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Looks to look for

There's lots of newness in the fabrics being introduced at Showtime in High Point, NC, this week. Many of the designs are more evolutionary, specific clusters of new looks designed to make the old seem better.

  • It's not flag-waving red, white and blue, but variations on the red and blue that are more berry and cherry red and Chinese red, cobalt blue or robin's egg blue.

  • Neutrals get a new look—sienna, natural gold, latte, spice, apricot, cinnabar—all a far cry from the perennial beige.

  • Sheen and shimmer expand from sheers to heavyweight and multi-purpose fabrics, bringing a new look of luxury and color effect to these fabrics.

  • Tommy Bahama invades home furnishings. Tropicals, Gauguin-inspired Tahitian design and literal TB translations are moving across the home textiles landscape.

  • American contemporary moves from mid-century retro, which still is important, and expands to fabrics with yarns designed to create new contemporary looks, lots of geometrics and multi-dimensional effects created through printing and weaving techniques.

  • Fabrics are not just serious business; they can be fun. And this is what the design community is bringing out in terms of designs both woven and printed as well as colorations. Even the names evoke humor, whimsy and laughter, characteristics previously understood mostly by the European design community.

  • Dressing up can be fun, the fabric community is saying, and the collections that are more formal are definitely 21st century—not the starchy, stiff looks of the past.

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