Things were playful at Showtime’s Spring 2015 edition, says contributor Susan Andrews. Patterns moved steadily away from rigid formality and toward a more fluid effect that modernized everything from damasks and polka dots to classic rug looks. Traditional patterns relaxed, often with curvilinear treatments free from a central pattern, and applied to rustic grounds.
Mash-ups became the norm. At American Silk Mills, for example, elegant floral motifs were tumbled together within an individual article; at P/Kaufmann, introductions included Amazon, an allover print featuring a patchwork of skin motifs.
Classic patterns got a modern makeover, including a lighter hand, on-trend colors and witty elements, that moved them into Neo-Traditional territory (see the June issue of The Trend Curve for more on Neo-Traditional). Circa 1801’s excellent example, a Toile de Jouy in an Orangerie color way called Iniko, dominated their showroom entrance. This quirky print looked traditional at first glance, but a closer examination revealed unexpected elements like tea cups and Greek keys tossed into the mix.
Geometrics shifted toward simplicity in an evolution from two-color patterns to simple, positive-negative silhouettes and deconstructed effects that boasted classic rhythmic repetitions, but with more (directional) organic lines and fewer sharp angles.
The appeal of organic looks was strong, highlighted by handmade effects such as irregular lines, brushstrokes, imperfect circles, broken patterns and the rubbed-out look of distressing in many forms. Simple hand-drawn looks and brushstrokes, like those seen at Robert Allen, created a flowing pattern that became a lush landscape effect at a greater distance.
Ethnic looks continued, but in less-specific directions, making those looks more broadly acceptable. Great care was given to goods that don’t look “produced,” but rather exude a handcrafted look. Achieving that effect came via:
- New warps
- More rustic pick yarns that brought surface dimension through special weave effects (at De Leo, for example, a rustic basketweave ground enhanced the layered effect of Cayawah, an artisanal ethnic pattern)
- A trove of distressed, worn effects achieved through carefully drawn and layered prints (Covington’s Forelli ethnic print, shown in trending red, was reminiscent of a henna tattoo)
The traditional feathery effects of the long-beloved ikat were enhanced by chunky warp yarns in basket weaves and honeycombs, with patterns that read like stenciling or hand-stamped woodblocks. Prints gained interest from delicate crosshatching within floral motifs. Painterly watercolor effects were enhanced by ground cloths with substance that evoke a canvas, such as cotton duck, twill and linen, then additional layers were created by stippling or calendaring for subtle sheen.