Color splash is subtle at Decosit, TIP

Brent Felgner, Carole Sloan, September 24, 2001

Design and color directions were more subdued yet still evident in the introductions of decorative fabrics at Decosit and Textiles d'Interieur (TIP) here earlier this month.

If there was a major trend, according to some of the American design mavens attending the shows, it was the emergence of elegant, grandly scaled designs in both wovens and prints, followed by the omnipresent chenille yarns now mixed with other yarns to create innovative new effects.

And the elegant mood of fabrics influenced the color palette as well, some of the design specialists explained. Reds, purples and blues were key fashion colors, while the European emphasis on browns still was evident.

Overall, there was no clear trend, the design experts reported. And the color palette for some were dark and very traditional European in flavor.

"It was elegant, elegant, elegant," exclaimed Michael Day, vp/design of Textile Fabrics Associates. He pointed to an overscaled damask as an example of the direction the market is taking.

Yet another piece of the elegant movement was identified as classicism — Grecian and Roman motifs interpreted in both tight designs or abstracts, said Jeanie Viars, design director for Concord Home. "I also saw printed toiles on velvet. But at the same time there is a new modern age with a graphic look."

Overall, Decosit was disappointing so far as significant trends were concerned, said Bea Spires, vp, Quaker Fabrics. But she pointed to "more novelty yarns with chenilles used in an innovative way in bulky and spun versions."

Colors, Spires added, "were cleaner in general, but there was no standout color trend."

For design consultant Jean Baudrand, "there was lots of rich color at the upper end, pretty much like at Maison & Objet in Paris." Warm reds predominated in that segment, he explained, while "clean, happy apple greens and pale lavender were evident elsewhere — more subdued than ice cream colors."

In wovens, Baudrand pointed to jacquards with new effects like floating yarns that he called "very creative."

Noting that overall the shows here "were a little reserved, a feeling of lack of major innovation," Michael Koch, executive vp, Wearbest, added, "Color was an important story. Blue greens felt fresh. TIP showed fresher, more vibrant colors and rich colors. Overall, colors were European, earthy, serene, comfortable."

As for color, Jan Jessup, Jan Jessup & Co., felt TIP "showed a European interpretation of purple that is much brighter — not an American tonality. Soft azure blues were good, and the palette generally was more sophisticated and subtle."

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