BACK TO THE FUTURE
IN CONTEMPORARY AND YOUNG CONTEMPORARY, VENDORS ARE LOOKING TO THE STYLES OF DECADES PAST FOR INSPIRATION.
Byline: Kristi Ellis / with contributions from Melanie Kletter
Retailers buying closer to the vest are forcing contemporary and young contemporary makers to offer an array of multiseasonal, multigenre products to fit their needs.
Late spring, summer and early fall hang together on rep’s racks, as will a mix of eras and directions.
Vendors are brandishing romantic, soft florals and bat sleeves from the Thirties and Forties; Seventies-inspired fur-trimmed suede and belted coats; and Eighties edgy glam of gold hardware, paint-splatter and airbrush prints.
At Charlotte Tarantola in Los Angeles, prints continue to be a major trend.
“The more complicated the prints, the better,” said Charlotte Tarantola, principal and head designer, noting treatment prints such as gold foil, paint splatters and airbrush.
In a nod to the Eighties, Tarantola expects the mixture of lace and glitter with foil and airbrushing to drive business.
“I only do novelty and I am constantly mixing treatments, which is going to be a key trend. Everything has to have shine in my line.”
Another emerging trend is abstract tropical prints. Expected bestsellers are computer-enhanced tropicals, allover tropicals with sequins and rhinestones and imitation-vintage Hawaiian shirts.
Bright tropical colors and prints are also a major theme at Von Saken, a Los Angeles-based company.
“We feel that it’s the year of ‘Carnival’,” said Joel Von Saken, owner and president. “We are planning to feature some prints that look like they came straight out of Copacabana.”
Prints of palms, sunsets and sunrises in coral, turk and periwinkle are expected to move briskly.
Rayon capri pants and tanks, camisoles and tube tops will continue to be major trends.
Von Saken also expects “glitz and glamour” to be strong, with finishing touches of crystal zippers and beadwork.
Softly colored goat suede leather and Italian lambskin will drive Rem Garson’s spring business.
Doug Singer, vice president of the New York firm, expects goat suede leather lapel blazers, tie-neck halters, miniskirts and low-waisted slit skirts to be successful.
An emerging trend is printed suedes and oxidized leathers, he predicts.
Alongside suede and leather, Rem Garson recently has expanded into a nonleather sportswear collection.
Pastel-colored leather and suede also will drive sales at Vakko in New York.
“We are totally into color for spring,” said Shari Hayat, vice president of sales, adding that key colors are sky, palm, powder pink, aquamarine and coral.
Pastel goat suede crop pants, halters, crop jackets and fitted shirts are on the hot list for spring.
“For fall, we are going a little edgier and sexier,” said Hayat.
Vakko expects low-slung hipster pants in both leather and suede, sleek bomber jackets and belted jackets to generate the bulk of the business.
Anonymous By John Carlisle in Burlingame, Calif., also is tapping into colorful suede and leather.
Suede and leather infused with teals, plums, greens, cognacs, violets and pinks are set for a strong showing.
Andrea Brentham, design, merchandise and sales manager, expects Seventies-inspired fur-trimmed suede and belted jackets to be a key trend. “It was huge [back] then and is making a resurgence.”
Anonymous is banking on fitted bodices, exaggerated bell sleeves and bell-bottoms, slit pants and sleeves and rounded double collars.
Distressed leather in sportswear and outerwear also will be important.
At Los Angeles-based Mica, romantic looks and retro styles a la Thirties and Forties will be at the forefront of spring and summer trends.
Bat sleeves, angel sleeves and pleating are among the key silhouettes, as are knee-length and midcalf dresses, according to head designer Kim Holbrook.
Prints will also be important: think florals, tropicals, stripes and beads. Key fabrications include silk chiffon, stretch poplin and silk de chine.
Mica expects two-piece dressing, including angel-sleeve tops and matching bias-cut skirts, twinsets and halter wraps with matching skirts to be main trends.
“We are more ladylike with a luxury look, as opposed to the ‘Vegas hot babe’ looks,” she said.
Blanc Noir is delving deeper into the fake fur arena. The Novato, Calif., firm has seen a lot of success in its outerwear division and is beefing up its offerings of fake fur outerwear and furs in combination with other textures and materials, said F.G. Gozashti, president. Other key fashions include fur and denim combinations, optical prints and textures such as mesh T-shirts.
Updated animal prints are also garnering attention.
“Colors are going to be wild,” said Lisa Boerner, senior designer. “Asparagus and also orange are on tap. Coating and foilings also continue to be important.”
The company last year split its line into two divisions: a better-priced junior sportswear line and a moderate line, BNCI, which targets mass-market stores and specialty chains.
San Francisco City Lights, an activewear firm with three divisions, offers a variety of technical and active looks. Among its newest offerings are looks in fleece, plaids and stretch terry cloth in its City Lights division, said Anna Wolosko, head designer.
The City Tech division includes shiny metallic colors as well as Tactel.
“Everything in this division is very European-inspired and very hot looking,” Wolosko said.
The City Tops line includes plenty of Lycra spandex, as well as tops with tie-dyes and graphic designs. This two-year-old firm also includes rock-star-style logo shirts.