Byline: Kathleen Nicholson

NEW YORK — You can take the dresses out of the collection, but not out of the designer.
After a three-year hiatus from dresses and a foray into sportswear, Judy Hornby is back on the dress racks with a 35-piece collection that wholesales from $200 to $400.
For 15 years, Hornby, president of the company bearing her name, was in the high end of the market, creating suits, coats and dresses that wholesaled around $1,500. But she closed up shop in 1993, and reopened the next year as a bridge-priced sportswear maker, because, she said, she felt the time was right for the sportswear market.
During her separation from dresses, Hornby got the itch to add frocks, and unveiled a cocktail and evening line during spring market. She projected $2 million in sales from the dresses. She continues to produce her sportswear collection.
Some dresses are traditional, feminine looks in fabrics like embroidered, hand-painted silk ombre or pastel awning-stripe raffias. A more sculpted group includes asymmetrical dresses in crepe, banded sheaths of satin and lace, and organza shirtdresses with beaded trim.
The dress line has been ordered by such specialty stores as Saks Jandel in the Washington, D.C., area; Julian Gold throughout Texas; Frances Kahn in Richmond, Va.; Elan in Dayton, Ohio, and Adele’s in Pittsburgh.