The New Classics
Alexa Boschini -- Home Accents Today, January 30, 2014
Following a summer show that emphasized more subdued colors and softer patterns, the winter edition of Showtime left modesty and restraint behind. The semiannual fabric fair, held Dec. 8-11 in High Point, N.C., favored opulence and intricacy as it paraded styles rich in eye catching colors and detailed patterns.
Many exhibitors updated classic styles like lace looks, embroidery-inspired patterns and filigreed designs by infusing them with bold shades of blue, green, purple and orange. Indoor/outdoor fabric producer Phifer showcased intricate damasks, botanicals and paisley looks melded with shades of peacock blue, emerald green, azalea pink, vivid coral and rich purple for an updated take on traditional.
Rich loom Fabrics Group introduced an elaborate medallion pattern called Margarita in upbeat shades of apricot, sunny yellow, aqua blue and spring green. "I would say the orange family in a softer apricot is doing well," said Louise Cullen Robinson, vice president of creative development at Rich loom. "So is the idea of taking a classical design and pairing it with a more contemporary color like cobalt."
Softer yet vibrant variations of pink tinged orange, like coral and papaya, were prominent throughout the show. Lace field Designs highlighted several playful creations in color ways called Paprika and Geranium. "That's what everyone has been gravitating toward," said Chris Hutcheson, vice president of Lace field Designs. "It lets you play between a red and a coral."
Robert Allen showcased the bold hue in the front of its showroom, featuring a sofa upholstered in a chinoiserie fabric that incorporated bright pops of coral. "We've interpreted it using our classical designs," said Paula Serna, design manager with The Robert Allen Group. "We're taking classical motifs and using fresh, fun colors."
Jane Matteson of Trend Strategy and Swarovski Elements highlighted a similar theme of the old becoming new during her trend presentation, "Opposites Attract: Fall/Winter 2014/15." One of the trends she highlighted, Urban Nomad, marries the soft natural shades of classic bohemian looks with deep, romantic variations of purple.
"Look for equal measures of roughness and refinement," Matteson said. "We're playing with polar opposites and seeing how they respond to each other."
Another trend Matteson highlighted in her presentation, Demure Decadence, featured a color palette "reminiscent of vineyards in the fall" with deep, berry shades of pink, purple and red. The palette was already emerging at Showtime, seen in romantic floral prints at Para and more contemporary geometric and botanical motifs in Robert Allen and Crypton's joint line of performance fabrics.
Other prominent pattern trends included menswear looks such as hounds tooth, herringbone, pinstripes and plaids, as well as Southwest-and tribal-inspired designs. Glen Raven showcased several menswear patterns from its Sunbrella brand, including the new Suiting Collection designed by Joe Ruggiero.
Greg Voorhis, decorative fabrics design manager for Glen Raven, said vintage, handmade looks also continue to perform well for Sunbrella. "We're still pushing that artisanal, handmade look and it's still very strong," he said. "We say we're artistry meets industry."
Many exhibitors said geometric prints remain in demand, from lattice and Moroccan tile motifs to angular shapes and sharp chevron. Soft line Home Fashions co-founder and President Jason Carr said the company's customers are still gravitating toward geometrics, which were featured in several new introductions including sheer fabrics.
"Prints have been really hot - prints on cotton, prints on linen, prints on faux silk," he said. "Chevron continues to be strong."
Color in general was prominent over neutrals in both contemporary and traditional offerings. Roxanne Newby, market manager of Vision Fabrics, said the company's latest introductions feature "tons of color."
"I think it's the whole resurgence with the economy," she said. "People feel like the economy is coming back and they want color back in their lives."
Variations of blue continued to show their resilience, from spa blue to soft cornflower to deep indigo. "I think blue is strong for furniture, and people who do bedding are gravitating toward taupe, which pairs well with orchid," said Ronnie Gold, designer of Home Accent Fabrics.
Vision Fabrics even selected blue as its own color of the year for 2014, citing it as "a stable, comfortable and a well-liked color that is always present in the color palette."
"The inspiration is everything happening with the economy and America wanting to bring things back home," Newby said. "And what's more American than a pair of blue jeans?"
Home Accent Fabrics
Robert Allen for Crypton