SMART FALL

Byline:

NEW YORK — Everyone loves fashion at a price, and increasingly, design houses — from tiny to powerhouse — want in on the act. Two European firms, Maska and Akris, have recently revamped their secondary collections. For fall, the Swiss firm Akris has discontinued its diffusion line, Akris Club, and launched a new collection, Punto, with a separate design team.
“We don’t believe in diffusion lines,” says a company spokesman. “In the end, you’re only teaching the customer to buy the same look at a lower price.” Punto — which means, “Period. That’s it.” — targets a younger customer than Akris. It features smart, pretty tailoring, subtle details and the occasional quiet quirk; for example, pinstripe wool in turquoise on forest green, or pink on navy. Prices are bridge, with coats and suits no more than $1,100 at retail.
In its second selling season in the U.S., M.K., the bridge line of the Italian ready-to-wear collection Maska, shows its colors with skillful tailoring in rich, youthful fabrics. Fall suits are diverse, from a black crepe pantsuit with a military air to a sporty suede number trimmed in fake fur to a polite Empire-waist suit with velvet touches.
The outerwear is also strong: ice, gray or blush toppers in wool, alpaca and mohair; long, faux-shearling vests lined in wool boucle, and microfiber cropped ski jackets with dyed rabbit collars.

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