Caption: Indigo New York
Emily Gup of directional pattern site New York Pattern Pulp talks about the trends from last week’s Indigo New York.
If you’re a fabric fan, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and wish that you could start snapping up some of the beautiful pieces on display. Cruising around the show’s three floors of fabrics and prints, you see many standbys such as plaids and florals, but it’s the new designs and burgeoning trends that make the trip a treat.
What really caught our eye was the bevy of hand-painted and hand-drawn prints and patterns. Painterly patterns ranged from luxurious splashes of colour to loose but detailed geometric patterns softened by the smooth, organic lines of paint. Brooklyn based Abby Lichtman debuted her line of stunning one-of-a-kind hand painted, occasionally digitised patterns. Her fine use of colour and detail made her a favourite and a most definite designer to watch. Colour was a key point here, as most painterly pieces didn’t shy away from making it bold.
Ethnic prints, such as ikat, were popular as ever, though new details made some designs rise above the rest. Some were included in the painterly category, as intricate patterns were softened with the finesse of watercolour, but many other were altered with digital effects and colour manipulations. Flowers and other objects were digitally integrated into ikat prints, blurring the lines between the popular pixilated themes and traditional ethnic patterns, while other approaches involved magnifying the traditional print, toying with colours, or whimsically replacing an animal skin print with the actual animal. Collete & Blue had some great examples.
Overall, the bounty of digital effects certainly caught our eye, as photorealistic images were digitally layered with other photographs or often included unexpected hand-drawn elements. Creating an interesting visual texture that coalesced into a cohesive eye-pleasing piece seemed to be paramount. Peagreen and Garreau Designs both had some standout pieces.
Many vintage and vintage inspired patterns were also on display, ranging from extra-bold and bright Pucci inspired prints to softer, but no less detailed, prints from the 1930’s. Smooth transitions and art-nouveau lines made an appearance and we could certainly see their appeal continuing to catch on in an evolution from more stark geometrics. Oranges, reds and blues stood out in many cases, but especially these. We loved Birds of Ohio’s lush display of vintage pieces.
Large prints and patterns were popular, too, and many felt organic and freeform with movement and not hindered by pattern convention. This ranged from a sort of pattern dip – a sort of play on the two-tone dipping and color-blocking popular across the design board – to a slew of butterflies on their own off-kilter path across the fabric. Anteprima had some lovely examples.
Coming out of the show, and perusing our notes, the words “movement” and “transition” seemed to pop out as a good way to sum up the design themes, as many designs feel like they, themselves, are trying to “move” or are pieces that are transitioning away from stark limitations or older traditions. We look forward to seeing where things go from here.