on the inside with tina barry

Designer Roundup: Fall/Winter '02-'03

And the winner is--The ENK Children's Club trade show. The International Kids' Fashion Show is out of the picture, and ENK is now the only game in town. Some buyers and retailers loved the old IKFS, others didn't. Regardless of your allegiance, the buyers we spoke with were pleased that there is now one show in New York to attend--no more back and forth.

What we found at the now overwhelmingly large ENK Children's Club show for Fall/Winter 2002-2003, held at Pier 94 from March 3-5, was new talent showing lines with their own unique stamp, and older lines looking more classic and streamlined then in past seasons. A few trends to watch for are fanciful lace treatments either in bold statements--full blouses or sleeves, or in smaller doses--peeking out of collars and hems. Silhouettes and textiles reflect past seasons' vintage looks, and denim is now "deconstructed"--lots of frayed hems and exposed seams.

We loved so many and can include so few. Below, an abridged look at the show.

JUST HATCHED...First Timers at ENK


Designer: Florence Welterwald

Thank you Atlanta! Georgia-based designer, Florence Welterwald, has created a line of 100 percent cotton and 100 percent wool pieces that are short on fussiness and long on charm. All the sweaters, cardigans, dresses and knit accessories have simple silhouettes--either straight tunics, wrap sweaters or loose cardigans. Colors like portobello, olive, birch and cherry have a rich, hand-dyed feeling. Welterwald knows how to mix it up: combinations like dark wine trimmed in fuchsia scream better boutique. Folkloric looking knit animals pop out of sweater pockets, or become little hanging pocketbooks. This line is a keeper.

Outstanding Piece: A sleeveless, butter soft, wool knit colored in a deep wine with a fuchsia border. A coordinating short cardigan, edged with a leafy, fuchsia vine twining its way up the back of the sleeves completes the ensemble.


139 Barksdale Drive NE, Atlanta GA 30309; Tel. 404-875-6496, Fax. 404-875-6715, e-mail: blablacompany@earthlink.net



Designer: Maynard Field

We turned to each other and said, "I want that," after a quick look at Cashmere Cause's new baby line. Each sweater or coordinating legging has sophisticated adult appeal, and it's the real thing--100 percent cashmere. Colors are elegant--lilacs, periwinkles and neutrals, and no frills--no bunnies, flowers or footballs. Argyle patterns and cable knits are the only decoration.

Outstanding Pieces: A group colored in cocoa and a dusty blue/green. A one-piece with big stripes, and a polo shirt and legging set (the leggings have a cocoa colored cuff)--the perfect gift for the baby boy who has everything.


1 St John's Court, St John's Road, Harrow on the Hill, Middlesex HA1 2EQ UK; Tel. 44(0)20-8427-1400, Fax. 44 (0)20-8427-1410, www.cashmerecause.co.uk, e-mail: cashmerecause@oakenhall.co.uk



Designer: Nicki MacFarlane

God is in the details with this line. Designer Nicki MacFarlane's collection includes dresses, jumpers and all manner of special occasion wear, but it's her suits that steal the show. Using traditional fabrications like a pure tweedy wool in very soft shades of lilac or an understated red, could look stuffy, but Macfarlane has a playful side--faux mink glams up the collar and cuffs on a jacket, insect appliqués flit over the front of a skirt and sparkly trims light up the hems on mini skirts.

Outstanding Piece: What to wear when royalty drops in for tea? MacFarlane's lilac wool-tweed suit lined in light blue. Light blue sequined trim dresses up the cuffs, little dragonflies alight on the skirt, and three tiny light blue buttons close the back pleat of a mini. Try and top that!


4 Ashcombe Street, London, SW6 3AN; Tel./Fax. 0207 731 8495, e-mail: nicki@tabithawelsh.freeserve.co.uk


CLAUDE (A division of Claudette, Inc.)

Designer: Anamyn Turowski

I've seen vintage done right, and then there's the rest. Anamyn Turowski, designer of Claude, knows how to mix patterns without visual overload. Her pieces are cleanly sewn, no sloppy patches over sloppy denim pieces here. A one-of-a-kind, button down shirt blends vintage hankies, and retro ties make a kaleidoscope of a skirt.

Outstanding Pieces: A peasant blouse made of old, embroidered textiles with a skirt made of pieced-together ties. The look is one part Dr. Zhivago, one part Janis Joplin, and all together one-of-a-kind perfection.


3711 Cahuenga Boulevard West, Studio City, CA 91604; Tel. 818-509-9267, Fax. 818-509-9268, e-mail: hailfredonia@prodigy.net


LOOKS NEW TO US!...Older lines that keep getting better


TESSUTIO KIDS (A division of Tessuto)
Designer: Hope Gregory

There's a lot to love in this collection. Gregory understands what tweens dream of: big girl looks in freshened vintage prints with just enough detail to make them special. Mothers will love this line too; while the looks are fashion forward, the silhouettes are not overtly sexy--skirts sit at the waist or slightly below, which means no peek-a-boo navels.

Outstanding Pieces: A two-piece set in silky rayon. The floral print, in a great aqua and rust colorway, looks vintage. The blouse is a little hippie-ish, and the bias-cut skirt falls gracefully.


1517 Mateo Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021; Tel. 213-624-7447 x105, Fax. 213-624-7442, e-mail: tessutiokids@aol.com



Designer: The Beetlejuice Design Team

The Beetlejuice design team is having too good a time. They're hand-sewing funky appliqués on brightly colored jumpers, then they're tying pompoms to the ends of apple green turtleneck tops, and as if that weren't enough, they're sewing ball trim on the hems of everything! Not satisfied with woven separates, this line also includes wildly striped and colored knit coordinates edged with their signature ball trim. Understated it's not, but this line is one hell of a good time.

Outstanding Piece: A bright orange jumper with multicolored appliqués. Tiny balls dangle along the hem and the matching turtleneck top has pompoms at the cuff. Adorable!


498 7th Ave., Suite 1511, NYC 10018; Tel. 212-594-1125, Fax. 212-594-1126, e-mail: rajeeve@beetlejuiceuk.com

Designer: Judith Lacroix

Judith Lacroix brings her modern, Parisian aesthetic to New York. Lacroix has perfected one simple, practical jumper--it's reversible and wraps with one button near the side. She teams the jumper with a blouse--its only flourish is a ruffle at the cuff--or a turtleneck top. Colors stay clean--either a solid jumper lined in a stripe with a striped blouse, or a tweed with a solid lining and one accent--plum, blue and lilac for example. There's nothing trendy here--pieces can be handed down from one sister to the next--but her collection, each season, looks chic.

Outstanding Piece: A grey tweed jumper with an aqua lining and lilac accent. Worn with an aqua turtleneck and a tweed tunic lined in aqua.


15 Rue Hippolyte Lebas, Paris 75009, France; Tel. Fax., e-mail: judithlacroix@aol.com



 Designer: Jennifer Marcellus

We were surprised to find such refined sportswear from this line best known for its big bibs in funky prints, sometimes embellished with plastic ballerinas. Cut with simple lines, her dresses have wonderful touches like a matching flower pin (think Sara Jessica Parker in "Sex and the City.")

Outstanding Pieces: A denim dress with a retro polka dot print collar and cuffs. Add a pin-on floral pin and a matching bag and you have a perfectly accessorized toddler.


2400 Kettner Blvd., Suite 101, San Diego, CA 92101; Tel. 619-231-7727, Fax. 619-231-7726, e-mail: jenjenkids@juno.com



Designer: Renattoni Design Team

Made from the first shearing of alpacas, Renattoni sweaters are one-step removed from cashmere. Luxurious they are, but it's the attention to detail, great patterns and happy colors that caught our eye.

Outstanding Piece: A long red cardigan with black toggle closings and a big white daisy. It's exuberant!


134 West Upsal Street, Philadelphia Pa 19119; Tel. 215-915-7893, Fax. 413-638-5093, e-mail: maribelb@bellatlantic.net



Designer: Helen Namkoong

Fun sportswear with enough upper market flourishes to give the line a better market feeling.

Outstanding Piece: The ruffled tuxedo shirt with snap closings is a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll.


860 South Los Angeles Street, Suite 416, Los Angeles, CA 90014; Tel. 213-614-8994, Fax. 213-614-1898


Designer: Trish Scully

Trish Scully has a knack for picking prints--and a sense of humor. This season Scully has designed a western group with a very classic, empire waist dress--the print, a knock out in cocoa spots over a cream ground, reminds me of Elsie the Cow. Cow pokes wear western print overalls with a classic, button-down cocoa colored shirt.

Outstanding Pieces: Tea at the Plaza? Scully has the outfit. A dress in a richly colored upholstery floral scattered with sequins. Nothing less then faux mink at the collar and hem would do. What to wear with it? A faux-mink coat of course!


33 Renata, Newport Coast, CA 92657; Tel. 949-497-2969, Fax. 949-497-2967, e-mail: scullydesigns@cox.net



















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. This year, Tina begins teaching a marketing course at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.