BUYERS: SHEERS, TEXTURES SURFACING ON COAST

Byline: Kristi Ellis

LOS ANGELES — Apparel manufacturers are taking their cues from sheer looks and textured constructions as they prepare to head for the Los Angeles International Textile Show.
Designers are also turning to natural fibers, particularly in knits, to spice up spring lines. And prints continue to hold a key spot in their thinking.
The three-day show begins May 5 at the California Mart.
Carole Little, co-chair of California Fashion Industries, the maker of the Carole Little brand, said that she will shop the show for lightened-up variations of fabrics that are already out in the market, including stretch and knits.
“A year ago fabrics were heavier and stiffer, but now they have become so much more versatile,” Little said.
She said that crinkly gauzes are coming back, as sheers remain important. Prints and color will be important for spring, she noted, in soft pastels, mid-tones and clean brights. Ethnic looks are also driving deeper colors but balanced with brights, she added.
Judy Rabineau, co-owner of Mica, a contemporary dress manufacturer in Los Angeles, said that she will be looking for similar fabrics and print ideas she saw at Premiere Vision in Paris in March.
“Florals are going to be hotter than ever but they aren’t large or small, Rabineau said. “Geometrics are dead, so I’ll be looking for romantic florals and conversational prints.”
Rabineau also said she will be looking for something to replace the stretch lace pointelle that has checked well this year, in prices from $5.95 to $12 a yard. Rayon georgettes and crepes are also two key fabrics for Mica’s spring/summer ’98 collection, as is plain jersey with custom artwork.
Kelly Ellingson, brand manager of Girl’s Club, a junior division of Club Sportswear, said she will shop the show for fun and novelty prints. She added that she is moving away from florals and geometric prints and into Asian prints.
“We are looking to do the similar prints we saw on polyester this past year and put them on different fabrics. We are going to play down polyester for spring/summer ’98,” Ellingson said.
Other items on her show list include embroidered treatments, new corduroys, sheers and icy colors.
“Sheers are creating a buzz and we are going to take a new approach with chiffons and organzas by adding different looks and new colors,” she said.

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