ACCESSORIES GROUP STAGES EXHIBIT

Byline: Amanda Meadus

NEW YORK--The accessories faction of the Council of Fashion Designers of America has shunned the runways this season in favor of a more subdued and artistic approach to their participation in 7th on Sixth.
A total of 31 accessories designers will show their goods in a still-life presentation in the CFDA's command center at 40 West 40th St., across the street from the tent shows in Bryant Park. The CFDA Accessories exhibition will open with an afternoon party on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 3 p.m.
The idea behind this exhibit is to present the work of the various designers, ranging from handbags from Judith Leiber to legwear from Eric Smith, in a gallery-like setting. Last season, the group took a different approach by staging a tent show in the Park and showing a 16-minute film on accessories.
"At that presentation, all the editors and buyers and everyone else kept saying to us, 'The film was great, but where is the product?"' said handbag designer Carlos Falchi, who organized the presentation with Hot Sox president Gary Wolkowitz. "So at this show, each person will present an essence of his or her work."
The exhibit was designed by Michael Gabellini, who also did Jil Sander's Paris store as well as the Linda Dresner store here on Park Avenue.
"We wanted to take a dignified approach and avoid having any type of trade fair or bazaar feeling, so Michael's scheme was perfect because it's very clean and unobtrusive," Wolkowitz noted. "The other important thing was to present the merchandise in a democratic, homogeneous manner that would give everyone equal representation."
The accessories, which will be on view throughout the week, will be shown on platforms suspended from the room's 40-foot ceilings. Each platform will contain works from two designers or companies, with the idea being to juxtapose contrasting styles.
"I see this as an opportunity for us as accessories designers to show that we, too, have strong points of view on the upcoming trends for spring," said millinery designer Patricia Underwood.

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