Heimtextil: Day 1.5
I thought yesterday’s opening at Heimtextil was slightly better than last year’s kick-off. But after surveying exhibitors and attendees throughout the day and again this morning, I find myself utterly alone in that opinion. Not only alone, but factually mistaken. An exhibitor shares that the official tally showed first-day attendance off some 15%. CORRECTION (1/31): I’ve been informed by Messe Frankfurt, the show organizer, that they do not provide that kind of information to exhibitors and in fact can’t release any stats until they have been reviewed and certified by a federal agency of the German government. The final, certified tally, showed total attendance at the show up just slightly. U.S attendance was down about 5%.
Things were relatively livelier through the first half of Thursday, although overall attendance is still down from peak levels. Visitor teams from the U.S. are generally fewer and smaller in size. There’s more empty space around some of the halls, particularly Hall 9, home of fashion-oriented finished goods from Europe.
I spent most of yesterday talking. Today I decided to do some looking, with an emphasis on Hall 3 (home of some of the more forward fabrics for window), European finished goods and the Trend Hall. I offer the following observations with a caveat: I am no designer. Nonetheless, here’s what seemed trend-like to me:
Folding and/or pleating — in the case of the latter, asymmetrical pleating or pleating that ran in asymmetrical repeats. Also noted folding that was more fluted or bell-like.
Leather trims that rippled like ruffles.
Feathers used as trim or accent.
An overall lightness of fabric. (Note: I have not yet seen upholstery fabrics.)
Puckered fabrics. (As opposed to smocked, but I saw that, too.) I don’t know the technical term for it, but it’s the puckered, elasticized fabric that was popular a few years ago in casual tops for girls. On the hanger, the top looked to be sized for a six year old, but in the pulling on it stretched out to accomodate an adult. Whatever that is, I saw it presented as a slipcover in one place, as a duvet cover in another and as a trim. Didn’t see A LOT of it, but I’m just saying…
Punch-outs, but a touch imprecise, moving away from a machine-made look.
Peek-a-boo. There were stiffer fabrics (as well as leather and paper) cut out into soft, semi-geometrical shapes that avoided any easily descerinable repeat. Picture a big, open rangy lace that isn’t lace at all. I also saw similar patterns woven onto sheers to give the same effect.
Leather in smooth, metallic tones.
Richly colored faux furs.
Organic wave patterns, very soft.
Leaves and leaf silhouettes.
Flocking, though I would caution against overstating its abundance.
Pallid crystals, sparingly applied.