Wednesday, 11 September 2013
Show report: New hype at the Blue Zone
Munich Fabric Start 3 – 5 September, M.O.C. Centre, Munich.
This years edition of the Blue Zone - the denim section of MFS – met with positive reviews for its revamped trend area, new inspiration area; CUBE X, and its new events program (See our preview). Although the show was not crowded the atmosphere was busy and positive. Attendance was in line with previous editions and booths were visited regularly by insiders. In addition to the many German visitors, there has been an increase in insiders from northern and southern Europe, including people from creative teams of brands such as Max Mara Group and Diesel. The yearly Oktoberfest event that traditionally closes the Blue Zone was highly successful with guests celebrating, dancing and having fun all night long. Among trends, the German market continues to focus its attention on stretch fabrics and coloured denims. Contrary to this, the general trend in the denim market sees a slowed down request for coloured denim and a gradual return to vintage, aged and visibly rugged denims. Thanks to these signs the atmosphere of the denim market seems to be generally recovering. This is in part due to an increased interest in vintage denim. The most interesting part of Blue Zone was CUBE X. Devised by Piero Turk, the inspiring area hosted talks by various insiders and specialists from the denim sector (See our pre-reportage).
The conferences were always crowded. Highly inspiring was the design lesson conducted by Liam Maher, design director, Denham the jeanmaker, Amsterdam, entitled The Creativity Process. The expert explained how he proceeds when designing Denham collections, referring to a recent exhibition that he worked on with Sam Lambert & Shaka Maidoh, founders of A.C.F. - Art Comes First (artcomesfirst.com), who debuted at Pitti Uomo in Florence in June 2013, and have shown also in NY, Brighton and Boston. Maher believes that designing menswear has many similarities with the work of a DJ remixing standards from the canon of jazz and pop music. "The work of the menswear designer is to try and harmonize the most potent influences from their vintage research within a single contemporary concept," he commented. So he presented how a single item or outfit can include elements taken from different product segments, countries and decades. "I believe in the importance of worshipping tradition because it teaches us how important quality is, although we don't want to look backwards every day. I believe that is also important to destroy conventions. This is the way to create modern garments with a sense of history."
Also noteworthy was the selection of garments presented by Blue Jeans, Italian specialist launderers, and by Chuck's Vintage, the Los Angeles based store most appreciated by denim insiders for the vast offer of rare vintage garments and denim pieces that owner Madeline Harmon constantly selects, sells or lends to fashion insiders and music and movie stars. A special innovation was also launched during the show by another insider of the fashion and denim market MIC. The Italian sewing thread manufacturer has just launched MIC Master, a special app for iPad and iPad Mini through which designers can take images of clothing items, see how different threads look on each single garment, order samples of the threads they like and have them delivered to their studios within one or two days.
Maria Cristina Pavarini