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Dress code

Fashion and tiles: a bond dating back to the origins of ceramic industry which gives surplus value to tiles Made in Italy

by Cristina Faedi

Ceramic tiles, designed as recurring decorative pixels, have always been good at reproducing the fashion style of the time we live in. As much as clothes can shape your original and personal style, ceramics dresses and personalizes your surroundings according to the latest fashion trends.
Typical fashion patterns such as flowery and optical patterns, geometrical designs, or animal print, just to name a few, have often appeared as decoration on tiles; Italian fashion designers have also greatly contributed to this, strengthening the bond between ceramic tiles and haute couture and ready-to-wear.

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Today ceramics still draws from textile. But this strong and determined reference to yarn has recently shifted to textures taking after men’s fabrics and styles: herringbone, tweed, pinstripe, houndstooth, grisaille, glen plaid, denim, tartan; but also little prints for men’s shirts or foulards in strong colours such as burnt browns or anthracite greys.
On solid colour or other kinds of textures, also thanks to the most original tile installation patterns, such designs can ensure a mostly original solution in residential and commercial spaces, meeting any creative idea.

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The apotheosis of the male universe can then be noted in the reference to the world of supercars, the most renown symbol of Made in Italy in the world. The materials of the luxurious car interiors are here revisited: hammered calf fine leather and hides in the warmest colours, burl and carbon fibre, up to the reproduction of the slightest details such as stitching and metal inserts lend the rooms they inhabit style and elegance.

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Current ceramic trends anyway tend to balance any pronounced male style by displaying a rather strong feminine nature through a range of new products expressing its dainty side, with textures appearing soft and smooth, until they feel soft to the touch. We therefore find crumpled linen, rough weave, irregular frayed edges, washed-out fabric, but also lace, trimmings, and ties as if from another time, retrieving the old and giving a vintage and nostalgic touch to the whole. Here we have more muted and natural colours such as neutral colours and ecru, also stretching towards grey and robin egg blue shades.
As a “variation on the theme”, knitted fabric – enhanced by woven, by three-dimensionality, by mosaic patterns, by  salt and pepper melange which recall soft wool and hand made sweaters.

The most sophisticated production technologies available for the ceramic industry not only enhance the technical, aesthetical and performative aspects of Italian tiles; they glorify their surface, where reliefs, textures, creases, weft and warp are reproduced with the highest definition and accuracy.

Watch the ‘Dress Code’ clip on the new trends launched at Cersaie 2016 – the international exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings

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