For the last three season, on the specific day I plan to attend the Moda Manhattan and Accessories the Show at the Javits Center in New York, disaster strikes. This season was no different (could I be jinxed?) but I was determined –before the show closed today, I was going to attend.
The organizer of the Moda Manhattan Show (and I’d guess, Accessories The Show as well) is Business Journals Inc (BJI), a business media company that produces 5 business-to-business magazines, 8 trade shows, and a number of seminars and web sites. They have always been gracious to the press, and attending the Moda Mahattan and the Accessories shows is always a very pleasant experience. Moda Manhattan offers juried, ready-to-wear fashion, while the Accessories Show is the only juried, all-accessories trade event in the entire USA. These shows attract throngs of buyers from speciality stores and boutiques, to department stores, catalogues, and even duty free shops looking to see what’s available for the next season in activewear, special occasion/evening, outerwear/coats, suits/ careerwear, dresses, knitwear/sweaters, sportswear, related separates, soft separates, loungewear/sleepwear, fur/leather, and accessories from belts to bags to hats to tons and tons and tons of jewelry in all price points. If you can’t spot trends here, you’re not looking very hard.
It was pretty cold outside, especially after days of record-breaking warm weather, but I began to “think Spring” as I walked in and heard “Itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow polkadot bikini” blaring out of speakers into the exhibit hall. Once inside and walking the aisles, I wished I was a buyer, because there is a dizzying array of “eye candy” that will soon find its way into stores and I want a lot of it — now But these are shows for writing orders, not retail sales . Even so, my press badge gives me the opportunity to check out “what’s next,” and I always find at least a few unique items that I know readers of my Advice Sisters online publications, will want to know about.
For example, Spare Change Jewelry by Designers Erin Walker and Betty Bobrow create reasonably-priced, “stretchy” fashion jewelry (made in Chicago) that supposedly appeals to young girls to teens, but when I saw their CZ rings and necklaces, I realized they have a huge market for women, too. Stacked up on a post were rings made of stretchy rounds of material in various colors, the centerpiece of which was a large, cubic zirconia (and I mean, eye-poppingly large–I’m estimating a 20-carat round). They’re obviously fake, and obviously meant to be fun, and they are. What I love about these (besides the fact that they retail for only around $20.00) is that the soft, really stretchy fabric that comprises the “ring” really is “one size fits all.” If your fingers are tiny (mine are, and I never get big rings that fit) the “ring” part won’t need to stretch much, but if you are like my friend, who has large fingers, the ring easily stretches to fit without pulling or digging into your hand. “You’ll forget you have it on” said the woman I met at the booth (I think it was Erin). She was right–it’s effortless fashion. Moms and daughters , best friends, even women who are gaining or losing weight can share and wear and get a bit of “bliing” for not a lot of cash. There are matching necklaces, too.
I also liked the Locked by Love bracelets from I.D. Jewelry. The simple, but eye-catching design pairs a corded bracelet with an adjustable slide on both sides for a perfect fit, with two silvery “cuffs.” You fasten the bracelet by angling the cuffs and sliding each cuff into one another. There were simple silver ones, heart-shaped ones, and even CZ-studded bracelets in small, medium and large (so men can wear them, too). I thought these Locked to Love bracelets were really unique. Apparently, so do celebrities such as Teri Hatcher, Paris and Nicky Hilton, Kelly Clarkson, Kelly Osbourne, Sylvestor Stallone, and even Ice Cube, just to name a few.
So what else will we be seeing for Spring/Summer 2007? At Moda Mahattan, where there were more than 450 lines exhibited, Trapeze, tent, baby doll, sack dresses in beige, black, brown, navy, mauve, and a bit of soft lemon and lime predominated, with almost no brights at all. Rock “Color, I need color!” I heard a buyer, sigh. And the styles were conservative and subdues, too. Rock star vibe replaces hip hop bling, body-baring fashion is out, and unconstructed, flowing, and perhaps, a bit looser clothes seemed to be the popular offering. But the clothes we saw on the runways during Spring 2007 Olympus Fashion Week were also subdued and covered-up, so none of this was a big surprise. There seemed to be as many long dresses and short ones, and the short ones weren’t mico-mini. and few were anything but conservative and definitely not splashy. My general impression was that fashion is just reflecting the mood of the country. The items we’ll be seeing for sale in stores are attractive and you’ll want to stock up, but I miss the “pop!” and sex appeal of season’s past.
The accessories exhibits, on the other hand, were a bright spot, literally and figuratively, and may provide buyers in the stores with excitment, after all. Row upon row, table upon table were laden with embelished and studded belts and bags, large-brimmed hats, and so much jewelry from huge (the size of a fist) crosses and pendants, to diminutive chains dangling a crystal or a dainty bead. One trend I liked was the use of natural material such as mother or pearl and wood, either carved, or added to long chains. Crystals and crystal beads add shine and glitz to otherwise restrained fashions. Flip-flops and sandals with crystals, beads, feathers, and embellishments were popular as well. The red, straw satchel with leather handles and wild, floral print cotton lining from Magid (created expressly for Accessories, the Show and Moda Manhattan) and given to VIPs and press, summed up the exciting feel of the accessories nicely: Bold, functional, bright, and fun to wear.
As I left “Wipeout” was blaring through the speakers. I was exhausted, “wiped out” but glad I’d taken the time to attend, and report on the Spring/Summer ’07 trends for you!