Here’s the latest at the CaliforniaMart and the New Mart:
After having cornered the hand-beaded bag and home furnishings market, designer Christiana Lapetrina Johnson and husband Darryl Johnson are expanding their empire by introducing Christiana, a contemporary ready-to-wear line that debuted at the CalMart this January.
All pieces are silk inside and out and embellished with Christiana Johnson’s exquisite hand-beaded or hand-painted designs.
For the spring-to-fall transition, jackets and pants will be shown in deep reds, golds and blacks; wrap skirts come in aqua, salmon and iris. Standout items include gossamer pastel gypsy tops and tropical halters. Wholesale prices are $250 for pants, $235 for jackets, $230-$250 for tops, and $90-$180 for skirts.
CHEAP THRILL AMERICAN COUTURE, C555
Italian designer Nick Scalisi and his long-time companion Ilona Karme recently moved their corporate headquarters from New York to California after longing for the West Coast’s “rock ‘n’ roll” mindset. The showroom opened here in January.
Hand-designed prints are the cornerstone of Cheap Thrill. According to the Basquiat-influenced designer, he “uses prints like writers use diaries.”
For fall, his prints will emphasize primitive geometrics and random words scrawled across the fabric. The palette consists of black stenciled, knitted or sandblasted against aubergine, midnight blue and olive. Scalisi insists on using soft fabrics such as rayons, silks, knits and matte jersey.
Wholesale prices range from $32 denim jeans and $92 suede or leather pants to $24 knit tops and $52 rayon thermal dresses.
EARL JEAN, B545
These slim-fitting, low-waisted jeans have already graced the celebrity frames of Cameron Diaz, Calista Flockhart, Kate Moss and Elle Macpherson. After Sheryl Crow bought her first pair, she sent designer Suzanne Costas Friewald a thank-you note.
The Los Angeles company launched in 1996 and opened its showroom doors in February to accommodate a contemporary designer line that has now grown to include denim jackets, fringed suede jackets, blazers and caftans.
The fall collection has “an old western, Sergio Leone vibe,” said Costas Friewald.
Expect to see ruffled shirts, beat up herringbone and a cotton/polyester jean with western detailing.
Of course, Costas Friewald will continue to produce her trademark Style 55 jeans, available in a variety of washes. Wholesale prices are $48-$280 for pants, $27-$58 for tops, and $55-$100 for jackets.
BETSEY JOHNSON, 703
The iconic punk princess who has dressed everyone from Edie Sedgwick to Courtney Love opened her New Mart showroom at the beginning of the year.
For fall, Johnson stays true to her unique vision and presents a collection that’s a little bit sweet and a little bit tart.
Coats are key: in blue and purple plaid, fur trimmed-sweater styles and faux-fur animal prints. A black and brown leather and suede coat with heart-shape studs has pants to match. A possible trendsetter is the brown-and-white-spotted faux fur and olive pleather coat.
Johnson continues to show her staple printed velvet pieces, this season in geometric blocks. The collection wholesale from $39 T-shirts to $79 dresses to $250 coats.
NATALIE REICHMAN STUDIOS, 813
In January, multi-line rep Natalie Reichman joined forces with longtime cohort Susan Chenetz and opened a joint showroom at the New Mart. With the new space, Reichman introduced In Harmony.
The Los Angeles-based line offers rayon bottoms in all lengths, from capri pants to wrap skirts whole priced from $42-$44. For summer/fall transition, In Harmony will show styles in a variety of prints, from optics to mini-florals to psychedelics. All bottoms are rayon.