ATLANTA — Prom dresses for 2014 range from cute and sweet to sexy and glamorous, giving young women a wide choice to express their individuality, according to retailers and resources at the Atlanta Apparel Market held at AmericasMart Thursday to Monday.
Non-prom buyers focused on resort and/or early spring. Michelle Denson, buyer for Simply Natural in Naples, Fla., bought resort for delivery at the end of November and beyond, while Carolyn Redfield, owner of Pineapples in Vero Beach, Fla., picked up trends for early spring, including black and white and geometrics.
The prom and social occasion business for AmericasMart, resources and retailers has grown substantially. Both Sherri Hill and Tony Bowls said their brands are showing strong increases, and Lori Kisner, senior vice president of apparel for AmericasMart, said the mart’s social occasion category, including prom, has grown by more than 70 percent from a year ago, including 49,000 square feet of new showrooms. Kaye Davis, executive director of fashion for AmericasMart, said the show now attracts retailers from all over the U.S., the Caribbean, Canada and from as far away as Kuwait.
The mart added The Collective, a 4,000-square-foot temporary space for prom and social occasion and accessories. Michelle Harrison, consultant to AmericasMart who helped set up The Collective, called it “a one-stop shop.” The 34 resources offered included Roxcii, a small Australian fashion house breaking into the U.S. market; San Francisco-based Siri; Shail K., and Badgley Mischka.
Color trends for sophisticated dresses are rich jewel tones in reds, greens, purple and blues, while the sweeter prom dresses are mint green, pink and coral. Black, gray, white-ivory and aqua are important, as are neons. Styles in long dresses include mermaid, Empire cut, pleated skirts and ballgown, while short dresses are midthigh and primarily have puffy tulle skirts.
New trends include lots of lace and beading (pearls, stones, cut glass); collars; boat necks; crop tops with short or long skirts, and fabric overlays. Ongoing trends include slits and high-low skirts. Sheer is a big trend, said Bowls. Sheer fabric is covered with lace or beading in crucial places. “It’s still bare, but it’s covered,” he said.
Both he and Hill turned to the past for inspiration for 2014. Hill said she looked back to Fifties movie stars, especially Audrey Hepburn, while Bowls was more inspired by Eighties television shows like “Dynasty,” as well as by Madonna. Hill also introduced a new line in collaboration with Sadie Robertson, the 16-year-old star of “Duck Dynasty.” The line reflects more modest looks in prom.
Joey Rutherford, owner of The Competitive Edge in Dothan, Ala., said he booked Hill’s new line, as well as other styles, adding, “Sherri Hill is the biggest seller in our store.” He also bought Jovani and Mac Duggal. Because Rutherford’s sales increased 20 percent last year, he is buying as much as 20 percent more for next year.
Trends that attracted Cortney White, buyer for The Bridal Shoppe/Prom Store in St. Louis, included attached shoulder wraps, collars, sheer fabrics, nude as a color, embellishments of pearls, stones and cut glass, lace and cutouts.
White said the company just opened a separate prom store. Bridal and prom had previously been in the same store.
In other retail, Simply Natural’s Denson bought dresses, jeans, tops and skirts, and also sought to fill a void for jewelry priced between high- and low-end in the Naples area. She booked DL1961 jeans, Joe’s Jeans, Green Dragon, Pink Lotus, Michael Stars, Susana Monaco, Bailey 44, Autumn Cashmere and Wilt. With sales up nearly 30 percent this year and last, Denson said she is buying more for 2014. “The economy is better, and a lot of companies are moving to Naples,” she said.
Terri Jackson, owner of Just the Thing with one store each in Columbia, S.C., and Atlanta, was filling in on current trends: apparel with leather trim, animal prints and shorts for fall in leather and velvet. She also bought dresses, pants, tops and sweaters for resort in bright colors, as well as black, red and white together. She touched on spring dresses and sportswear with Tracy Negoshian, Annie Griffin and Amanda Uprichard.
Her business is good for the year, but dropped off this summer because of the cool, wet weather. As a result, her sales are about even with 2012.
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
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