By  on January 31, 2008

Glamour, easy separates, color and luxe fabrics are the hallmarks of Josie Natori's first full ready-to-wear collection, Natorious.

The designer and chief executive officer of the Natori Co. began previewing key items of the 80-piece collection for major retailers this week at the Natori showrooms on Madison Avenue in Manhattan. According to industry sources, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstorm will be among the first stores to carry the rtw.

The fall preview precedes a fashion week launch on Monday with a presentation at the Bryant Park Hotel.

"What challenges me is to have a solution to dressing that is easy and versatile, but still glamorous," Natori said. "I feel it was the right time to do rtw that's part of the vision that Natori is all about — really easy dressing with separates and a focus on tops. It's not about a blazer, two-piece suits or pinstripes. It's about mixing tops with whatever women need. Women today want clothing that is versatile and can go from day to night and be able to mix it in with their wardrobes."

The collection is anchored in Natori Essentials, an assortment of tops that includes short tunics, fingertip-length tunics, capelets, capes, short caftan looks, tank tops, turtlenecks, scoopnecks and cowl-necked styles. There's also a cami liner to wear under sheer embroidered mesh, stretch lace and allover mesh tops.

In addition to a variety of textured treatments such as trapunto quilting and lattice effects, fabrics and detailing include printed Asian floral and dragon-print silks; ombré and animal-print silks; a blend of bamboo and cashmere; Modal, viscose and ponté jersey; animal-pattern mesh, and multicolor sequin motifs inspired by the Far East. Vibrant color abounds in a silk group of tops in solid chartreuse green, Chinese lacquer red, gold, burnt orange and deep teal accented with chocolate brown, champagne and black.

Natori said the idea is to mix the tops with three "essential" styles of pants, such as a tailored look of ultralight Japanese crepe, a soft ponté jersey and a fluid viscose jersey. Short skirts include a classic straight silhouette, a front-pleat style and a flared number. Suggested retail prices will range from $180 to $900 with core price points averaging $200 to $400. Sizes are XS to L. A resort collection will follow October deliveries, Natori said."The retailers I have spoken to are very enthusiastic because it's a full rtw collection with a designer look and a contemporary feel, but it's not contemporary fitting," she said. "Not every woman has a figure for contemporary clothes. It's very easy to make something very expensive, but the real challenge is to provide solutions. I feel there's a whole niche out there for designer rtw at prices that won't break the bank."

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