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Eerie imaginings at Première Vision autumn 18

Premiere Vision AW18  10

The sun shone on visitors as they made their way along the long path to the entrance of Parc des Expositions for the autumn 18 edition of Parisian textile fair Première Vision on 19-21 September.

The temperature outside was crisp, but inside it soon warmed up as hordes of designers, retailers, students and journalists poured into the gargantuan halls.

Attendance numbers were up this season, bouncing back after a dip caused by recent terror attacks in Europe. In all, organisers expected final numbers to come in at around 60,000.

There were 1,960 exhibitors, up 3.3% on last year, including fabric and yarn producers from Europe and beyond, manufacturers, print designers and suppliers of finishing components, from across 57 countries. Italy again had the strongest presence, while Turkey maintained a strong showing despite the uncertain geopolitical context. Stands were busy, as exhibitors held appointments and fielded enquiries from potential new customers.

Premiere Vision AW18  7

In the Manufacturing hall, which housed 185 companies from Europe, north Africa, Madagascar and Mauritius, there was a special focus on the Tunisian textile sector this season – the first time PV has promoted a particular country within this space (see interview with Gilles Lasbordes, below).

Meanwhile, Sourcing Connection, which used to be a separate show for manufacturers from the Asia Pacific region, has now been added to PV as another hall.

Two main stories emerged on the fashion side – “eerie imaginings” and “irreverent elegance” – which translated into trends that embraced both the fantastical, and a lightness not usually seen in autumn/winter fabrications.

There was also a noticeable continuing focus on sustainability among exhibitors and from the organisers, and sustainable fabrics were more sophisticated and luxurious than in years gone by.

How was the show?

Cem Aydin Head of sales, international markets, at Sanko Textil

For us, it’s very important to be here to meet our existing customers and present our new developments, and of course to meet new customers. It’s been very busy compared with February and last September. People are looking for organic cotton, sustainability and natural fibres. My only complaint is that it gets too hot [in the Fabrics hall] after lunch, and it’s uncomfortable.

Kirsty McDougall Director and designer at Rare Thread

It has been busy all day, although it could always be busier. It’s our first time in the Designs hall and we’ve made some good contacts with some of the mills. We’ve seen manufacturers from India and China, and had appointments with some of our existing clients, such as Balmain and Valentino. You always get something out of [exhibiting at] Première Vision.

Anna Stefaniak PR executive at YKK Europe

It’s busier than last year, although perhaps not as busy as it was three years ago. But our stand is always full – from about 12pm to 6:30pm we will not sit down. We’re opposite the trend area [in the Accessories hall], which is a great location. We’ve seen customers from all over Europe.

Rebecca Smith Co-owner of Studio Bodhi

We launched six months ago, so it’s our first time at PV. It has been good, we have had a lot of interest and we’ve been learning a lot about what people expect, what questions they might ask. We’ve seen a mix of mainly Turkish and Indian mills. People are looking for textures and anything that is soft and tactile, like our brushed merino.

Paul Costelloe Designer of the eponymous brand

PV is not as exclusive as it used to be – it’s more of a broad sourcing base – and it now shows later than [Italian textiles fair] Milano Unica, which moved forward to July this year. But I don’t believe any designer can avoid going to the textile fairs. I always feel I may be missing out on something.

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