanese mill Joint-Bishu will present a range of wools blended with eco-friendly fibers, such as bamboo, harnessing a textile technique that is said to date back 1,300 years.