DAYWEAR: A MORE ROMANTIC TURN FOR SPRING

NEW YORK--Daywear items will be getting a softer touch for the upcoming market.
Camisoles, tap pants, teddies, bodysuits and little tank tops are being done in a variety of laces, from allover stretch to embroidered crochet looks.
Vendors predict younger-looking baby-doll gowns and chemises will grow in popularity, and more of those styles will be shown for late spring. Dual-purpose slipdresses also are expected to be hot items.
Key fabrics in daywear will continue to be textured cotton knits, woven cottons, polyester charmeuse and nylonlaces.
Mel Knigin, president of the Cinema Etoile division of Movie Star Inc., said, "This will be a very important market, partly because January has become less important. November is gaining in importance because more orders for offshore products are being placed and more lead time is required."
Knigin said spring bookings at the division, which includes sleepwear and at-homewear as well as daywear, are 18 percent ahead of a year ago. About 60 percent of total spring business is done at the November market, he said.
Knigin singled out sexy-looking stretch lace bodysuits and teddies in bright colors as a top-selling daywear idea.
"Our stretch lace bodywear and teddy business is on fire right now at stores," said Knigin.
He noted that the firm will be expanding into bustiers, introducing several styles in its Seduction Wear group.
"Retailers are very turned on over bustiers, and they wish there was more selection out there," said Knigin. "We see bustiers adding to our sexy teddy and bodysuit business."
Seth Morris, president of Val Mode Lingerie, said the company has lowered its price range of daywear for late spring and summer by 15 to 20 percent. Prices now start at $10 for a lace T-shirt and go to $16 for embellished bustiers or teddies.
"We wanted to address the price issue. Stores are looking for value and fashion at fair prices," said Morris.
He said designer Lynn Green has developed several new rigid and stretch laces for the daywear line under the Val Mode by Lynn Green label. The line will offer more camisoles of polyester charmeuse embellished with lots of hand-embroidered touches, laces, chiffon trim and appliqués.
Jackie Sparer, vice president of sales at Wondermaid Inc., said the Wondermaid brand will feature chemises and teddies in combinations of stretch nylon lace and polyester georgette.
The company is expanding the sheer stretch cotton gauze classification in bodysuits and camisoles and HotPants under the De La Rose label, she said. Wondermaid will introduce a softly constructed lace-up corsetby De La Rose. It will be done in cotton and Lycra spandex and a polyester acetate crepe. Colors will be sage, toast, dark teal, black and white.

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