With craft and provenance ever more central to brand strategy in fashion, Première Vision textiles show in Paris has become an industry-leading event in recent years. “For me fabrics always come first – only after I find the right material can I begin to think of the shape and flow of the clothes,” says designer Dušan Paunovic, of womenswear label Dušan.
Closing yesterday in Paris, Première Vision consolidated its place as one of the most influential events in the global fashion calendar. Taking place in the European heartland of couture, and in the midst of the busiest time in European fashion (Milan women’s fashion week, and foreshadowing Paris women’s), this is the place where global trends are born.
The teams from Versace, Dries Van Noten, Brunello Cucinelli and Chanel were all present, scouring more than 800 producers from around the globe for the best quality materials and most innovative fabrics. With more than 55,000 visitors from over 100 countries – this is the place to be if you care to know what the world will be wearing in two winters’ time.
Italian and French manufacturers have always been a dominant force at Première Vision, but the real growth and innovation this year came from the 50 Turkish companies at the fair. Some of the standouts were carpet and upholstery yarns from Ulusoy Tekstil, and the sumptuously dyed fabrics from SÖKTAŞ, both asserting Turkey’s growing influence. The Japanese were also back on top this year, overcoming the tribulations of 2011 with some slick and innovative products. “Ten years ago there were only a handful of Japanese companies at the fair, this year there are over 30,” says Emi Yoshida from Minami, the Osaka-based company that introduced a ‘Nordic Quilt’ fabric this year. Founded in 1950, the family-owned firm finds devoted fans in Chanel, APC, Marc Jacobs and Vanessa Bruno.
As for the fabrics themselves, there was a strong technical element throughout the fair this year. Reversible materials were on the rise, coming in myriad combinations of cotton, linen or wool, and in contrasting colours or textures from double crepes to plain weaves. This was especially evident in the ranges from Olmetex and Lanificio Fratelli Cerruti, while Swiss label Jakob Schlaepfer gave a technological master class with an exclusive range of laser cut foams and fabrics, combined with digital printing.
Heritage brands were as popular as ever, with Scotland’s Harris Tweed Textiles attracting attention for its oversized herringbones and updated colour combinations, while Woolrich Fabrics opted for traditional Celtic patterns for 2012/13. Eco-friendly fabrics were also a trend to watch, with Milan-based Alcantara exemplifying the move with its 100 per cent carbon neutral textiles and leathers, supplying the likes of Versace, Armani and Ferragamo.