By  on April 20, 2006

DALLAS — With an eye for special items, buyers at the fall market at FashionCen­terDallas responded to detailed short jackets, cropped pants, Bermuda shorts, long sweaters and skinny jeans, and velvet, plaid and lace treatments.

The mood was upbeat at the show which ended March 31, and out-of-territory traffic was strong.

"Attendance was even with last year's successful show, with gains in out-of-territory buyers from the West and Southeast," said Cindy Morris, chief operating officer of the Dallas Market Center Co., which operates the venue. "FashionCenterDallas continues to offer expanded offerings, including a 20 percent increase in temporary exhibitors, and we continue to experience positive crossover traffic as buyers from apparel stores source from leading gift and home showrooms."

Nat Ekelman, who owns the Ge-Ne showroom representing contemporary, bridge and European labels, said, "We've had quite a number of people who have never been to Dallas before, many from the Midwest."

Carol Ferrell, a partner in the Ferrell & Kramer showroom of contemporary and misses' labels, also saw new faces.

"It's been very good," she said. "We've opened up a lot of new stores. We've had an increase in south-of-the-border traffic."

Brad Ritz, owner of Ritz Group showroom of contemporary and designer labels, said the market was strong, with "the largest day we've ever had of any market" on the show's penultimate day.

"We're really excited about the longer sweaters and skinny jeans," said Steve Sohosky, who owns SoHo Clothiers in Rogers, Ark. "We picked up several washes from different vendors. The market looks good. I'm impressed to see some new styles and silhouettes in trousers and denim."

With sales up 9 percent so far this year, Sohosky increased his fall budget by 5 percent as he ordered slim jeans from Paige Premium Denim, Citizens for Humanity, Seven and A.G. He also booked long sweaters by Velvet and detailed, cropped jackets from People Like Frank.

Victoria Jackson, owner of Talula contemporary boutique here, was enthusiastic about romantic Victorian and Edwardian looks.

"I liked the jackets with puffed and gathered sleeves, the new trend in vests and the rich fabrics — brocades, velvets, crushed velvets and tapestries," she said. "And dresses are huge. I probably bought more dresses than I've ever bought. I also bought form-fitting long tunics with leggings. It's a retro ‘Flashdance' kind of thing that is really new to all the younger girls."

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