Top advice from Italy

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 March, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 March, 1999, 12:00am

As a key trend-setting nation in the fashion and the textile industry, Italy is uniquely placed to predict fabric and accessory directions for the first season of the new millennium.

Visitors to Interstoff Asia can find the trend forecast from SITex, organiser of the biggest textile show in Italy, on CD- ROM and in bilingual handouts.

SITex foresees an emphasis on versatile, natural fibres, with cotton prominent, while the new generation of man- made fibres will have a discreet, but indispensable, presence.

It groups the forthcoming trends into three themes - Matter, Transformation and Sublimation - which correspond to solid, fluid and aerial states.

The first group highlights a back-to- nature look.

Linen, hemp, jute, raffia and sisal are blended with cotton, and rustic gauzes and sack-cloth have a presence.

Accessories include dark-on-dark decoration, fringes and raw-edged buttons.

The Transformation theme emphasises satin-like finishes for both day and evening in simple, functional and linear silhouettes.

Smooth surfaces resembling marble, metal, polished wood or patent leather are of prime importance. So are gossamer yarns such as mercerised cotton, silk, acetate and nylon.

In the third theme, Sublimation, luminosity is the key in shimmery fabrics, translucent taffeta, satins, wet-look mesh, beaded tulle and cloth decorated with glass drops or mirror effects. Metallic finishes feature in laminated organza, pinstripe twills, gold-powdered canvas and bronzed vinyl.

Iridescent spraying, glitter coatings and shiny pigment treatments abound, as does opaque embroidery.