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Textile razzmatazz will enliven autumn 10

Having swung by Lille and Milan in the past fortnight for the cities’ textile shows, I am fired up for the autumn 10 season.

Why? The French and Italian events revealed mills’ propositions for next winter and while, on the whole, these are just the starting points for designers to take into development, there was still enough new direction to excite observers like me.

The overall mood was dark and rich, a sumptuous look that took inspiration from art deco and baroque designs, while the techniques often replicated handcrafted creations, with stitched sequins and embroidery adding oodles of sparkle to the swatches on show.

It was particularly under the show lights at Milano Unica in Milan that the glint of Lurex and plasticised sheen added to the party-tastic twinkling. This was rendered in a sophisticated and romantic feel on cobweb-like chiffons, nets of sequins and heavier-weight textiles encrusted with paste jewels.

This more crafted feel led to a more structured look in general, but back at Tissu Premier in Lille, where the European mills were focused more on luring close-to-season sales than exercising their virtuosity, there was still plenty of room for soft handle jersey with that liquid-like drape. This, they told me, will still be big for autumn 10 as the high streets and key brands try to recreate sexy separates in the mould of Balenciaga’s autumn 09.

Most exciting of all was the profusion of digital printing, which introduced colourful computer-manipulated designs to textiles. These included repeat prints and large placement prints in irregular positions, fiery colours and imaginative abstracts. I hope designers felt as inspired as I did and that some of this arresting newness comes through next year.

  • Stephen Spear is the assistant menswear editor of Drapers

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