ROMANCE SPARKS PREMIERE CLASSE

Byline: Ruth Benoit

PARIS — Diversity was the theme that emerged from a first look at accessories for the new millennium at Premiere Classe, the four-day accessories show staged here this month.
Romantic and poetic silhouettes showed up in handbags, scarves and jewelry. Scarves received major play, in offerings as diverse as fringed cashmere pieces in pretty pastels like pale purple, pink and yellow at Lollipops to Moroccan-inspired, beaded styles at Azafranal. The show was held Sept. 3-6.
“Scarves and pashmina wraps are everywhere this season. They are selling well and are the accessory of the moment,” said Brigitte Bensimon, manager for the Saks Fifth Avenue buying office here.
Azafranal also displayed a wide range of jewelry for spring. There were Swarovski crystal-encrusted pieces and velvet necklaces and bracelets with mirrors and sequins.
Asia Leong, based in New York, produced a spring jewelry collection with a Southwestern theme. Besides the expected sterling silver, turquoise and coral pieces, there were fringed suede necklaces in purples and reds. She also had a beach-inspired story focusing on turquoise and white tiny glass bead necklaces, bracelets and earrings.
“This collection is a big change of direction for me and so far has been very well received,” said Leong. “I’ve had a very good show and got some positive feedback from buyers.”
Liberty-print handbags and tone-on-tone pink prints with tiny bows were spotted at Rows, founded just a year ago here by Constance Du Brule, a stylist who has created bags for Joseph and Old England.
Victor Chance, another handbag resource, focused on practical, sporty bags and asymmetric backpacks with zips and Velcro pockets. The materials included black and beige nylon and leather. This year-old company opened its first boutique four months ago in the Marais district here.
According to organizers, 175 accessories companies showed their wares, an increase of 10 percent over last January’s show.

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