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Trend guide turns one (month)

An online guide to international design trends celebrated its first month in business last week.

The brainchild of a Fashion Institute of Technology student who interned with New York home textiles companies, Trendease International is part trend news, part stylebook.

Trendease correspondents in Europe and the United States cover design and trade shows, unique retail concepts, artist studios, events and the streets to tease out emerging trends.

"We're reporting to inspire," said Jennifer Castoldi, president and creative director. "Let's face it, too many companies are just knocking each other off and regurgitating their best old ideas. When you operate that way, you're lucky if you come up with one really new idea a year."

News is delivered monthly on the company's Web site (www.trendeaseintl.com) and in weekly newsletters. The June monthly edition features reports on the L'Eclaireur boutiques in Paris, the year-end fashion show by design students at Parsons School of Design in Paris, and the innovation of Vlieger & Vandam's radical fashion accessories from Rotterdam, as well as a review of products, color palettes and textures from various cities around the world.

All reports are liberally assorted with photographs, which subscribers may view in four formats: thumbnail, large image, slide show, and higher resolution.

"We're trying to feature a lot of the young designers," Castoldi said. "They're so energetic and full of ideas. A lot of them do import/export as well."

Count Castoldi among the young and energetic. A 2001 graduate of FIT's home fashions program and recent graduate of the master's program at the International School of Management, she started the Trendease project as a way to offset tuition. Trendease launched to VIPs last spring during the New York Home Textiles Market, followed by a public launch May 6.

As for the trends of the moment on the international scene, Castoldi points to newspaper prints and comic motifs in apparel. In home, she cites "big, chunky weaves — rope-sized," as being popular, adding that aqua "is everywhere."

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