In Summer 2010 Italian Fashion Goes Extreme!

Marina Melchionda (January 20, 2009)
Chic Dynamism, Techno Essentiality, Light Richness and Décor Show: four themes for the 2010 Spring/Summer Collection. The Italian Trade Commission presents them at the Rainbow Room in Manhattan

Italian Fashion overcomes economic depression and promotes new trends in New York with an exciting array of styles and colors. Fabrics for every kind of woman were part of the emphasis, from the romantic and the eccentric to the professional and sporty.

The Italian Trade Commission introduced these new fabrics and accessories for the Spring/Summer Collection 2010 Trends for Moda In Tessuto&Accessori, Prato Expo and Idea Como at the Rainbow Room in Manhattan on January 12. The event saw approximately 150 people, including journalists,

businessmen and fashion lovers, who came to admire the new Made in Italy offerings, a mixture of classic and modern designs with a touch of futurism.

The four themes chosen for the S/S 10 season play on the opposition between extremes: Fragility and Force, Naturalness and Technology, Moderation and Excess. Beppe di Donna (a sociologist whose opinion counts when it comes to trends), adds that “our society has become more difficult to stimulate, and therefore everything that must be noticed, experimented and selected, is resorting to extremes”. Each of these four styles takes on a particular name, according to the characteristics by which it is identified. So we have “Techno Essentiality”, described as “unusual simplicity enriched by energetic stimuli”; “Light Richness”, that features a “lightening intervention for complex elaboration”; “Chic Dynamism”, where “bio resources evidence modern activism”; and, finally, “Décor Show”, at once traditional and fantastical, leaving a dramatic impression.

That morning the fruits of this creativity were displayed on panels, “Trend Directions”, surrounding the Pegasus Suite where the breakfast reception took place. Highlighted beneath strategically placed spotlights, each of those fabrics represented a different aspect of the four themes proposed, in terms of colors, styles, cuts, materials. The themes were mixed and matched according to balances that follow two different currents, the minimalist and the maximalist, as Angelo Uslenghi (Trends Committee Coordinator and Forecaster) explained. The minimalist were characterized by technological and organic materials, which gave them a strong and incisive appearance, while the maximalist ones reflected subdued and shaded forms, to spectacular effect.

As Mr. Uslenghi concluded, now it is up to Italian fashion leaders and stylists to interpret their ideas and use them toward new collections for Spring and Summer 2010.

After the event, we shared a brief talk with him about the current and future prospects of the Made in Italy trademark in this field. This is what he told us.

Is this the first time that you’ve brought an event like this to the States?

No, I have been doing it for several years. Perhaps more than 15.

Has it always been in New York?

No, sometimes we moved to different locations, mainly in the central states of the country. But I have to admit that I prefer to come here, definitely. New York is a city and the whole world at the same time. Everything here is faster, more vibrant, fancier. It is the ideal place to send a fashion message.

How will this economic crisis affect the import of Italian products, particularly in the fashion field?

People will be more careful about spending money. We all know that Italian style is among the most beloved and popular, which is why it is often more expensive than average. I think that people will still buy from our stylists, in our boutiques. The economic crisis does not touch many of them, or at least not in a significant way. However, fashion designers and producers must be very careful: in order to keep exporting to the United States they must maintain our standards of quality, our classical and at the same time innovative style. They must put every possible effort in the preservation of these elements, since those are what make our production so unique.

Are you suggesting they remain static?

Not at all. I am always the first person to propose innovation, new ideas. I am only worried that these changes could result in a worsening of quality. Yesterday I took a walk along Madison Avenue and I was shocked by what I saw in Italian shops. Stylists often confound trash with modern. This is what we have to avoid.

The Spring/Summer Collection 2010 Trends for Moda In Tessuto&Accessori, Prato Expo and Idea Como will be also presented at “Milano Unica” the international textile fair organized in Milan in February.