The Long, Hot Season: Buyers Applaud Spring But Gripe About Shows

A brutal show schedule with many off-site venues; hot, humid weather, and snarled traffic as a result of the United Nations summit left retailers feeling...

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Key trends: a new palette of cream, beige, ecru and white; floaty dresses in chiffon, silk or gauze; city shorts in all lengths; ruffled, feminine romantic blouses; cropped flyaway jackets and sweaters, and flat shoes and sandals, even for evening.

Standouts: Marc Jacobs for modern clothes with little vintage inspiration; Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein for floaty shapes and standout white clothes; Ralph Lauren for romantic dresses, a French sailor look, shirting fabrics in solids and stripes; Michael Kors' ruffles, and Donna Karan's Empire and flyaway back jersey dresses, which looked new.

  • Robert Burke of Bergdorf Goodman said, "It was a very good season. There's plenty to put into the store and things will sell. It's understated, but distinctive and new. Retailers want to give consumers a lot to buy."

    Standouts: Calvin Klein, "an incredibly important show for New York and really pivotal for Francisco Costa. It was beautifully designed and had a lightness. It was so sophisticated, it rivals a European collection." He also praised the draping at Doo.Ri; beautiful color palette at Vera Wang; J. Mendel's couture-inspired collection; Ralph Lauren's blue-and-white striped shirting and "real American sensibility," and Donna Karan for "one of the prettiest collections she's done in years."

  • Nicole Fischelis, vice president and fashion director for ready-to-wear, Macy's East, said, "I think all the masters are keeping faithful to their style with their own identity — Tuleh, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta and Calvin Klein. We're very happy with what we've seen. The message is really about the dress, shorts and suits with pared-down embellishment and leaner looks and silhouettes."

    Other strong collections: Marc Jacobs' flyaway jacket and Diane von Furstenberg's trapeze silhouette, which seemed "fresh. The soigné look is going to be fabulous for the accessory business," she said.

  • Beth Buccini, a co-owner of Kirna Zabête, said the store's spring and fall sales this year were ahead 30 percent and she feels the trend will continue.
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