Daily Pampering: Browse the fabrics of next year’s runways in Zürich

Tucked away behind a garden near the Langstrasse area of Zürich (a street of many cultures and even more sex shops), there is a boutique called Fabric Frontline. There, they curate and design some of the finest fabrics in the world.

When you walk in, the boutique is a rainbow of color. Any “I don’t want to go to a fabric store, are you out of your mind?” misgivings will be immediately washed away as you browse the naturally-dyed, gleaming silk satins and printed cashmeres. An associate can show you exactly how their Chinese-sourced silks are printed and woven (in Italy), and why it’s such a lengthy and expensive process. After that, you are free to feel and admire silks on shelves, in drawers and even displayed as artworks on the wall.

These same fabrics from this family-owned and run boutique go to trade shows across the world, where designers like Vivienne Westwood, Nina Ricci and Helmut Lang (just a few of the names dropped) will pick and choose what to use for their creations a couple of seasons in the future. Most importantly, this shop is the only place in the world where consumers like you and me can purchase the fabrics by the meter — albeit for prices around 590 CH (about $532) per square meter. Your souvenir is likely to strut the runways a year later, making you feel very clever indeed.

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My trip to Zürich was sponsored by Zürich Tourism and Switzerland Tourism, but the ideas and opinions expressed in this article are 100 percent my own.