By  on September 20, 2007

NEW YORK — Spring was in the air at ENK International's Fashion Coterie.

The three-day show, which ends today, was packed on Tuesday as registration lines stretched out the front doors of both the Show Piers and Jacob K. Javits Convention Center here, where the show was staged. Elyse Kroll, founder and chief executive officer of ENK, was front-and-center at the Javits center, personally helping buyers to quickly get their badges. Merchants were eager to see what was new to stock their shelves for spring.

"Retailers may be relieved to see that the tunic-plus-legging look of last season is not present in future deliveries," said Abbey Samet, contemporary market analyst for The Doneger Group, the fashion merchandising consulting firm here. "Instead, a ladylike and classic sportswear appeal has emerged. Rag & Bone, Canterbury of New Zealand and Carpe take the preppy look to a literal level. Denim gets a facelift with updated high-rise styles in bleached-out baby blue denim, which looks just right with tucked-in blouses or sexy fitted Ts."

Randi Evans, owner of the Palm Beach, Fla.-based Rapunzel's Closet, was among those scouring Coterie for new items.

"We loved the trotter shawl from Minnie Rose,'' she said. "It's 100 percent cashmere, one size fits all and has a beautiful ruffle texture. We think it's a great accessory. It comes in fun colors like hot pinks and lavenders, but still it can be bought in basics like black and soft white. Puella had lots of prints in soft colors, pale pinks, yellows. It's colorful, but not bright. The bodies were great little dresses that aren't too pricy, and can be washed at home instead of dry-cleaned."

Evans said she also picked up some loose-fitting tank tops from C&C California in bold, bright colors.

"Pretty much, spring is pretty girly," she said.

Kroll, who dined at Indochine with a group of select exhibitors, said she was pleased overall with how the show was going.

"People seem really happy and I know that everyone has been writing orders, which makes me happy," she said at the dinner, as Valentino Vettori of the Scatola Showroom here stopped to show Kroll his bag full of orders. "Oh my God, that is amazing," she said.Earlier, at ck Calvin Klein's booth at the Javits center, buyers checked out the brand's offerings. The bridge sportswear collection, which has been selling well internationally, is relaunching in the U.S. with its spring 2008 collection. Under the reins of Kellwood Co., ck Calvin Klein's spring deliveries include soft leather jackets, silk belted, printed skirts and blouses, taffeta jackets with mesh lining, knit tops, wide-leg denim trousers and supersoft modern T-shirts. The colors in the collection range from bold teal and lavender to soft gray and cream.

The ck Calvin Klein line is available to high-end department and specialty stores. The collection retails from $198 to $898.

For New York-based Rebecca & Drew, the spring season brings a lot of change. The company, which got its start with woven button-up tops sold according to bra size, has expanded into a full sportswear brand. Co-founder Drew Paluba said the idea was to create a modern career line for a contemporary customer.

"There is a real void for clothes for the professional contemporary woman," he said. "We hate calling it careerwear, but really, that's what it is — stylish clothes that any contemporary customer would want; whether she's a marketing executive or a lawyer, there's something for everyone."

The Rebecca & Drew line, which still does well with the shirts by bra size, now includes an array of pieces. Inspired by Gerrit Rietveld's architecture and Piet Mondrian's paintings, each silhouette references the artists' clean lines and geometric shapes. There are pleated full skirts, wide-leg cuffed trousers, dolman-sleeve and crewneck sweaters, cropped one-button suit jackets, pencil skirts with a zip-up slit and dresses that can be zipped around the hem to make them shorter.

"The line is appropriate for woman of many ages, shapes and sizes," said co-founder Rebecca Matchett.

Colors in the line go from basic black, white and red to bright yellow, navy and dark gray. The collection wholesales from $55 to $220.

At Literature Noir, Elliot Hans showed off his Los Angeles-based collection. This is the contemporary line's second season in business and Hans met with several retailers at Coterie.

"People don't really come to us for the full head-to-toe look," Hans said. "It's more about each piece."Hans, who recently sold Morphine Generation, the contemporary brand he founded, to start Literature Noir, said it's important that each item in the collection stand on its own.

The spring line includes a long white leather hoodie parka, cotton Modal tank dress with white leather trim, pants with studded details around the pockets, racerback graphic tank tops and large-collar zip-up jackets. The Literature Noir collection, which can be found at Showroom Seven here, wholesales from $40 to $370.

The new Handwritten line was also at Showroom Seven, launching at Coterie. Designed by Tanya Sarne, founding designer of Ghost, Handwritten is mostly made up of a viscose-blend fabric, which was developed exclusively for the brand.

"This fabric was created for Tanya," said Page Bondurant, sales representative for the collection. "The more you wash it, the softer it becomes. It feels almost like silk."

The line consists of an antique-inspired lace cropped jacket, crepe wrap tank tops, dresses, cardigans, viscose camisoles, slipdresses and pleated skirts. It wholesales from $50 to $200.

At Chaiken, designer Julie Chaiken showed off her new line of eyewear, licensed to Linda Farrow Vintage, based in London. The collection, launching for spring, includes oversize-frame sunglasses in colors like blue, tan and brown.

"I was very inspired by the colors of sand and sea," Chaiken said. "And the sunglasses were something new for me to design, which was fun; it was like having a new toy to play with."

The glasses were made to work with Chaiken's spring apparel collections, which were shown first during fashion week in New York. The line includes flowy chiffon tops, satin dresses, pants and skirts. Keeping with Chaiken's "sand and sea inspiration," the colors range from bright and pale blue to cream, white and beige. Chaiken wholesales from $75 to $300.

To access this article, click here to subscribe or to log in.

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus