DALLAS -- The trend to more fitted clothes found a lot of fans at the holiday and cruise market at the International Apparel Mart here.
Gently curving jackets, nipped waistlines and body-conscious dresses -- including spare shifts -- inspired much of the business that was written in showrooms. Holiday evening separates and bright jewel and sherbet tones were other attention-getters.
A swimwear show staged by the Southwest Swim Association on the mart's second floor also drew buyers seeking resort swimsuits and coverups.
Despite buyers' excitement over showroom offerings and reports of increased bookings, traffic had the typically thin look of an August market. Multiple-line sales representatives rated traffic as generally even to ahead 10 percent.
The five-day show ran through Aug. 23.
"Showroom sales are up about 40 percent over last year, but traffic was flat," said Denise Berman, who, with her husband, Jay, owns a multiple-line showroom here. "Stores are having good early response to fall, and trunk-show bookings have them in a good mood. For resort and early spring, color and soft fabrications are key."
Bill Dodson, president of better to designer women's specialty store Lilly Dodson, here, said color was the selling point in the resort collections he viewed.
"Resort is very important at Lilly Dodson because it offers more color than most spring collections," Dodson explained. "Resort offers longevity as well. It arrives early and can be worn for the cruise and into spring. It's a classification that fits the bill."
Dodson looked at casual, colorful resort sportswear from Molto Fino, Canvas Backs and Stephanie by Suzelle, among others.
"Body-conscious silhouettes and waistlines are going to be strong spring signatures," said Dodson. "The Southwest customer loves that look."
He shopped fitted suits from Scaasi Dress, Teri Jon Suits by Rickie Freeman and Julie and Leonard, where he liked the suits with dolman sleeves, broad shoulders and tapered waists.
Dodson typically takes paper home and mails it in later after working choices against his budget, which was up 5 percent for the market.
"It's prudent to play it close to the belt and then go in and buy more as we see trends develop," he said.Finding holiday social occasion silhouettes and fall items like suede bottoms and novelty tops, all for immediate delivery, was the mission of Charles Skibell, owner of Skibell's, Lubbock, Tex., a three-unit women's specialty chain.
With a budget fattened 15 percent, Skibell shopped Sully Bonnelly's black and colorful evening separates, including fitted tops over full bottoms, some cut from silk chiffon and silk taffeta, and Karen Lawrence's long jacket dresses with ribbon lace detail.
Nan Napier, owner of Tres Mariposas, El Paso, Tex., a women's better-to-designer store, came to Dallas fresh from the designer resort market in New York.
She scouted for traditional sportswear, including khaki, russet and gold Moroccan-influenced looks from Cambridge Dry Goods and conservative styles from Alexander Campbell, as well as more contemporary sportswear from David Dart.
Slim and short dresses with back interest by Nicole Miller also got Napier's attention.
Napier, whose budget was up about 13 percent, said she typically studies her potential buy in her hotel room and tries to leave commitments before the end of the market.
"Early fall business has been really strong," she explained. "People seem upbeat."
Joy Roberts, the owner of Roberts, Laurel, Miss., a women's specialty store, said the Dallas market was a mainstay in her market sojourns because of the variety and said this show was no exception.
Her shopping itinerary listed showrooms featuring fall and holiday fill-ins like festive and classic sweaters, holiday eveningwear and resort sportswear and dresses.
With a flat budget designed to keep inventories lean, Roberts looked at dressy wool crepe suits edged in fur from Noviello Bloom, subdued evening separates from Chetta B and bright linen and silk day dresses from Scaasi Dress and Constance Saunders.
Julieta de Terrazas, owner of Boga Regalos/Fasses, located in Delicias, Chihuahua, Mexico, said: "I've been shopping here about three years, and the offerings are good for my customers."
Though she came with a flat budget because of the uncertainty that surrounded the recent Mexican national elections, de Terrazas planned to leave orders for holiday evening and other social occasion silhouettes from Sully Bonnelly, bright resort sportswear from Platinum and casual lightweight day dresses from DW3.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews