By  on September 4, 2007

NEW YORK — The definition of spring as a time of growth and renewal seems particularly apt on the eve of fashion week. With so many successful trends last fall, the question on retailers' lips is whether they will be perfected, tweaked or subverted?

Everyone agreed color will be a primary concern, with black and neutrals banished to the far corners of the store floor. Ethnic prints and jet set can conjure up very different images, but combine them and you get the feeling we're headed toward another Talitha Getty moment. It also seems the time is ripe for the comeback of the jacket. After so many seasons of sweaters standing in for the sturdier garment, jackets will be ubiquitous in shrunken and cropped incarnations offset by fuller skirts.

Promising young designers are stirring up interest, but tried-and-true names still have the ability to spark anticipation. Retailers were also optimistic about the logistics and timing of the shows. One thing that hasn't changed about fashion week is that hope still springs eternal.

Jennifer Wheeler, vice president of designer apparel at Nordstrom

Are there any young designers you feel hopeful about?
L'wren Scott, Lisa Perry and Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman of Marchesa.

What trends are you expecting to see at fashion week? The continued evolution of the dress, clear colors, a sense of modernism, shine and florals.

What are you looking for from fashion week? A fresh perspective from a breakout collection or designer. We always look forward to what Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler will show us.

Are there any trends you'd like to see disappear? Bubble skirts and high-waisted pants.

How is your open-to-buy? Up!

Michael Fink, vice president and women's fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue

Are there any young designers you feel hopeful about?
We love Chris Benz and Katy Rodriguez. And let's give everyone a chance and help support new ideas for more than one "love-fest" season.

What are you expecting to see? More of the tailoring mood we're in — polished and chic clothing, dresses, dresses, dresses and interesting sleeves.

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