NEW YORK -- As they get ready to start showing early fall merchandise, bridge dress manufacturers are buoyed by solid spring-summer bookings, some good early spring checkouts at retail -- considering the weather and other natural calamities -- and a...
NEW YORK -- As they get ready to start showing early fall merchandise, bridge dress manufacturers are buoyed by solid spring-summer bookings, some good early spring checkouts at retail -- considering the weather and other natural calamities -- and a general feeling that the economy has turned the corner.
Soft, easy silhouettes are shaping up as important elements for early fall, in fabrics such as silk, textured wovens and lightweight knits.
While short lengths remain important, hemlines are a little more conservative for fall, and some longer looks are expected to make a comeback.
Cynthia Rowley, designer and owner of the firm carrying her name, said there is strong reorder business on early spring merchandise like slipdresses, sleeveless sheaths and two-piece knit dresses.
"If that continues, it bodes well for fall," Rowley said. "For fall, I'm polishing everything up, looking for a sleek, pared-down look, with a little shine to the fabrics."
Among fall items Rowley is working on are "short and flirty dresses;" long is represented by pantsuits. Lightweight wool knits, tweeds, lace and polished rayon twill are important fabrics.
Bud Konheim, president of Nicole Miller, said 1994 seems to be "frozen in time" because of the California earthquake and weather conditions, but he's "very bullish, even though its based on seat-of-my-pants bullishness."
"What business we've gotten for spring is in all-new silhouettes," Konheim said. "There is a feeling that women are interested in shopping again and packing their closets with new things."
For fall, Konheim said close-to-the-body stretch looks will continue to be important, as well as illusion looks and a general styling that's "soft, subtle and classic." A concentration on new fabric developments will continue for fall, particularly in lightweight cloths and textured novelties.
Short lengths will still prevail for Nicole Miller, but not as short as the micro-lengths of spring, Konheim said..
Tom & Linda Platt will continue refocusing on "very simple, clean and modern clothes" for fall, said Tom Platt, co-owner and co-designer.
"The concept of a dress as just a product category is out," Platt said. "The walls have been torn down. Dresses are part of an overall design concept. We produce a line with a specific design theme that happens to have a lot of dresses in it."Platt said business at retail has been good for spring, with a good response to bright colors.
"We were working on a fall color palette of traditional colors such as burgundy, eggplant, gray and navy, and I came in last week and threw away all the color boards," Platt said. "The product was developing without a personality. Now we're working on a wide range of colors such as brights and pastels because that's what the stores tell us they want."
Early bookings for summer-early fall have been good, with shirtdresses a leader, Platt said. Another promising area is short dresses in silk or wool crepe.
When Tom & Linda Platt are doing gray, it's in tones like heather and textures like pebble crepe. Howard Bloom, president of Chetta B, said he expects a good early fall season, even though spring has gotten off to a slow start because of severe winter weather in the Midwest and Northeast and the Southern California quake.
"I've got good bookings for spring-summer," Bloom said, "but the wild weather is driving everybody crazy. Unfortunately, the stores just don't make up the lost business.
"And you can forget about California. I'm just thankful for the South, where we're doing some good early spring specialty store business."
For early fall, Bloom said he's counting on "soft, short, flippy, young and sexy" silhouettes in fabrics such as silk georgette, silk chiffon, wool gauze, wool and rayon crepe, and stretch velour.
Bob Pitofsky, president of the MMCF division of Mary McFadden, Inc., said he's seeing "outstanding spring trunk show business," particularly outside of the Northeast," with overall bookings up 25 percent over last year.
"We're starting to preview early fall, and we're getting terrific response to a more modern and updated point of view we've given the collection," Pitofsky said. "There's a less constructed look to the line, with softer shoulders using fabrics such as lace, and silk chiffons and georgettes. There's also a greater interest in two-piece dressing, with skirts that have movement. "We feel fall will be a very good season," Pitofsky said. "The economy is getting better and there's a general feeling that people are ready to spend more."Robert Bronstein, president of the Richard Warren division of The Warren Group, said good checkouts on resort and early spring linens and silks "should set the momentum for the rest of the season and through early fall."
"We're making an effort to refocus on luxe looks for the bridge customer," Bronstein said. "This means more of a wear-now collection relying heavily on silks and crepes in silhouettes that are easy, adorned with beautiful details."
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye