By  on February 7, 2007

As the ready-to-wear runways roar in New York, exhibitors at this season's Fashion Coterie are gearing up for a big selling season.

The show runs from Feb. 20 to 22 and will again be split between two venues — the Show Piers and the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center — because of ongoing construction at the Piers. Organizer ENK International has arranged for shuttle service between the sites.

For the contemporary T-shirt company Michael Stars, Los Angeles, Coterie means the launch of a dress collection.

"Due to the high demand for dresses, we launched a line that reinforces our philosophy of merging function with fashion," said Michael Cohen, founder and chief executive. "Our dresses stand out because we combined beautiful silhouettes and colors that follow popular trends, yet remain timeless. Every style is made to make a woman feel comfortable and confident."

Wholesaling from $58 to $85, the 12-style dress line is available in baby-doll, jumper and minidress styles and in colors ranging from neutral to vibrant.

For New York-based Edun, the contemporary line founded by U2 frontman Bono, the past few years have been a learning curve, and now, it's on track.

"After being in the market for a while, we have really found our place," said Bridget Russo, global marketing director of the brand. "In the early days, we were a very feminine line. Now, we are still feminine, but with an edge, which I think suits us well."

Designed by creative director Rogan Gregory, the fall line follows a "nature at night" theme, with dark forest graphics on T-shirts, silk dresses and hoodies. Russo said the colors were all dark with a mix of the shades of dawn and dusk. There is a lot of black and gray throughout, with teal and fuchsia accents. There are also plenty of easy-to-wear shift dresses, military-inspired jackets and high-waisted jeans.

Edun wholesales from $50 to $350.

For Chaiken, which has offices in New York and in San Francisco, owner Julie Chaiken said she would attend the Coterie personally to meet with buyers.

"I haven't been for a while, but I'm really looking forward to it," she said.For fall, Chaiken will show chunky sweaters in cashmere blends, a full maternity line, some basic pants, knit tops and blouses with intricate patterns.

"The blouses are sort of like playing with origami," she said. "Imagine origami with fabric."

Chaiken wholesales from $90 to $250.

Contemporary sportswear firm Y? Morrissey, New York, expects a robust growth to continue in 2007. Executives said volume increased by 45 percent last year, for with over $7 million in sales in 2006. The company, which pronounces its name "Why Question Morrissey," expects to reach $10 million this year.

Owner JR Morrissey said he would have his entire fall collection at Coterie, as well as items for immediate delivery. There will be a full range of pants, which Morrissey said has become his must-have item. For fall, the pants silhouette is skinny, although the leg is slightly wider.

"People have really started to come to us for our pants, so that has become a big concentration of ours," he said. "We don't tend to lose many people in the dressing room; we are very fortunate in that way."

Besides the pants, Morrissey said the collection consisted of long jackets, printed skirts and knit tops. There are tropical weight pinstripe and plaid pants, jersey tops and dresses. Wholesale runs from $38 to $150.

At Paper Denim & Cloth, Chris Gilbert, president, said he was offering sportswear in addition to the regular denim mix. For fall, Paper's trend was "Oxford meets Princeton," he said, citing a slew of preppy looks.

There are turtleneck sweaters, knit ponchos, plaid skirts and thermal tops in animal prints like owl and deer, he said.

"We also have plenty of immediates in our assortment of denim," he said. "There are still a lot of peg legs, but they are getting slightly wider, with a higher rise than we are used to seeing."

Gilbert said his favorite new addition to the collection was a pair of Seventies-inspired wide-leg jeans with patch pockets. Paper Denim & Cloth wholesales from $22 to $50.Laura Poretzky, designer of Abaete, said she was focused on shift dresses.

"They are very Mod and easy to wear," she said, "so I think they will continue as a trend."

Available in long-sleeved and sleeveless styles, the dresses, she said, come in simple colors like navy and black, with jewel- tone accents like a black dress with a turquoise stripe down the front. Green and deep purple are accented throughout. Abaete wholesales from $120 to $250.

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