on the inside with tina barry
Designer Roundup: Early Fall 2002 New Collections and a Last Look at Spring
We're back from the January ENK Children's Club trade show, held at the Piers in New York City, with plenty to share. We found vendors in good humor, taking the downturn in the economy in stride. Some had wished that The International Kids Fashion Show at the Javits Center hadn't canceled. While other exhibitors prefer the ENK show with reasons that have little to do with sales. One out-of-town designer commented, "I just love the barbecued chicken and the cornbread they serve here."

Just three or four aisles long, this show was small by trade show standards; the quality of the talent, though, was oversized. New designers showed exciting collections and established vendors exhibited inspiring spring and early fall 2002 lines.

INTRODUCING...Newcomers with Star Potential


DESIGNER: Karina Trovato

This is the first show for designer Karina Trovato, but you'd never know it. Her special occasion pieces mix luxury fabrications with a subtle play of neutral and dusty pastel tones. It's a charming collection that never crosses the line into preciousness.

Outstanding piece: A sleeveless party dress with a warm pinky/beige raw silk bodice and a full skirt. The skirt is covered with beige linen "shingles," each adorned with a tiny metal dot.

Camelot Kids Collection, 23550 SW 207th Ave., Miami, FL 33031
Tel. 305-801-6840, e-mail: camelotkids@hotmail.com
Publisher's Note: Click here for more on the Camelot Kids Collection.

DESIGNER: Yuji Ogata

This is the line for Prada wearing mothers. Ogata's collection is clean and modern, without a frill in sight. Simply shaped linen tunics, baseball caps and hooded jackets are colored in earthy tones of taupe, olive, grey and cream with touches of dusty pink. Coordinating linen pillows have funny appliquéd animals.

Outstanding piece: An olive linen "painting smock" made playful by a slightly gathered, Yves Saint Laurent style neckline. A coordinating drawstring bag completes the picture.

Leigh Brigaud Inc., 331 Sayre Drive, Princeton NJ 08540
Tel. 609-720-0998, Fax. 609-720-0405, e-mail: lbrigaud@compuserve.com
Designer: Karen Koc
Designer Karen Koc's simple sweaters caught our attention. Colored in autumnal shades of pumpkin, beige and black, or in combinations of blues and greys they reflect Koc's well-honed color sense.
Outstanding piece: The blue and grey color-block sweater. The off-beat colors look Missoni not Brooks Brothers.


Julsar Inc., 295 Greenwich Street, NYC 10007
Tel. 212-431-6063, Fax. 212-374-1423, e-mail: mmkoc@yahoo.com

Designer: Susan Lazar

Susan Lazar, a designer of women's couture clothing, debuted her first collection of infant accessories. Her booth looked like Calvin Klein's showroom. Simple, one-of-a-kind, cashmere and cotton blankets, woven with elegant astrological symbols, would look as good in your bedroom as they would on a baby's crib. Colors are dusty pink, cream, a subtle aqua and beige. A keepsake personalized name tag is attached to each blanket along with an astrological description enabling parents "to communicate and bond with their baby."

Outstanding Pieces: Her blankets can not be improved upon.

 Egg by Susan Lazar, 314 West 100th Street, Suite 85, NY, NY 10025Tel. 212-316-1337, Fax. 212-316-1302, e-mail: egg4sl@aol.com
OLDER LINES...Growing Younger
Designer: Anne Lavergne
Frolicking pussycats printed on one-pieces and hats, butter soft knits with striped linings, coordinating embroidered, snap-front jackets--if that sounds cute, then this is your line. Prints coordinate perfectly, and a well-honed color sense gives the groups elan.
Outstanding Pieces: The Chat Perche layette group includes a snap-front jacket, reversible pants that turn up with a striped cuff, and that pussycat print. Everything about this group, from the silly embroidered cat to the bright but not too bright colors, works.
Romeo & Juliette Inc.: 371 Deslauriers, St-Laurent, Quebec, H4N1W2
Tel. 514-331-4000, Fax. 514-331-4009, e-mail: info@romeojuliette.com

Designer: Jessica Weiner

Jessica Weiner bills her line as "cool stuff for kids" and we agree. Weiner keeps her color selection minimal; just pale pink, navy and olive. The fanciful appliqués on the T-shirt give the line a whimsical air.

Outstanding Pieces: Her netting covered gift baskets. One basket comes with just a one-piece, the other is a three-piece set. A Grandmother's dream come true.

Jessica Weiner, 455 West 23rd Street, 9B, NY, NY 10011
Tel. 212-675-1820, Fax. 212-675-1912, e-mail: jsw272@aol.com
Designers: Kylie Anning and Lindan Robertson
There's a frustrated fine artist in this design team. The colors are hot enough to burn, and their simple, graphic animal appliqués are placed with an artist's eye for composition. All the pieces are soft, heavyweight, cotton knits, in easy, funky sportswear shapes.
Outstanding Pieces: We flipped for a tuxedo inspired set in screaming fuchsia with red ruffles; a one-piece overall in fire engine red with a blue cat made us laugh. The cat's tail starts in the front and his big, silly head sits right on the baby's tush. You have to love it!
Oink! Baby: P.O. Box 2409, Fortitude Valley, B.C., Brisbane 4006 Australia
Tel: 310-415-3485, Fax: 866-282-8001, email: Joclene@oinkbaby.com
Designer: Jane Sydney
Sweet, fun and well made describe the Pennycandy line of sweaters. Sydney uses a palette of traditional pinks and blues on fresh white for girls, and boys look sporty in classic blues and neutrals. Mothers will love the specialty buttons, flowers, fun animals, and sports motifs. Keeping baby's fragile fingers in mind; Sydney knits with a technique that leaves no loose threads inside.
Outstanding Piece: A white cardigan with blue Scotty dogs and tiny dog shaped buttons. A gem.
Pennycandy Designs, Box 6511, Portsmouth, NH 03801
Tel. 603-427-6500, 888-383-5830, Fax. 603-427-0835
IO E TU By MARIA GRAZIA for Natalie and Friends
Designer: Maria Grazia
Is it the rounded shape of the pieces, the refined color palette or the butter soft chenille yarn that makes this line so special? We're not sure either. What's certain is io e tu is irresistible. The cardigans in big stripes or color blocks with the matching hats make heirloom gifts.
Outstanding Pieces: The light cerulean and cream one-piece with matching sock hat. The shape is as round as a bubble, the color-blocking brings it down to earth.
Natalie and Friends, 131 West 33rd St., Ste. 401, NYC l0001
Tel. 212-947-2995, Fax. 212-947-2019, e-mail: natnfrnds@aol.com
Designer: Shelley Hunt
Using an elegant palette to color children's sweaters and knitting them with fanciful animal motifs can put a company on the map; adding great separates like coordinating bell bottoms and pastel tutus, keeps them there.
Outstanding Pieces: A melon colored sweater with a horse head and roses, worn with coordinating brown and melon colored plaid bell bottoms, wins first price.
My Boy Sam, 131 West 33rd St., Suite 601, NY, NY 10001
Tel.212-967-2918, fax.212-967-4138, e-mail: mbsskivvy@aol.com
Designer: Pier Pagano
Couture fashions for infants and children up to size 12. The line features sportswear styled simply, and cut close to the body. Colors reflect better adult lines--with black, brown, wine and deep dusty blues ruling the show. The fabrics are couture quality, and include soft wool knits, textured faux leathers and satins. Adding faux fur vests and collared jackets keep the line playful.
Outstanding Piece: A loose fitting knit shirt with horizontal stripes in turquoise and berry.
Due Cugini, 1763 East Route 70, Suite 253, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
Tel. 856-751-1605, Fax. 856-482-7483, e-mail: duecugini@home.com; www.duecugini.com
Designer: Lisa Badgley and Carolyn Nicholson
Happy patchworks in 100% cotton make up the Baby b line of infant clothing, Moses baskets, blankets, and bib-and-burp sets are all styled with soft pastel palettes, or a classic red-and-blue combination for spring 2002. For fall, patchwork separates get the royal treatment with the addition of black velvet collars and cuffs.
Outstanding pieces: A simple black velvet A-line jumper worn with a patchwork jacket. The velvet cuffs and color dress up the look.
Baby b, 5 Simon Hapgood Lane, Concord MA, 01742
Tel. 978-618-1626, 978-621-1849, Fax. 978-369-4490.
Designer: Mark and Sissy Caskenette
Beautifully coordinated sportswear with European flair best describes the Gumboots line from Canada. The fabrications--velveteens, cotton jerseys and flirty petticoats--look lush, and cutting edge styling give this collection a young Mademoiselle feeling.
Outstanding Pieces: A narrow red velveteen coat splashed with black and white roses. It has a very Vogue vibe.
The Showroom, 131 West 33rd Street, Rm. 310 NY, NY 10001
Tel. 212-947-3443, Fax. 212-947-3471, email: markc@gumboots.com
TINANEUMANN for Natalie and Friends
Designer: Tina Neumann
Tina Neumann is a major design talent. Her gift for coloring is unequaled. Seeing her groups hanging together is like one, phantasmagorical collage. She wisely keeps the silhouettes simple to let her colors and amazing appliqués shine.
Outstanding Pieces: Her collection is stellar, but the pumpkin and cocoa group, with its little zings of light blue is downright daring.
Natalie and Friends, 131 West 33rd St., Ste. 401, NYC, 10001
Tel. 212-947-2995, Fax. 212-947-2019, e-mail: natnfrnds@aol.com
Designer: Debra Wohlschlegel
You might not associate beaded dresses with kids' wear, but this designer has built her business on just that look. Bedazzled from head to toe, her dresses, in warm, fruity tones of peach, melon, blue and green are perfect for an attention craving tween queen.
Outstanding Pieces: All the shimmery, twinkling A-line dresses.
Attitudes by Debra: 738 Kaheka St. #306, Honolulu, HI 96814
Tel. 808-949-1221, 808-537-1221, Fax. 808-942-1777. To order: 800-99DEBRA.
ACCESSORIES: Two Lines That Caught Our Eye
TIMI & LESLIE for Natalie and Friends
Designers: Timi Prulhiere and Leslie Newton
Diaper bags usually come in two categories: two sweet or too modern. Timi & Leslie's bags are covered in plastic and come in funky patterns that are chic and practical. In addition to diaper bags, they offer changing pads, backpacks, aprons and a simple (no pockets) bag called "the script bag." They're from Los Angeles so the script bag's a natural.
Outstanding Piece: The bebe bag. Great prints, plastic covering and pockets on the outside to hold bottles. The bag comes with a matching bib and changing pad. This is "the gift" for a new mother.
Natalie and Friends: 131 West 33rd St., Suite 40l, NYC, 10001-2908
Tel. 212-947-2995, Fax. 212-947-2019, e-mail: natnfrnds@aol.com
Designer: Jennifer Marcellus
A big bib is hard to find! Big bibs are the specialty of the Jen Jen line. Covered in plastic, they feature fun, retro prints (some have plastic ballerinas, the kind you had on your birthday cake as a kid.)
Outstanding Pieces: All the bibs are delectable.
Jen Jen: 2400 Kettner Blvd., Suite 101, San Diego, CA 92101
Tel: 619-231-7727. Fax: 619-231-7726. Email: jenjenkids@juno.com
Designer: Jane Albin
At first glance Jane Albin's line of better dress wear looks traditional, but take a second glance. Her coats made of 100% lambs wool are as soft as cashmere, and they're styled with just enough fashion forward detail to look timeless, not stuffy.
Outstanding Piece: A double breasted, lambs wool coat is cut with a roomy fit; in shades of pale, dusty blue or very light taupe, it has modern appeal.
Katie & Co., Inc.: 100 Reitz Blvd., Lewisburg, PA
Tel. 570-523-0788, Fax. 570-523-0789, e-mail: info@katieco.com
Designer: Lisa O'Toole
Forget plain yellow slickers. The Wippette Kids line of rainwear is sunny enough to brighten the most dismal day. Colors range from primary to more subdued hues, and every coat is cut with enough width to cover sweaters or sweat shirts.
Outstanding Pieces: A watermelon inspired coat and bag set. The color is fresh pink covered with black "seeds," the cuffs and border are lime green. It's deliciously inspired.
Wippette Kids, 112 West 34th Street, Ste. 718, NYC 10120
Tel. 212-695-6735, Fax. 212-695-6539, email: lisa@wippette.com

















Tina Barry has been involved in many facets of the fashion world. She has traveled domestically and to Europe to research color and design trends. For many years she styled textiles for the apparel and home furnishing industries. After designing her own line of children's wear she now freelances as a children's wear buyer and private label designer. In the Fall of 200l Tina will begin teaching a marketing course at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.