By  on July 12, 2007

DALLAS — Buyers booked summer immediates, early fall sportswear and dressy holiday styles at the four-day June market at FashionCenterDallas.

Stores came to the World Trade Center complex here owned by the Dallas Market Center with diverse shopping lists. Among the items were lingerie-inspired and romantic-print summer tops and dresses, fall sportswear embellished with large chunky stones around necklines and cuffs, and holiday dresses cut from silk taffeta and silk velvet in colors such as navy, black and red.

"This was the strongest June market in two years with a double-digit attendance increase," Cindy Morris, chief operating officer at Dallas Market Center, said of the four-day event that ended June 6. "Buyers from an expanding geographic area came early and stayed late for the show. We are building great momentum toward a successful August market."

Stores appeared to like FCD's new Sunday-to-Wednesday show schedule, allowing retailers to stay at their stores on Friday and Saturday selling days. Officials at AmericasMart in Atlanta have moved trade show dates in August so the event conflicts with Dallas — and again in January and August 2008 — raising tensions between the rivals.

"I love the new calendar and the styles that I found in showrooms will definitely work for my customers," said Charli Light, owner of Charli's, a specialty store in College Station, Tex., home to Texas A&M University.

Light bought back-to-school looks and party dresses in black, red and navy from Dina Bar-El. Her budget was up 12 percent.

Elizabeth Tigar, owner of Fetish in Austin, Tex., shopped for holiday dresses and fashion tops in shades of dark green and blue with opaque gemstone trims or lace trim to entice her wide range of shoppers. Austin is home to the sprawling University of Texas campus, as well as the state capitol.

"There are so many holiday parties in Austin, starting even in late October, and I will definitely be ready," said Tigar, who bought silk tops with black opaque-stone trim around the neck from Gold Hawk, along with embellished and lightweight evening styles such as short silk jackets and metallic brocade dresses from a range of cocktail lines."I was glad to see lighter-weight party fashions, which will work great for warm holiday evenings in Texas," she added. "And the range of silhouettes will give customers more reasons to buy, from streamlined and sexy dresses to those with bubble hems and drop-lantern sleeves."

Diane Bunker and her daughter, Donna Alfred, co-owners of Spinout in Tyler, Tex., concentrated on finding dressier holiday styles, and classic and trendy fall sportswear. With an even budget, they shopped for cocktail dresses in bright or dark jewel tones from Voom, Laundry by Shelli Segal, Cynthia Steffe and Joystick.

Kristi King, bridge and contemporary buyer at Miss Jackson's in Tulsa, Okla., ordered early fall denim, high-waisted trousers, skinny and wide-leg jeans, and fashion looks with stone embellishment, including a range of styles from Yoana Baraschi, AG, Level 99, Seven For All Mankind and Cynthia Steffe.

For the holiday party season, King picked up embellished dresses and tunics from Karta and Miss Me, and cashmere, taffeta and chiffon metallic dresses from Bianca Nero.

"The deep and rich holiday color palette looks great, especially cobalt blue," King said.

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