'Trend book' - Stahl's new approach to keeping customers in touch with fashion22 March 2007
Stahl have launched a new and innovative venture in presenting up-to-date fashion ideas to the leather industry worldwide.
The Trend Book extends the scope of the information presented regularly in Stahl's fashion forecast posters to provide a more detailed explanation of fashion trends and colour forecasts and how they can be used to bring life to leathers used throughout the world in finished articles. It does this through a unique combination of simple explanatory notes and graphics which illustrate combinations of new finished leather articles. The articles were conceived in the Stahl Design Studio in Milan, and prepared in a dedicated Stahl application laboratory. The book shows how these leathers may be used in all types of articles including shoes, leathergoods, furniture and garments and will be a regular feature in Stahl's fashion presentations and events. Each issue will cover a variety of ideas and have a strong focus on fashion applications in the world of footwear and leathergoods. Designed and written by the Stahl Design Studio, the 'Trend Book' is described as 'a good concept for illustrating fashion information for the leather industry in a high quality and interesting way that is easily understood by its readers'. It enables the leather industry to make things happen through simplicity, creativity and sensations, so that the shoe and leathergoods manufacturer really can create the future of fashion at an early stage, in time to be fully prepared for the market demand. The first book is divided into five chapters, each of which illustrates the transition between the concept of ideas and the reality of the finished article. The chapters are entitled Decor Allure, Complex Simplicity, Effortless Chic, Primal Richness and Synergic Perspectives. Decor Allure, enlightens surfaces using intense saturated colours to give a hypnotic night charm. The group of deep reds, browns, greens and black, appear liquid with rich, luxurious tones and intriguing reflections and mysterious highlights. The look is shimmering taffeta and metallised effects to give a gleaming appeal that matches with couture clothing. For the modern decorative look there is satin shine and a glossy wet-look, both suited to evening wear. These effects bring surfaces alive with light, glitter and gleam. Design choices are modern and decorated but in this group are not over richly embellished. Bags are small, mini designs with small frames and shoulder straps, sometimes in the form of metal chains, for romance and femininity. They tend to be worn almost like jewels. Shoes are more gentle in design with rounded toes and high, even stiletto, heels some of which are combined with platform soles. There are high-heeled sandals and high heeled, knee-length boots. Complex Simplicity, provides a rhythm to surfaces yet with minimal structure and cool distinguishing tones ranging from white through pastels of silver, mauve and birch to the darker tones of grey, pewter red and blue. The initial reaction is one of simplicity though not minimalist, an ultra modern approach to proportions and dimensions, strong couture references and a design approach in which positive and negative are interchangeable. Colours are clean and icy. Surfaces are modern, rhythmic and smooth with a variety of micro designs, such as a crushed papery matt effect, that appear progressive and modern. Nubuck makes a return to the fashion scene. For bags and shoes, the picture is one of minimal structure with an ultra-modern, sculpted, geometric look based on clean shapes. Typical designs for bags include strongbox, envelope, elegant multi-pocket sporty, chain handled and others, sometimes with intersecting shapes made with different leathers. Shoes are again often high-heeled sometimes with stiletto heels as well as platform soles. The effects often use a graphical bi-colour approach or reptile look, particularly on men's shoes. The wedge heel makes a comeback! Design is avant-garde in its appeal. Effortless Chic, means classic modern surfaces, exquisitely refined colour and outstanding design. Here are the soft middle pastels and dark shades of colour including tan, china blue, reds, purple and black, giving a precious look through light and shiny effects. These are reflected in the surfaces where light and opaque effects revive classic materials, while touches of satin enliven natural surfaces. These effects are created on a wide variety of leathers including nubuck, suede, patent, ostrich, glazed kidskin, calfskin and Astrakhan or Persian lamb. Leathers used in the designs are frequently decorated with other materials adding bows and other decorative features to bags and shoes. Again, looks flirt with couture using shimmering, iridescent and metallised shines to give a fresh and exclusive look. These shiny treatments are used to transform three-dimensional naturalness into luxurious elegance. Shapes are inspired by design recalling vintage totes with short double or single handles, refined shopping bags and mesh or suitcase type bags for romance and city glamour. The traditional doctor's working bag is given a new look for women. Shoes are feminine, comfortable and distinctive with well-set heels for a sophisticated look. Designs often use elements taken from those of the opposite sex, for instance a man's shoe with stiletto heels or a new twist to the surface embellishing it with twists and heavily stitched seams. Primal Richness, brings a touch of luxurious surfaces and mysterious colours to casual stylishness. Colours, including greens, ochres, greys, taupe and red, are toned to meet the needs of the look. The initial reaction is one of sporty elegance recalling antique memories and even the fierce, savage nature of medieval ancestry, even the Roman gladiator. Nevertheless the range of greyed, slightly achromatic, dusted neutral colours lead to natural soft tones and a feeling of modernity. Luxurious surfaces are modernised by structural treatment such as crinkled effects. The old and aged become fresh and novel. The vintage and archaic becomes technical with shimmering finishes. Different textures such as coarse leather, suede, calfskin and fur accents are blended together and there is much use of heavy leather resulting in a crafted, rustic but elegant look. Leather effects may also be simple and soft with contrasting glossy highlights, or wrinkled or worn-away with a touch of abrasive that has removed some of the colour. Bags are refined and raw with a spirit of naturalness and leather. Footwear is cosy and comfy with high-heeled and demi boots appearing alongside moccasins and high-heeled pumps, all with rounded toes and wedge, chunky and square heels. Ankle boots are used as a source of buckles and straps, or other decorations. Bags give a new look to traditional designs. For both, the leather surface is enriched with structured effects that catch the eye. Synergic Perspectives, as their name implies, look to the future with progressive surfaces, metamorphic metallic colours and futuristic technical looks. Techno colours are copper, rose and gold together with rich greens and blues. Sport is the image of the moment with an abstract ambience and a new vision of street fashion and active outfits. The related colours are those of the future with a somewhat less glamorous approach to metallics and a basic look for sporty street wear. Surfaces use metallic shine combined with oily gloss to give an irradiated look. Many are 'engineered' taking their inspiration from architecture. They underline shapes that are aerodynamic, stout, or with a lightness that is again iridescent and modern. Designers are searching for new multilevel regular patterns for the everyday outfit, shiny reflections to enrich the surface and metallic effects only for the evening. Nets and a mix of different materials and surface textures create a wide range of effects, some amusing, some for performance, some for evening looks and others that are very informal. Bags have to be original and attractive using technical details such as zips, fastenings and buckles. Sometimes they appear to be traditional shapes but on closer examination they have unusual details such as an asymmetric design where traditional designs would be symmetric with rounded shapes. Soles, fastenings and closings, especially for boots, are being rethought mixing different surfaces and materials. These give a new and innovative look to basketball shoes, informal shoes, formal and informal men's shoes and heavy boots. Future editions of the 'Trend Book' will be issued to customers periodically to cover forthcoming fashion highlights.