Premiere Vision
pushes the limits for Fall/Winter 2000/2001

Before Seventh on Sixth begins to think about pre-production and long before the Paris couture shows, global fabric trends get ironed out first in a far less glamourous setting. Directly translating into "First Look", the Premiere Vision show represents exactly that. Eighteen months before popular fashion appears in stores, the planning starts at what is casually known within the industry as "P.V." Held twice yearly in October and March in Paris, the four-day spectacle showcases the top European fabric collections for both home and apparel and is attended by any fashion designer and press representative who must be "in the know". Attendees are treated to three "salons", each featuring different fabric styles, through films, lectures, trend and multimedia exhibits.

Walking the miles of this show could be daunting to even the most energetic New York fashionista, but the savvy people at Premiere Vision developed a solution. This season PV unveiled their new "Fashion, Culture, Relaxation" areas. The most popular was an enormous igloo with multimedia techno animation on the walls and oversized cushions inside. "The whole concept was very pleasant, very well trafficked, and really amazing," explained Bernadette Semavoine, managing director and vice president of Promostyl, (a Paris-based trend forecast service and au courant fabric library).

Premiere Vision is the premiere industry barometer, setting the styles, colors, textures and trends for the season to come, with much trickle down effect into ready-to-wear collections, creating the color, mood, and drape of clothes to come. This time, for the Fall/Winter 2000/2001 season, the big news was Color and "Multimedia" fabrics.

Several manufacturers noted a return to bold, "real" color as opposed to the softened, grayed, neutral colors of past seasons, with the following palette:

SPICE: autumn gold, orangey-reds, deep berry browns, aubergine, rust, and orange accents.
GREEN: loden, olive and light yellow-greens.
PINK: more raspberry toned, mixed with orange, olive or deep plums.
BRIGHT ACCENTS: blue, fuchsia and bright orange led the color wave.
TEAL: from soft slate blue and bright peacock, to the deepest shades of midnight.
PASTELS: a new approach for knits and traditional cashmeres.
BROWNS: both warm and cool cocoas, ecru, taupey brown, honey and camel, often accented with orange and olive.
GREY: lots of grey melange accented with softly colored sweater knits -- yellow, blue, pink and lilac.
MONOCHROME: black, white and off-white.

The fabrics themselves reflected the fashion movement towards variety in dressing, mixing yarns, layers, coatings, performance technology and lots of embellishment: Nothing is simple anymore.

Noteworthy Trends:
Technology offers much "added value" for performance or protection.
- Polyurethane, elasthane and rubber were blended into or coated many fabrics.
- Antibacterial treatments, U.V. protection, stain-resistance and thermo-reactive fabrics.
- Tissages de L'Aigle offered a knit made of "Viafil" that might just be the ultimate miracle fabric: "it is bacterio-static, stain-resistant, waterproof, breathable, elastic, anti-stress, anti-UV, thermo-regulating, fire-resistant, and wrinkle-proof."

Technology has also created the next step in printing. Usually available as custom techniques for small batches only, these effects are now available in mass quantity.
- Metallic flocking
- Perforations
- Lacquer and foam printing
- Handpainted shiny coating

Hi-tech synthetics, iridescence and sleek shine were everywhere. The reassuring words, "Sportswear synthetics are not just for techno clothes anymore, but reaching into the better markets" were delivered by Christine Azario, director of fabric design for the Donna Karan Collection
- Metallic colors, frost, metal, iridescent
- Layering, quilting and padding
- Shiny, papery, reflective or rubberized coatings
- Matte blends of cotton/wool/linen with nylon, polyurethane, elasthane and other synthetics
- Volume and moldability in all fabrics

Embellishment on everything from jeans to taffeta shells to ballgowns blurred the line between evening and daywear," explained Glynis Dohn, vice president of design and merchandising for Hamil USA, a Canadian textile converter. The trend toward artisanal, homespun one-of-a-kind pieces has allowed fabric designers to pull out all the stops.
- Wool with sequins
- Prints with mirrors and embroidery
- Chiffon bonded to felt
- Double-faced fabrics with opposing textures, like one side rubberized and the other soft polar fleece.
- The embellishment winner!: layers of tulle over flannel with feathers and sequins.

Denim is still extremely hot right now and came in every shape imaginable:
- Overdyed deep colors were the newest approach
- Brushed
- Crinkled, wrinkled
- Stonewashed - should conjure a Girbaud revival
- Dark, stiff and coated
- Soft and flowing
- Printed or embroidered

Luxury and texture marked the coming of autumn:
- Fur, faux fur, leather, suede and skins.
- Softened luxury: brushed, sanded, downy, foamy, quilted, padded, velvety, felted, and moleskin.
- Knits were hairy and voluminous, but always light, transparent and weightless
- Open-weaves with multiple nappings to create shaggy and puffy effects.
- Simple and soft: cashmere-feel, felted, boiled and jersey.
- Wool and wool-blends in double weaves, bouclettes, basketweaves, honeycombs, or hairy with multiple length pilings and mohair/angora blends.

"Trends that have been making their way into the market over the last few seasons are starting to really catch on," explains Fred Rotman, executive vice president of Picchi, a woolen fabric mill based in Prato, Italy. He emphasized color, highlighting pastels and greens as the most dominant. "Bonded, double-faced fabrics continue, but in a bigger way. Laser cut designs, especially on felted fabrics, with raw-edge finishes are becoming important. Flannel continues, especially with stretch, and we're seeing various polyurethane finishes with a crispy, bouncy hand for pants and jackets. And everybody wants fringe", he explains. With "hippy style" turning towards the mainstream, borders, jacquards and blanket designs round out the demand.

This fall, when you throw on that shimmering wool dress with layers of tulle and feathers, or the quilted T that reacts to your body heat (and offers UV protection), you'll realize fully just how trendy and cutting edge you really are.

By Hilary Krosney
Fashion Icon Holiday 2000