Contemporary designers at Designers & Agents cast away the somber colors and tailored looks synonymous with current fall collections in place of eye-popping brights, jewel-toned tops and dresses and eco-friendly designs.
NEW YORK — Contemporary designers who showed at Designers & Agents cast away the somber color palettes and tailored looks synonymous with current fall collections in place of eye-popping brights, jewel-toned tops and dresses and eco-friendly designs.
D&A ended its three-day run at the Starrett-Lehigh Center on Monday. The exhibition had 56 booths, a 16 percent increase from last August, and 1,120 stores visiting, a 29 percent jump, according to Barbara Kramer and Ed Mandelbaum, co-producers of the exhibition.
For the spring 2008 show next month, D&A will undergo an expansion with a second location for exhibitors, and new partnerships with the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the Trade Council of Denmark.
Those who thought dresses were a trend of yore were proven wrong at this D&A. The resort season is rife with frocks in an assortment of silhouettes and rich, sultry colors — much to the delight of vendors and buyers.
"Dresses are very strong now, it's so happening," said Kramer. "I see it in the stores changing quite a bit. It's getting a little more feminine and sophisticated, and even though there is some novelty, it's more about the fabrics and the workmanship. It's a little fresher."
Barbara Sued and Sara Bibi, owners of Breeze in Brooklyn, N.Y., purchased a bubble dress and asymmetrical dress from Maggie Ward, as well as tunics and dresses from Charlotte Ronson.
Ann Gitter, owner of Knit Wit, a five-unit chain throughout southern New Jersey and Philadelphia, also bought an assortment of T-shirts and dresses from Maggie Ward, as well as basic T-shirts and tanks from Christina Lehr and skirts and dresses with a resort feel from Coolchange.
Lori Friedman, owner of Great Stuff, a five-unit contemporary retailer throughout New York's Westchester County and Connecticut, placed orders at Maggie Ward, Rory Beca and Christina Lehr. Friedman caters to young mothers in towns such as Greenwich, Conn., and Rye and Chappaqua, N.Y. "My customer has just gotten out of maternity clothes," she said. "They are looking for something to show the figures off that they work so hard on."I loved Maggie Ward," she continued. "I love the bubble top and dress, because it's not too bubble, which is what is so good about it. I also bought the boyfriend V-neck to go over a bathing suit and the asymmetrical dress."
Exhibitor Charlotte Ronson, who used a lot of yellows and crochet in her resort collection, said the mood is "fun, fresh and full of sunny colors." The wholesale price point for her eponymous line ranges from around $40 for a tank to $91 for a dress. Bestsellers included a linen and lace dress with black and brown dotted lines, a mosaic cotton scoopneck tunic with lace scallop edging and a black cotton shift dress.
Julie Brown's silk jersey designs are available in an array of Mod-looking turtleneck dresses and shifts to floor-sweeping tank dresses and reversible halter tops. Dresses wholesale from $120 to $150, while tanks hover around $100.
Maggie Ward, owned by Three Dots founder John Ward and a favorite with buyers, was a new line that emphasized the basics with a flair for luxury fabrics. The mini-bubble dress, available in both Lyocell, a 100 percent biodegradable fabric, and a soft glitter jersey, wholesales for $60 and $120, respectively.
"We chose these gorgeous bright colors," said designer Rory Beca. "The colors of the season are lemon, grass, kale, silver, smoke, milk and blueberry, with gold as an accent color in the buttons." Beca also embraced trends such as nautical-inspired pieces, metallic accents and high-waisted and wide-leg pants. A standout in the collection was the racer-back silk ruffle tops and dresses that have a gold button at the neck, available in numerous colors and fabrics, wholesaling from $120 to $150.
L.A.-based Rhys Dwfen, a newcomer to D&A, is no stranger to diaphanous fabrics. One of the company's bestsellers was the "Harry Cardigan," a pointelle cotton, trapeze cardigan that is almost sheer, wholesaling for $74.
Meanwhile, beginning next month, D&A is expanding beyond the borders of its present location to an additional space at the Chelsea Art Museum on West 22nd Street here.
The floor plan of the new space will enable designers to showcase their collections differently, as well as serve as a space to host D&A's latest partnerships. The CFDA has chosen D&A as a partner in its New Business Services Network. Each season, two designers will be selected and introduced at D&A-sponsored booths."As part of our relationship with the CFDA, each season we vote for one sportswear and one accessories designer to have a CFDA booth at the D&A show," said Mandelbaum. "We are picking the ones that are most geared to who we are, and we will do that for all of our cities, in Los Angeles, New York and London."
D&A has also joined forces with the Trade Council of Denmark to showcase 11 fashion collections from that country. A Sept. 14 cocktail event sponsored by Dansk will celebrate the new space and feature Danish fashion and artwork.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)