NEW YORK — The holiday season has provided some early presents for Seventh Avenue’s dress houses.

Stores have planned for an upbeat eveningwear season, with some vendors reporting double-digit increases over last year. Fourth-quarter forecasts and comparisons will be dicey and unpredictable this year. On the one hand, holiday 2001 was impacted by post-Sept. 11 syndrome, but the economy has been slow to recover, and depressed consumer spending resulted in disappointing results for last month’s retail sales.

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