Other fall trends included black and white in geometrics, florals and stripes, and dark floral patterns. Top colors for fall — other than black and white — were deep burgundy, mustard and Army green, said Morgan Ramage, fashion manager at AmericasMart. Accessories trends included chokers and smaller jewelry, and fringe or embroidery on handbags.
The show ran consecutively for the first time with the VOW bridal show. Bridal trends included low, dramatic backs, plunging necklines, body suits with long lace or embroidered sleeves to be worn under a strapless gown, and texture, such as floral embroidery, ruffles and feathers. Top fall colors were blush, pink, Champagne and gold, rather than traditional white or ivory.
“They want to be different,” said Tatianna Simmons, assistant manager of Elaine’s Bridal & Formal in Valdosta, Ga.
Fall is becoming more important in the U.S. for bridal, said Terri Hilferty, creative director for Justin Alexander. At Maggie Sottero, bridal sales manager Suzanne Robbins said while fall is never as big as spring, bridal is getting away from just spring.
Apparel growth areas at the Mart are temporary exhibitors, up 13 percent over April 2015, the Now Young Contemporary collection, up 35 percent, and Ready-to-Wear, up 22 percent. Other important areas are Denim, Premiere and Premiere Luxe.
Buyers searched for summer essentials, as well as fall. Jennifer Harrington, divisional merchandise manager for ladies’ apparel at Hamrick’s in Gaffney, S.C., with 20 stores, filled in on denim Tencel dresses, denim-friendly tops, plaids, and vintage Americana red, white and blue in sleeveless summer dresses, tops and running shorts. Americana “has been a huge theme for us because of the election and the [upcoming Summer] Olympics,” she said.
Harrington also bought suede, denim, Seventies bohemian looks, dark florals, plaids with lace, and geometric prints. She didn’t book much fall here, saying that June would be her big fall market when she books sweaters and outerwear.
Her business is up 10 to 15 percent for the year. “There’s a lot of newness, so there’s a reason to buy,” she said.
Rebeccah Barrett, owner of Minx in Asheville, N.C., booked romantic and retro-inspired looks for immediate delivery. She wrote about 80 percent of fall, buying masculine looks in slacks and trousers, dark florals and romantic looks from Johnny Was and Free People, structured looks from French Connection, and sophisticated styling from R-D Styles and other brands. She also ordered black-and-white stripes and smaller jewelry in silver and gold. She cut back on heavy sweaters and coats because of the recent warm winter.
Pauline Nakios, owner of the brand Lilla P, which has a store in Manhattan, bought accessories only, including scarves, smaller jewelry, chokers and jewelry with an organic feel, such as leather with natural pearls or beads.
In bridal, Carina Leonard, owner of Loretta Bridal Boutique in Bonita Springs, Fla., bought gowns with low backs, cutouts and flared skirts, as well as bodysuits.
“Everyone wants to show off their bodies,” she said.
Elaine’s Bridal & Formal’s Simmons bought fitted gowns with flared skirts, ballroom gowns, low dramatic backs, low necklines, high splits, cap sleeves and dresses with jewelry.