Pitti Filati in Florence showed a welcome up-beat attitude to summer 2018. Designers paid great attention to colour, texture, fancy effects and the exploration of many different fibres, wool included.
From the research area, spazio ricerca, the theme of The Passenger allowed great scope for imaginative outfits and the marrying together of themes both traditional and new in a collection of fabrics relevant to the themes identified, colour and pattern.
Colours majored on light and airy looks, to complement the looks in knits displayed on the stands. The stitching was complex, often with raised patterns in 3 D, with self coloured designs and also a variety of stripes, geometrics and embellishments too.
Floral tones principally flirted with green, joined by pale pink, peach, white, blue and ecru and a corresponding sporty red, blue and bright canary yellow, much like football strip.
Natural fibres were to the fore all through the collections, with man mades used mainly for decoration, shine, elasticity or texture. Otherwise, Wool often blended with linen, cotton and cashmere claimed its now regular place as a summer yarn, often used on its own for a light, attractive climate-reacting yarn to deal with the vagaries of summer.
Silk and linen were the main partners of wool. Silk was chosen to underline the opulent look and was sometimes almost 50/50 with wool. Tollegno showed majority blend Extrafine Merino with cotton for a crisper, dressed up look for womenswear.
Many of the research developments came about by using wool. Wool destined for sportswear, wool for soft, fine next to skin yarn, and used for hand weaves, for fabrics meant for shoes, rustic looks and textures with a soft touch, and often seen in icy summer colours palest pink, green and blue.
Denim looks also came through strongly in several collections, underlining the importance of knitwear in the casual area, many of these yarns were ultra-light for young, lively air.
The theatrical look came from fancy yarns in fancy designs, an over-the-top look which delighted in airiness and colour like knoppy looks with a little sparkle. Sometimes there was more than a little sparkle with heavily sequinned yarns, Lurex galore, and touches of gold and shiny polyester added to more restrained fibres.
The polar opposite is the refined, luxury yarns produced by Zegna Baruffa, Botto Poala and Chiavazza, where the group showed extrafine wool mixed with linen, small diamante effects and double faced fabrics. Knitted up these yarns were sophisticated, cool and very complex. Cashwool, Baruffa’s high quality soft Merino wool was interpreted by Italian designer and London resident Carlo Volpi in a lava-like flow of knitted sweater in bright blue.
Ideas about how products are produced are still to the fore, with several green issues highlighted and at Botto Giuseppe the Slo Wool which they have developed, with guarantees of sustainable development and methods, joined this time by silk without cruelty where the silkworms survive.
Hand knitting continues to be a lively area of development which is involves wool for summer to a much greater extent of late. Felucca, Manufacture di Seia, and others are producing ultra-fashionable versions for hand knitting in a wide variety of dyes and qualities, where wool has grown exponentially in demand.
Embellishments were provided by mixed yarns, enabling shine and satin effects, sometimes wool embroidery shown on wool fabrics, and some providing a harder, more crisp effect for a cool feel.
– Janet Prescott