Byline: Katherine Bowers

LOS ANGELES — The fall market’s festive spirit spilled into the Pacific Champions show, where attendees, rediscovering European collections absent here for several years, nibbled on waiter-passed hors d’oeuvres.
French labels such as Philippe Adec, Biscote and Etincelle were among the 50 exhibitors back at the semi-annual better trade show, held Friday through Monday in the CalMart’s Fashion Theater.
“We were quite happy to find several companies we thought we lost years ago,” said Dvora Attia, owner of M’Attias boutique in Santa Monica, Calif. Attia wrote Italian label Hunza’s soutache pieces, Tark 1 for Avenue Montaigne’s pants and Philippe Adec suits.
“In suits we go really classic,” she continued. “For a while, suiting [makers] could not make up their minds if [they were making career] or funwear. I’m glad they’re past thinking it’s OK to wear low-rise pants to the office.”
Semiprecious gem line M+J Savitt showed glittery, multi-strand carnelian beads as well as chunky turquoise mixed with tiger’s eye. “Adding that golden brown tone brings turquoise into fall,” said Wynne Savitt, one of a trio of sisters behind the line. Buoyed by a credit in the recent Meg Ryan film, “Kate & Leopold,” Savitt came west to work with stylists and Hollywood costume designers.
But Savitt wasn’t the only exhibitor savvy to the power of media. The day the show opened, Cynthia Steffe’s $165 retail embroidered peasant top was featured in a “Latin Fashion” segment on Good Morning America.
Over the weekend, the top sold out on preorders, according to rep Mary Watson Ray. “I tried to get one and I couldn’t,” she said. For fall, buyers signed up for more ruffled, girlie tops and cherry-picked forward items like gauchos and a $159 wholesale “Generale” military duster coat.
Elyse Kroll, the show’s executive director, said strong buyer turnout was evidence of market health on both coasts.

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