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DALLAS — With strong reaction to an array of trends, from dresses to premium jeans and retro looks, business was steady at Fashion Industry Gallery’s three-day market ended March 24 as contemporary buyers placed orders for fall fashions and accessories, as well as some immediate deliveries.

“It used to be that March and October were the big shows, but now we’re seeing consistency across all [five] markets,” said Abria Berenda, showroom manager at Work in Progress.

Many of the hottest styles harkened back to the Sixties and Seventies, such as jumpsuits, blouson and popover tops and dresses, colorblocking and tie-dyed tops, maxidresses and skirts.

Two Old Hippies, a Sixties-rock-inspired sportswear collection, had a “tremendous” debut market at Mider Group showroom, according to sales rep Greg Mider. Featuring witty graphic T-shirts and crushed velvet and lace military jackets, 2OH is designed by Tom and Molly Bedell, longtime operators of Bedell guitar stores in Nashville, and Aspen, Colo.

Other popular trends included long slit sleeves and back details, metallic accents, reptile skin and calf hair bags, wedge boots and a palette of chartreuse, gray and plum.

Dillard’s contemporary buyer Carey Braxdale headed directly for Single’s fitted black lace and printed silk dresses.

“The dress business is amazing — huge increases so far this year,” said Braxdale, adding that her fall budget was up 10 percent. “Our customer wants them fitted and above the knee. Our number-one request, even in contemporary, is a dress with a sleeve.”

Premium denim in prints and color sold better than expected, she added, and “all the vendors expanded on it for fall.”

Another buyer searching for dresses with sleeves was Linda Reeves, owner of Signatures in Monroe, La.
“I can find cute contemporary for the young from Nicole Miller, but dresses for more mature women are harder to find,” she said.

Reeves also purchased accessories to perk up wardrobes, including Kelsi Dagger’s leather bags and rosary jewelry by Virgins Saints & Angels.

“I love all the color for fall,” said Mary Stone, owner of Joni’s Boutique in Plano, Tex. “When I have color in my store I have better retail.”

Stone had “no complaints” about business by buying tight, living on reorders, and doing trunk shows.

Kim Sierra shopped for Fawn Raven, her new “hipster” store in midtown Austin. Having picked up fall looks from Gypsy Junkies, St. Grace, Jen’s Pirate Booty and Otis & McClean, she was looking for basic pieces to dress up with accessories.

“There are so many bold necklaces, bracelets and earrings, I’m having fun with that and it fits the pocketbook,” Sierra said.

FIG director Emma Greathouse called the show a “great success,” noting that buyer traffic was consistent throughout and increased over the previous year.

“One focus was bringing in new accessories lines to complement our amazing clothing collections,” she said, citing House of Harlow 1960 Jewelry, Christys Hats and Raina Belts.

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