Heimtex sets direction

Carole Sloan, January 22, 2001

FRANKFURT, GERMANY -It was a year more for affirmation of directions than anything spectacularly new.

American visitors to Heimtextil here earlier this month picked the pleated, puckered, crinkled, wrinkled looks as one important statement, the dominance of color vs. naturals, innovative tactile interest, and the emergence of dramatically graphic, single motifs used on windows, bed and bath.

"There were no seismic shifts," is the way Joan Karron, executive vp of CHF Inds. evaluated Heimtex. "But the tactile nature of the fabrics, whether through the application of foreign objects, the insertion of unusual yarns, the double weaves and the quilting, were fabulous."

As for color, Karron was impressed with the range of the purple family-"from pink to kir to merlot to burgundy."

For Tracey Flood, merchandise development manager, home division at JCPenney, Plano, TX "Heimtex confirmed where we are going and also made us realize that some elements would have a longer life than we originally thought."

Color, Flood explained, "was the main trend and the one we're really excited about. The opulent statement of reds and golds and the whole purple trend which we now see as having a longer life."

"I loved all the color-the oranges which two years ago I thought were outlandish; it shows how you get accustomed to new things, the golds and the fern greens," said Belinda Ballash, executive vp, Newport. From a design viewpoint, "the white duvet covers with the single giant flowers were sensational, and I loved the incredible sheer panels," Ballash said.

"The Zucchi hypergraphic flowers were really the most interesting," said Lisa Nuttall, vp, design director at Domestications, Weehawken, NJ.

Calling this year's Heimtex "evolutionary, not revolutionary," Anne Bertsch, head of Anne Bertsch Associates, climbed on the color bandwagon. "It was everywhere, especially orange, but more sophisticated than ever."

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