According to contributor Kathleen Holterman, leather’s showoff side did not disappoint at December’s Showtime textiles market in High Point, North Carolina. Hand-rubbed finishes, foils, burnouts, laser cuts and distressing took the texture trend toward a luxe sensibility. Combining multiple techniques, with an overlay of (sometimes shimmery) luster, created forward inspiration and real excitement.
For example, heat-transfer foils in silver and gold teamed with hair-on-hide in an interesting juxtaposition of texture/smooth and matte/luster. And burnouts and after treatments created worn, vintage carpet designs inspired by old world elegance.
Both rose and butterfly motifs were served up to buyers with a side of sparkle that caught the eye at S & D Fine Upholstery Leather. One of these designs, which heralded a more feminine-and-playful trend, was topped with a broken vintage pattern that added even more visual texture.
Neutrals mixed with subtle color continued to spur growth in a blended approach, binding modern and vintage together in urban/distressed/lustrous/hand-rubbed finishes that were neither contemporary nor rustic, yet polished. This elegance explained and displayed brilliantly by Moore and Giles. In the same spirit, Carroll Leather debuted Urban Illusion, combining belly crock and lizard patterns in a rich, blue-black melange, enhanced with teal inlay.
Texture also had purely contemporary expressions. It reached new heights in Conceria Kara’s studded Hexagon, a dimensional design offered in gray-cast blue and neutral palette.
When it came to pattern, the leathers at Showtime took a page from the fabric playbook, featuring geometrics in tiny, organized, repetitive diamond designs. Nevertheless, designs with a relaxed sensibility felt newer. That included circles and organic shagreen patterns. Less-structured animal prints in every possible rendition are already standard fare, but when combined with two or three textural treatments, offered an updated and upscale alternative to rigid designs. And classic garden elements also had a role. In addition to the rose and butterfly design already mentioned from S & D, Standard Embossing Plate Manufacturing Company revived a 1926 plate of flowers, answering their customer’s demand for floral patterns.
On color radar, browns were trending, even as grays remained top sellers. These neutrals are vying for the top spot in a palette that is increasingly warm. That directional temperature preference motivated gray leathers at Showtime to warm up in an effort to stay current. Burgundy and reds from Carroll Leather’s Gooseberry (a true burgundy) to Calypso Oh So Red (a red-cast orange) were on the rise, looking fresh and energetic. Gold, the luxe standard, stood out as the standard-bearer of on-trend warmth.
The brilliant color in every collection—clean, clear, solid turquoise—was shown mottled, but rarely with other textures. Rich, lush teals and yellowed greens with names like loden tested the waters in supporting roles that are forecasted to build into 2016. As with grays and browns, these directional blues and greens provided even more warmth to the overall palette.