By  on December 19, 1994

NEW YORK -- Nude-tone bras and panties are a hot classification, but Donna Karan Intimates with its spring line broadened the scope of nude tones into three more areas: at-homewear, sleepwear and daywear.

Many of Karan's nude-tone lingerie pieces, done in a champagne-like tone, are being merchandised as dual-purpose items, and the designer showed a variety of ideas that can be worn as true underpinnings, and as ready-to-wear at her spring rtw show last month.

Nude colors, said Karan, achieve a "total tonal image."

"It's like a second skin. The skin tones almost make the items invisible on the body," said Karan.

In addition to foundations, new items in the group the firm refers to as its DK Nudes include long, sinuous slip gowns; easy, wrap robes; camisoles and pull-on pants; little T-shirts and boy-leg briefs, and flippy half-slips. Ongoing looks include bustiers, padded push-up bras, control briefs and thong-back teddies.

Karan likes to show the smaller, body-molding tops under her new, structured jackets. Nude-tone suits, dresses and evening gowns accounted for a main portion of the rtw collection.

Wacoal America produces the licensed line of Donna Karan Intimates. Wholesale prices for spring start at $29.90 for a stretch lace T-shirt of nylon and Lycra spandex with silk charmeuse trim, and go to $1,012 for a long, embroidered silk kimono.

Reflecting retailer reaction to the look, Karan noted that one-third of spring innerwear bookings were in nude-color items.

"The skin tone was the most heavily booked color in the intimate fashion pieces," she said.

Joan Kaner, vice president and fashion director of Neiman Marcus, noted, "I think the nude tones were absolutely gorgeous."

"I'm sure a smart department manager will get a few pieces and hang them in a dressing room.

"It's not a trend, but it's timeless, and something that's here to stay," added Karan. "It's just like starting with makeup on the face -- it evens out the tones. You can add color on top of that. I started doing hosiery that way with my New Nudes."

Berna Goldstein, executive director of Donna Karan Intimates, noted that the appeal of the nude tones is that they haven't been shown much in at-homewear and sleepwear until now.Fabrics include blends of nylon and Lycra; nylon, triacetate and Lycra; stretch levers lace of nylon and Lycra; silk charmeuse; crinkle silk georgette; woven and knit rayon; woven linen, and garment-washed cotton jersey.

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