By  on September 14, 2005

Based on its success last season, The Mezzanine is back and situated on Piers 90 and 92, with about 35 collections including Imitation of Christ, Habitual, Alvin Valley, Goldsign, Buddhist Punk, Rozae Nichols and others.

When The Mezzanine section launched at the February installment of the Fashion Coterie earlier this year, it served as a destination for avant-garde brands that weren't accustomed to making the rounds of the trade show circuit. Collections such as Daryl K, Burning Torch and FrostFrench were added to the Fashion Coterie lineup and were given a safe haven in a lofted space draped in white curtains and easy lighting.

Here, a look at some of this season's new occupants of The Mezzanine.

The premium denim line for women is branching out this year to include children's and men's. For women's, however, spring brings a mix of Victorian, Goth and military inspirations. Highlights of the season include colored jeans that are hand-sanded and yarn-dyed and made with fabric from Belgium. Punk-inspired superskinny jeans top the most-wanted list of the season, as do miniskirts, ultraflattering denim shorts cut right below the knee and a logo handbag, the first of its kind for Habitual.

The wholesale price range of Habitual denim is from $84 to 90 for jeans; denim jackets wholesale between $140 to $150.

European denim makers have a very different idea of what they think the American market is lusting for at the moment when it comes to jeans. Reds, the Italian-based denim company, is launching this spring in the U.S. and is highlighting the slouchy, roomier trouser jean. The collection is inspired by mid-20th-century American work clothes worn by steelworkers and bricklayers. To soften the look, Reds added cotton T-shirts and blazers, jackets and shorts. The wholesale price range for Reds is between $69 and $78.

Clu began as a comfy T-shirt line that eventually morphed into a full line of Ts, skirts, dresses and pants in cotton and rayon wholesaling between $30 and $85. The line is designed by Seung Lee and his partner, Jin Lee, who moved from South Korea to Los Angeles just three years ago. Seung studied at the Studio Bercot in Paris and Jin studied at Parsons School of Design here. The word "Clu" is derived from the French word clou, meaning nail, for its simple and graphic feel. Seung and Jin presented their first collection, made entirely by hand, last year. The shirts are made of supima cotton and rayon, and dresses incorporate asymmetrical cuts, patchwork and knots and are garment-dyed for a saturated color.Imitation of Christ
In August, Tara Subkoff, designer of Imitation of Christ, announced she would be adding denim to the mix for spring. In fact, just this week, she launched the collection on the runway during fashion week. Next up? The launch of denim at The Mezzanine. Expect to see tapered, skinny and high-waisted styles in addition to denim shorts and jumpsuits. On her denim collection, Subkoff said: "It's about taking one's body into consideration and understanding what is flattering." True words of wisdom.

Alvin Valley
At this installation of the Fashion Coterie, Alvin Valley will launch his new contemporary collection, As Is by Alvin Valley. Pants are at the core of the collection, which Valley said is driven by "trend" and "fit," but also includes blouses, blazers and sweaters at a price point roughly 50 to 75 percent lower than the Alvin Valley Clothier Collection. There are about 12 to 20 styles of pants in cotton, Italian wool and cashmere and wool that wholesale between $110 and $175; blazers wholesale between $245 and $325, and coats wholesale between $275 and $425.

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