BENNETT'S DASHING DEPARTURE

Byline: Alice Welsh

NEW YORK--Russell Bennett is out to have some fun with his diffusion sportswear line, More Dash Than Cash, a lively departure from the women's designer sportswear collection he produces under his name.
More Dash Than Cash, which is being shown for spring '95, is full of color and spirit. It is also priced about 50 percent below Bennett's signature collection.
"I'm having fun," said Bennett. "It's my alter ego. It's cheap and cheerful, with different colors and fabrics put together. Color is easy to make things look different. My collection is ultrasophisticated, so it's a release to do something fun and happy."
The spring collection, including jackets, skirts, dresses, tops and pants, features a lot of big polkadots, exaggerated houndstooth patterns and men's wear shirting stripes. The color palette is extreme and includes hot pink, orange, yellow, red and purple.
Expected wholesale volume for the first year is $4 million, said to Michaela King, sales manager for the line.
Spring consists of about 50 styles in such fabrics as solid crepe, polkadot appliqued crepe, rayon pinstripes, stretch cotton jersey, printed cotton and rayon houndstooth, cotton shirting and terry cloth.
The most popular styles to date are the pinstripe jackets and pants and a cotton shirting fit-and-flare dress, said King.
More Dash Than Cash wholesales from $65 to $125 for jackets, $50 to $70 for pants and $50 to $135 for dresses.
The line is being sold at the More Dash Than Cash showroom at 530 Seventh Ave.
More Dash Than Cash, like Bennett's collection, is backed by John and Pauline Mak, owners of Maklihon, a private label company based here. Maklihon will produce and manufacture the line in Hong Kong. The signature collection is produced here.

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