I’m finally getting around to posting a trip report about one of the best fabric shows in the world, Première Vision. The main show, the one I attended was in Paris but satellite shows are held in NY, Moscow, Shanghai and Tokoyo.
The show wasn’t perfect but close to it, based on my personality. One difference between this show and the ones here is that the show guides cost money, minimally 35-125 euros ($55-$200). I didn’t buy one because of weight. It was the start of the trip and I would have had to cart it along with whatever else I’d accumulate for the next three weeks. I don’t know if I mentioned it but we got around with backpacks via trains and trams so any amount of excess weight was paramount. Anyway, not having a show guide -in retrospect- limits the trip report. Sorry.
The show is comprised of six different areas, described as “events”. These were Première Vision (fabrics), Expofil (fibers), Le Cuir à Paris (leathers and furs), Indigo (textile design and production), ModAmont (trims and hardware) and Zoom (production sourcing). If you’re interested in sourcing the show from here, you can access the exhibitor’s list for any show here. Most of the show guides are here (click for other guides: ModAmont & Zoom). However, if you go to each individual site, you may get a better exhibitor’s list. For example, the leather show site offers a pop up window option that includes exhibitor’s website information, saving you the bother of searching for those exquisite Italian leathers you’ve been dying to find. Keep in mind that information is always in rotation and links will expire. As the exhibitor’s list fills out for upcoming shows, information from this last show will be removed and you’ll have to wait until after whichever next show to get complete information.
Obviously the array of products and services to see is dizzying. Thankfully, the ambience was not. No no. Unlike any tradeshow I’ve attended in the US, the atmosphere was sublime. I linked to the definition so you know I mean exactly that. The floor was quiet and comfortably covered in padded carpet. The lighting was not harsh, most booths were surrounded on all sides with five foot partitions so any competing garishness they may have had, was contained within. There was no music blaring. It was -in my opinion- a tasteful environment designed to conduct serious business, not a wild party with competing signage, noise and smells which can overwhelm oculary, olfactory and auditory senses. Succinctly, the polar opposite of something like Project. Heh. I know a lot of you love that show.
I obviously can’t tell you about everything I found (did I mention I found some French pattern making books?) but I did find this very cool zipper company I wanted to mention. Most zipper suppliers knock each other off and spice things up with some colors and trims and call it good but this firm –KCC Zipper– is zipper crazy; they’ve done a lot of innovation in engineering, applications and styling. I don’t even know where to start but you can by looking under special. How about zipper tape in lace trim patterns designed to be sewn to the outside of a garment rather than being hidden in a seam? How about a built in hook and eye at the top of the tape? Or a “double teethed” zipper with zipper teeth on the edges of the tape (fun applications)? Zippers with multiple sliders? No problem. Are you looking for unusual tapes such as transparent or invisible tape, velvet, 100% cotton, stretch or tapes designed for sweaters you can get knitting needles or a crochet hook into? How about tiny doll sized zippers? It’s all there.
They also produce utility zippers for specific applications (85% of their clients are European firms). Several are popular with fire and rescue (fire retardant, waterproof, sealed ends), another has a breakaway quick release feature designed for critical needs, fire departments love those apparently. The demonstration is pretty impressive. However, above all, I loved the antique zipper. I’ve never seen anything like this. They gave me one but it disappeared. Eric teases me but I think someone took it from my luggage. I coveted that thing and minded it closely. This zipper is recreated from a 100 year old zipper. It is quite beautiful and distinctive. I believe this class of zipper is largely unknown, even on the internet. Based on description, it does not resemble the zipper that was designed by Gideon Sundback. Below is a photo.
Maybe if enough of you buy zippers from them and mention who sent you, I’ll gain enough cachet for them to send me another one. It could happen!