By  on January 13, 2010

“Optimistic” was the buzzword last week at Moda Manhattan, which took place Jan. 5 to 7 at the Javits Center in New York. Designers noted their wares — women’s ready-to-wear ranging from evening dresses to T-shirts and tailored jackets — were being scrutinized for quality and value more than ever, though certain tweaks made to collections since the previous season seemed to be having an impact. Case in point: a wider range of sizes.

“I focus on the in-between woman, who is a bit older, so my sizing goes up more,” explained Jane Mohr, the designer of Dress to Kill, which is based in Los Angeles. Mohr has not changed her approach since the economy slid. Her motto, she said, “is if you’re a specialty store, you better keep it special, and that type of place is what my clothes work for.”

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