August 10, 2009

NYC print shows: an MBF exclusive report

Last week, MBF visited Direction by Indigo and PrintSource, where we spoke to a lively mix of established and up-and-coming print designers about their hottest trends for fall 2010.

While individual styles varied, the recurring themes were clear-cut: an overall move towards abstraction and textural prints, as painterly florals move into blurrier, barely-recognizable territory; nature motifs of feathers, leaves, and animal skins cropped up in neutral tones, morphing into blotchy, spotted abstract motifs; paisleys evolved into baroque scroll prints. On a more futuristic note, large-scale digital prints continued from previous seasons, some with a pixellated texture. Colorful, linear 3-d effect crystal prints and firework prints coexisted with flat, graphic black-and-cream geometric shapes, often with a pop of pink, orange, yellow, or blue.

At Direction, London-based Sukhanlee was having a surprisingly slow day, in spite of her whimsical, geometric collection. The first-time exhibitor, a RCA graduate who has collaborated with film director Wong Kar-Wai, was watching and learning, observing that "abstract splashy prints" were doing well, and that prints on the whole were, as we also noted, more abstract this season. Color, she felt, was denser and darker than usual; an observation echoed by Australian print house Karolina York, where a jewel-toned Cheshire Cat print was selling like hot cakes, followed by abstracted florals and what they called "non-prints" — splotchy, spongy, irregular prints. Their vintage illustration-inspired, gothic style was doing well among buyers, with prints on black bases — or just monochrome black.

Photos, from left: Sukhanlee FW10; Karolina York for Tigerlily, SS09; Sukhanlee FW10.
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