Style leaders split on color at Heimtex

Carole Sloan, January 20, 2003

Frankfurt, Germany — Design and color direction at Heimtextil here earlier this month brought radically different opinions from design mavens — something that has not been the case in a number of years.

From a design perspective this year's product offering was generally termed "safe" or "easier on the eye." The latter is a reference to the brilliant color palette and bold designs of the past several Heimtex shows.

Calling Heimtex "easier on the eye" than it has been in recent years with the color and design explosion, Andy Pacuk, senior vp, product development, The Robert Allen Group, called the general offering "safe" and utilitarian."

David Byers, director of design for Wearbest, called Heimtex "warm in feeling." For him the high-tech very, detailed jacquards were "standouts" as were the general complex weaving techniques overall.

Joan Karron, executive vp, CHF Inds., observed, "Fabrics just can't be plain solids anymore. They have to be crushed, pleated, shrunk, embellished. Piecing, not necessarily patchwork, also is a high-profile technique. I also see a return to the classics like paisleys all across the market. And we have to understand that the white grounds and simple stem flowers are designed for the German market which is the biggest audience here."

Discussing color, she picked the entire red family from rich merlot to bright peach.

On the other hand, M.J. Ramos, head of woven goods design for Duralee, was totally positive and pointed to citron green with orange and canteloupe from pastels to vibrants as very important. She also noted that intense watercolor effects were directional, adding: "There is a host of new flower favorites — birds of paradise, poppies, dogwood and tiger lilies.

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