Janet Prescott in Florence
Pitti Immagine Filati is styled as a creative hub. In the latest edition of the up-market international yarn exhibition, areas dedicated to research and development featured mills who were keen to present ideas on husbandry of resources and the latest moves on sustainability, interpreted with dramatic visuals and intricate colourful designs, accompanied by slogans and decorative flags – a dynamic setting.
Current priorities recognise it is possible to slow down the degradation of natural assets and call a halt to a historic consumption of materials and resources that now seems reckless. The sustainable fabric display section has grown over the seasons, a live issue everywhere in various guises.
Knitwear is talked of as the future of fashion, with new knitting techniques like whole garment possibilities, 3D printing and speed of manufacture holding out a future quicker, more versatile and suited to multiple environments and crucially, no waste. Recycled linen, wool and synthetic fibres were present in blends. Major companies are far along the road in developing their strategies.
Just as many of the natural fibres are organic, compostable or recycled, most polyester based are described as being recycled. Sustainable viscose is appearing more frequently.
There was a flurry of new organics, new pure naturals, recycled elements and ‘virtuous’ blends was present in many collections.
Filpucci’s varied collection was certified and verified; organic cottons and recycled linen, Ginko organic hemp, silk or Tencel Luxe; ultra-modern Enka viscose, Sorona Newlife polyester, Ecotec nylon. A mural in the large Filpucci booth showed interaction with Re.Verso, its partners on the organic platform, with a diagram of the Take Back scheme where traceability extends to clothing at the end of the life cycle, involving the customer as “responsible allies,” said Federico Gualtieri of Filpucci.
Trends – Complex Colours, Art and Inspiration
Colours were upbeat, many soft and floral as with Cariaggi cashmeres in a set named ‘Garden Party’, with an enhanced sense of nature a major trend. Floral colours were made interesting by mixing tones and juxtaposition with other shades as in a garden…
Small variations of a similar colour were forecast; many shades of blue, purple, lilac, ‘the world of blues’ said Tollegno1900 ‘expressed in a thousand different variants’ likewise, sage or leaf green in subtle woodland hues, interspersed with greyed-off yellow, contrasted with the bright reds, orange and blues of flags, and starkly warning colours of naïf dramatic sloganising of poster art – Saving the planet, the polar bear and calling out global warning, symbolising international climate focused mass movements and rebellion.
Todd & Duncan’s customary sophisticated palette regularly studies art for its creative colours. This time it was British iconic artists painter, sculptor and ceramicist Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Bernard Leach. The palette included new pastel summer cashmere shades and bold contrasts.
Delicate yarns and airy constructions
Yarns in fine counts are used for delicate constructions, many ornamented with sparks of light built into the yarn by metallic threads or glass elements like luxury yarn collections at Zegna Baruffa, Cariaggi. Silks and glitter, Lurex and sequins are still a feature of many collections, along with printed yarns and fancy twists.
Fragility in appearance, though not in performance, achieved through ultra-light and transparent yarns, as at long-time sustainable specialists Sesia Summer fibres included very light counts of precious yarns, Merino, cashmere, cotton, viscose and linen. Sometimes mixed together. High luxury yarns, summer Merino at Zegna Baruffa and Tollegno 1900 and Pimafil Peruvian Pima cotton, Spoerry 1866 Ice Cotton and iconic Sea Island cotton yarns.
Home-made was the description by Lanificio dell Olivo, lauding simplicity and handiwork in a parallel look which had traction. Linea Piu natural trends were expressed in hand knitting yarns like grainy surfaces, dry handle, and softer alpaca and cotton, for light and fluffy looks.
Pitti Immagine Filati 86: Images from the Show…
Machinery is at the heart of the new importance of knitted fashion throughout, exploring new spinning and knit techniques to achieve novelty. Stoll presented a technical seminar for designers, explaining the reaches of Stoll technology in techniques developed by their fashion design team explaining how colour plating can achieve radically different aesthetic outcomes using few colours. Shima Seiki machines demonstrating the speed of whole garment knitting increasingly finding a home in conventional knitwear, medical applications and active sportswear.
Iafil promoted uses of natural resources and waste reduction in production, launching Show you Care, a project involving the Eco Washing Balls and Brushing Balls introduced last season. individual garments washed with the patented balls during production resulting in no soap washes, and 85% less energy used. All swatches of the Spring /Summer collection for 2021 were washed and brushed by the Sala Spheres.
Pitti Immagine Filati 86: More Images from the Show…
Flagging up concerns
The theme of invented flags symbolising many aspects of the season were commandeered to make dramatic waving outside the halls, and a bright colourful punctuation indicating identification and internationalism, and also showing the power of colour and change.
Pitti Filati’s internationally renowned trend and research areas created by Angelo Ficus and Nicola Miller, generating a busy winding of yarns and serious examination of new stitches, knit techniques and yarn construction by the many professionals who spend time in the research areas as well as visiting individual stands.
Customeasy is the continuation of a new concept designed by Alessandro Maradei, consisting of knitwear made from exhibitors’ yarns, knitted by knitwear producers, members of the KnitClub – the high-level knitwear manufacturers chosen by Pitti Filati. The garments are embellished by specialist Maurizio Rocchetto, the results dotted around the area.
FeelTheYarn, the international knitwear competition celebrates the knitted garments made by selected international students, made from yarns of 35 participating mills – more colleges than ever have applied for this year’s competition, to be judged at the next Pitti Filati in June – The X Contest 2020X with the theme: Move Beyond.