While prints move beyond the floral and fabric constructions get more technical, prices remain an issue for designer and buyers
At upscale textiles show Premiere Vision in Paris last week, more complicated constructions and techy fabrics were flagged by visiting designers as increasingly important.
Carlotta Gherzi, head designer of London based brand Sado says: “The fabrics are plainer on the whole but there are more innovations on the technical. The mills are giving us more choice in terms of construction. The summer collections used floaty fabrics but are still structured. This will come back for autumn 09 but with more texture applied – the fabric construction is better and there are lots of double faced textiles.”
In terms of prints, florals were still in the mix but yet another season of painterly and ditsy blooms dominating seems unlikely. Designers are tiring of the perpetual petals and can now look to alternatives to quench the appetite of the dress-hungry UK. Paisley and tribal looks were well defined and camouflage prints were remixed in tonal combos and blurred effects. Both prints and embroidered styles used pops of neon and bright colours to enliven black and smoky backgrounds, while the use of photo-realistic effects were used to create more fantastic styles.
According to one supplier to the high street, while designers are after more embellished fabrics, it will be simpler prints that continue to add window appeal on womenswear, and purely for cost reasons: “It may seem like there’s an opportunity to sell more specialised textiles but actually what a lot of the high street stores want is very expensive to make and we have to say no to lots of potential business because the margin just isn’t there.”
The flip side is that the luxury end of the market will be able to differentiate itself now more than ever. And with Lagerfeld-inspired gothic lace seen in abundance in Paris, top-end designers look set to use these more costly fabrics that dovetail so neatly with trends.