Woolmark Trends by Esther Lorber at Pitti Filati
5th February 2008, Florence
Each season, creatives and designers from the major international fashion houses and brands come looking for creative stimuli at Pitti Filati, the world preview of yarns for the knitting industry, in Florence.
For spring/summer 2009 the Pitti Filati Spazio Ricerca (research area) presents a marine theme, A Filo d’Acqua - At the Water’s Edge, inspired by the most elegant, abstract, playful and colourful aspects of what goes on, in, under and on top of the water.
The power of water itself, coral “architecture”, shiny, flashing fish, silky grains of sand, and iridescent gleam of mother-of-pearl, provide the input, tactile and chromatic inspiration for the creation of not only yarns, but also textures, shapes and atmospheres for design in general.
The colour atmosphere proposed at the trend area is derived from the colours of water, corals, seashells, fish, and precious grains of pearl, quartz and gold and silver dust. The colours are broken down and modified by the continuous action of waves, creating a refreshing, crystalline and vital palette.
The Eco-Luxe exhibition focuses on the quality and value of natural, ecological and organic yarns for an innovative definition of luxury and creativity, opposed to the stereotyped ideas of crafty and rustic.
Authoritative representatives of the textile and fashion industry have discussed the topic of eco-luxury in a series of workshops dedicated to the development of biological textiles.
Australian Merino is featured as a natural, eco-friendly fibre, thanks to a specific raw material selection, an oriented choice of colours and of production cycles with a low environmental impact, following the specifications required.
The overall strong colour consciousness, advancing colour as a major trend concept itself, is backed by the colour proposals from single spinners and first visitor’s feedback. While white modulated through various shades, sandy neutrals and deep darks always play an important role. This season adds a new, playful colour statement ranging from pastels to intense, bright shades and fluo power.
The chromatic vibe is given by:
* Blues: aqua, periwinkle, faded denim, turquoise
* Greens: lime, mint, live oak
* Pinks & purples: powder, seashell, lavender, lilac, mauve
* Orange reds: tangerine, hibiscus, coral
Multicolour or tonal combinations are worked up in the yarns itself as well as in geometric and decorative patterns, using the more extreme hues as highlights.
Extreme fineness combined with a pleasing touch is confirmed as an ongoing trend and an essential characteristic of perfectly contemporary knits. Very fine gauge, noble fibre yarns are used for knitwear that is not only transeasonal and versatile, but also rewarding in terms of comfort and aesthetics.
Highest counts and thicker yarns with medium gauges play a secondary role this season. The more voluminous yarns obtain feather weight through yarn construction in chain, tubular and mesh structures that are often hollow, or in combinations with high count yarns.
Absolute luxury is the other essential concept for the season, going hand in hand with the trend towards finer yarns and subtle innovation. The development of aesthetic and performing qualities is stressed through research in blends, dyeing and treatments.
The precious features of noble fibres are enhanced with the help of technology for extremely sophisticated yarns that provide smooth handle, freshness, gloss, softness and lustre.
Australian Merino combines the demand for precious, finest qualities with the growing request for natural fibres, such as cashmere, silk or linen - especially at the top end of the market.
Nature is considered reassuring and aesthetically perfect, and the concept of sustainable couture defines a rapidly growing market niche. Natural qualities are becoming fashion statements.
Spinners point out their ongoing research dedicated to eco-friendly yarns that cover the various production steps, from raw material to vegetal dyeing and sustainable manufacturing processes.
There is some interest in hand spun or hand knitted, rustic aspects, but the most innovative direction is towards knits that combine the natural derivation with the requirements for performing qualities and contemporary aesthetics.
With lightness and luxury as priorities for spring/summer and ecology being a very important aspect, the focus is on natural fibres, like cotton, wool, linen, silk and cashmere - always with a particular emphasis on beauty and elegance.
Viscose is reinterpreted, experimenting with new aspects and hands. Acrylics, nylon and metallic threads are used to add shine for glamorous blends.
Alternative fibres following the eco trend include:
* Milk fibre
Fancy effects and knit structures
Shine and colour are the most important features regarding novelty. Metallic and iridescent fibres are added through blend or yarn construction for subtle luminosity, while specialty yarns with sequins or beads are seen mainly for details or trim.
Shaded or multicoloured chromatic effects in twisted and printed yarns include chinè, moulinè, tweeds and nub yarns.
Plain knits are compact or subtly frothy, hollow and sheer. Structured knits gain new attention focusing on net-like openwork with lacy, filigree or macramé aspects.
Pleating and combinations of contrasting gauge yarns create three dimensional surfaces, some with stitches recalling fish scales. Coatings and embossed prints create a slick or metallic shimmer.
Author: Billy Hunter