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Totally Tropical

<?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = CS /><CS:BOLD>BATIK PRINTS AND SHEER LOOKS LEND A BREEZY EASE TO THE RESORT/SWIM CATEGORY. <BR><BR>Batik prints are a key look for resort this season, as the category continues to draw inspiration from the flora and fauna of...

BATIK PRINTS AND SHEER LOOKS LEND A BREEZY EASE TO THE RESORT/SWIM CATEGORY.

Batik prints are a key look for resort this season, as the category continues to draw inspiration from the flora and fauna of the tropics. Netted and sheer fabrics are also much in evidence, seen in mesh cover-ups, fishnet tops and crocheted swimsuits. Cropped and capri pants remain a mainstay for resortwear, along with breezy and humorous prints. For fall, expect to see grass huts, martini glasses, tropical flowers, planets and pool balls.

As activewear, silhouettes, led by hooded zip jackets and T-shirts, will be slightly fitted but comfortable. Here, a look at what’s new.

At Los Angeles-based showroom Ronnie Nathan & Associates, mesh drawstring pants, batik-print sarongs and crocheted swimsuits are some of the latest looks.

Nylon-mesh drawstring pants in solids and prints are a strong point of Ultimate Swimwear’s collection, said Ellyce Zolt, a principal with Ronnie Nathan. Wholesale prices for Ultimate Swimwear range from $8 for a solid top or bottom to $15 for a rhinestone-studded printed top.

“The hottest trend that we are getting major reorders on is drawstring pants,” Zolt said. “That is the major cover-up that people are buying this year.”

Zolt will also show tops and pants in batik and Thai-inspired prints by In Gear, a collection of swimwear cover-ups with an average price of $10.

Athena, a swimsuit line repped by Nathan, is showing spring looks, including soft watercolor prints in blues, reds and pinks and styles with bust-enhancement and tummy-control features. Silhouettes include a soft-cup halter top with a retro hipster bottom, tankinis, long-torso one-pieces and triangle-top bikinis with side-tie bottoms.

In addition, Nathan & Associates manufactures a line of crocheted cotton bikinis called Sassy Swimwear. The collection offers halter tops with a side-tie bottom and a traditional bikini bottom in solid black, cream, red, turquoise and lime. Some of the bikinis are embellished with wooden beads.

Screen-printed and appliqued knits are the focal point at the Tustin, Calif., Weekend Traffic, a casual sportswear collection aimed at women aged 30 to 50.

“Funky cars, beach and cocktail prints are the thrust of what we do,” said Sigrid Simonson, designer and merchandiser for Weekend Traffic.

For transition, Simonson worked with a palette of sage green, plum, teal, black and ivory. She paired a thermal knit with a brushed confetti cord knit for a grouping of drawstring and cropped pants, which go with zip-front jackets, pullovers and cardigans. Some of the fitted T-shirts feature crocheted appliques of martini glasses, palm trees or flowers.

Wholesale prices are from $18 for a T-shirt to $40 for a stretch suede jacket.

Weekend Traffic’s other division, called Line Two, is geared toward women aged 42 and up. It features a rayon fabric with a Tencel-like feel and drape. The fabric is offered in eight colors for fall, including pesto and deep brown, and cut into basic jackets and drawstring or elastic pants in three lengths. Prices run from $21 for a T-shirt to $45 for for a jacket.

The hot item at New York-based Z International is expected to be a cropped cap-sleeve top made of oversized black stretch nylon fishnet layered over a smaller fishnet in solid lime or orange. The company will also show spiderweb lace and fine mesh tops with long sleeves, short sleeves and as camisoles (wholesaling from $8 to $10).

“We do a lot of hosiery that has always been special, so we are doing tops to match,” said Joanna Lee, owner of Z International. “So many customers asked us for them.”

Illustrated images of women meditating and doing yoga poses will be featured on Harmony Wear’s slim-cut cotton T-shirts. “They are really positive images meant to empower women,” said owner Caroline Allain. The company also will show coordinating drawstring sweatpants and cropped hooded jackets in black and navy cotton and spandex terry. Some of the looks feature screen-printed characters, while others are solid. Prices range from $10.50 for a T-shirt to $24 for pants.

Pastel silk sweaters in sleeveless, boatneck and V-neck styles paired with white linen pants lead off the new looks at Surfival, said owner Eli Dadon.

The maker of misses’ resortwear will also show a Tahitian-themed group of jackets, tops, capri pants and shorts in a linen, rayon and cotton blend. A white group features embossed linen separates, and a fuchsia and white lei floral print has a tropical flair. Prices range from $12 for shorts to $30 for a dress or jacket, with sweaters spanning $18 to $24.

Glow-in-the-dark pajamas are the new look in Starfly, a line of junior sleepwear from Creative Apparel Concepts Inc. in Minneapolis, Minn.

The line offers whimsical graphics of cats and dogs, or a stars-and-planets print that glows in the dark. New graphics for fall are pool balls and holiday themes. Silhouettes include pajama sets in shorts and pants and night shirts.

“We had a very good response to it for spring, and a lot of our buyers are still buying spring,” said president Jeff Gray.