Clariant’s Fashion Team presented their new range of inspiring colours, textures and techniques for leather for autumn/winter 2005-06 based on six months of research by the company’s dedicated international fashion team comprised of designer Anna Grazia Egidi, Clariant leather technicians from Italy’s three tanning regions, and marketing personnel.

The initial inspiration and five central concepts for the autumn/winter 2005-06 collection was generated through close collaboration between members of the fashion team and stylist Anna Grazia Egidi – the technicians then develop the themes into different leathers according to their speciality. Using the resultant leather, Anna Grazia Egidi works alongside local leathergoods producers to create a selection of bags, shoes and garments which capture the season’s themes and characteristics.

These garments and accessories are featured in a fashion show distributed worldwide via the Fashion-up CD. This is the 3rd edition of the CD, which also includes a menu giving access to information on finishing formulations and descriptions of the leather articles and fashion trends.

This season’s collection is centred around the following themes: Denim, art deco, chic, vintage and fashion revival.

Denim The garments in this collection are very accessible and have a universal appeal. The jeans effect is very fashionable. All tanneries can make this kind of leather on a split or full bovine hide. The look can be updated with special effects. Key pieces in the denim range include the loafers shown above-left. A shrinking effect was used in the wet-end to give extra dimension and depth to the leather, minimising the impact of any defects. The leather used to create the denim-effect bag was printed in blue then the surface was buffed to create unevenness. The range of special treatments and finishes make this leather suitable for use in garments, furniture and accessories.

Art Deco draws inspiration from the renaissance and combines it with touches of sophisticated modern art. Glamour effects on dull and glossy leathers are characterised by their elegance resulting in a new dimension for furniture and accessories. The riding boots shown (right) epitomise the Art Deco theme.

A cutting technique and layering of gold is applied with a rollercoater to produce a very Italian style, a mix of classical gold with modern innovation.

Chic is inspired by luxury combined with some new ways to make garments – luxury in a relaxed way. Requiring high quality leather, the specialist techniques used, such as aniline plongé on lambskins, cannot be repeated on just any raw material.

Vintage is described by Robert Rehmann, technical manager finishing (Italy): ‘People require reassuring, comforting images in these difficult times – ideas which come from the past. Vintage is a combination of the past with ethnic ideas to create gloss in a classical way.’ Featured techniques include pull-up on goat with a metallic shade.

Fashion Revival This range is inspired in the colours of the 1950s, and such icons as the Cadillac. The new wave breaks with traditional fashion, allowing the wearer to indulge in dreams of liberty and electric music by using new materials and effects.

Dr Alessandro Cavassi, Clariant BU Leather head (Italy) explained to Leather International that in the current climate, tanners appreciate guidance on adding value to their products. ‘The Italian industry is moving increasingly towards the high quality sector of the market, concentrating more and more on special finishes and new ideas. Although the fashion industry as a whole is not having an easy time at the moment, sales of luxury goods in cashmere and leather are very strong.

‘The wardrobes of western Europeans are saturated, so in order to attract the consumer’s attention, a garment has to really stand out. The inconsistency of hides used to be a disadvantage as it led to differences in the finished product; but this very same characteristic is now considered an advantage, increasing the popularity of leather.’

To enable clients to make their products more competitive in today’s market, Clariant present not only the most innovative leathers, but samples of the kind of product it is suitable for, thus showing the full potential of the leather and providing tanners with inspiration, which can be adapted to meet the needs of their market. This input is greatly appreciated, particularly by those in Asia and South America. In the coming months, the presentation will be made to Clariant customers in Arzignano, Italy, as well as in Spain, France, China and India.