Mod'Amont, whose popularity shows no sign of slowing, had a tantalising array of trims on offer at its most recent show. Trims were extravagant, fur was every colour of the rainbow, and even buttons brightened up. Sonia Roberts reports.

It is the show that grows and grows. The spring 200l Mod'Amont was not only 16 per cent bigger in terms of the space it occupied at the Paris Nord exhibition complex, providing the opportunity for l92 exhibitors to display their new season's ranges of garment trimmings and fastenings, it also welcomed a record number of 21,220 trade visitors, including this year a 353-strong delegation from Japan and a further 371 from Korea.

And the story from this season's show is that for summer 2002 flash and glitter will be part of the fashion scene 24-hours a day. Indeed as one visitor succinctly observed as she surveyed clasps on leather belts overlaid with diamanté and mother of pearl buttons embellished with peacock feather coloured sequins: "

"This season there's no such thing as going
over the top on trimmings."

This season there's no such thing as going over the top on trimmings."

Over the top trimmings
Elsewhere buyers' attention was focussed on lines like Plumes de Belgique feathers which pretend to be porcupine quills, or Brody International's sequin and gilt sheriff's stars appropriately displayed on Stetson hats.

And at a time when one of Paris' best attended arts exhibitions, running concurrently with Mod'Amont, celebrated the life of dancer and music hall artist Josephine Baker, Gruppo Lineapiu scored strongly with trimmings in the form of strings of fake bananas. For when she first took Paris by storm in the 1920s Baker's stage costume consisted only of a tiny skirt made from mock bananas.

Also recalling the traditions of showbiz striptease, Swarovski now include in its regular range crystal ornaments designed to be worn directly on the skin rather than sewn or glued to garments, while Italian exhibitors Eurogroup reports excellent business with gilded or diamenté "belly chains" designed to decorate the bare area between the hem of a crop top and the belt of low-slung hipster jeans.

Fur out in force
Surprisingly for an exhibition showing accessories for the summer season, specialists in fur trimmings were out in force - and these are not furs for the squeamish. Natural fox furs are shown complete with heads, tails and occasionally even paws in the manner of the 1930s and 40s.

However, unlike the 30s and 40s when natural fur shades were in vogue,

"Today's fur
trims come dyed to every shade of the rainbow from vivid "shocking" pink to palest baby blue."

today's fur trims come dyed to every shade of the rainbow from vivid "shocking" pink to palest baby blue and sometimes even with two-tone finishes. The Lederer collection included ombre dyed fox in shades of lilac and purple, as well as by-the-metre fur edging worked into eyelash fine strands.

Ribbon displays reflecting the revival of pattern was also characteristic of textiles displayed in the adjacent halls of the Paris Nord complex where Premiere Vision was taking place. Mauri Angelo offers printed ribbons with both geometric, op art designs and camouflage effects. Many of its new season's ribbons also have ruffled edges outlined in gilt, while Webtex's twill weave ribbons and elasticated tapes pay tribute to the Disney sequel to 101 Dalmatians with its predominantly black and white spots. The film 102 Dalmatians was playing to packed houses in Paris at the time of Mod'Amont.

Lingerie turns its back on ribbon trim
Within the lingerie market the traditional role of woven silk or silk substitute ribbon as the material for shoulder straps is this year being challenged by transparent plastic tapes with "fancy" encapsulations of miniature artificial flowers, beads or diamanté, which are reported to be selling very strongly into the French market by Meynier.

Clear plastic tapes were also a feature of the JRC Reflex range where they were shown alongside more conventional fabric trims such as rick rack braids dyed to shades of crimson, purple and metallic bronze.

Metallised mesh like sparkle-encrusted chicken wire was featured by Italy 's Manifattura Di Donodossola, which also introduced raffia trimmings with a glitter content.

Drawn thread embroidery panels were featured by the Bologna-based house of Mo

"Buttons that focus attention on the natural beauty of traditional materials are being especially strongly promoted."
So Ca while, also from Italy, Decatex homed in on casualwear with silk appliqué decorating denim garments in the form of silky embroideries of the flags of all nations.

But it is the T-shirt market to whom Vittorio Ascheii is looking as customers for their  plasticised relief fruit motifs, particularly rosy cheeked apples and pears.

Bright colours and traditional materials
Bright colours are also the choice of many button manufacturers, most notably Bi Art. Its current collection looks like nothing so much as a display of boiled sweets. It is also moving into the costume jewellery market with finger rings in the same translucent plastics as those used to produce its buttons.

Buttons for the better end of the market which focus attention on the natural beauty of traditional button-making materials such as horn or mother of pearl are being especially strongly promoted this season by German manufacturers Rosenfelder, one of whose seasonal novelties is a four hole button in the form of a frog.

There's obviously not a lot of novelty that can be introduced into a zip collection. Nevertheless YKK managed to produce an item that proved a real showstopper when it chose as the focal point of its display a flared tunic dress made almost entirely from zip fasteners.

By Sonia Roberts