on the inside with tina barry

Right Now: Spring 2003 Trends

After last spring's rock 'n' roll heavy vibe, designers are exploring the softer side of the 60's. Whether you call the style Prairie, Vintage Boho or Gypsy, the "it" trend this season is the Peasant look.

Fringes, lace, ruffles, multi-tiered skirts, gathered necklines and patches were evident in many collections at the August Children's Club trade show in New York. Patchwork in mixed denims, or vintage florals on jackets, blouses, skirts and even sandals give this look a poetic, romantic flavor that's more Joni Mitchell than Joan Jett.

Designers escaped to the tropics with scaled down versions of Hawaiian florals and scenics in vivid, fruity tones.

Beach Boy styling was the big trend in boys' wear with lots of camp shirts printed in Island scenics or funky 50's patterns. Boys' mixed the tropics with stripes or updated athletic t-shirts and modified baggy shorts. Outerwear--jackets, sweatshirts t-shirts and pants--have serged trim on the outside and lots of topstitched detail.


-The multi-tiered skirt was everywhere, as were gathered neck blouses tied with ribbon.

-Ruffles sweetened many silhouettes but the look stayed clean thanks to simple A-line shaped dresses, capris and scoop-necked tops.

-Pants were either straight and cropped or slightly flared.


-Plenty of patriotic red, white and blue or red, tan and blue combinations.

-Lots of white on white or cream and white pairings.

-Fruity pink, orange and lime combinations.

-Blues in sky, bright electric tones or pale denim tones often mixed with brown, navy or green.


-Denim either patched, with frayed seams or hems, faux-wrinkled or faux-faded and embroidered.

-Linen in pastel solids or printed with tropical, striped or sweet floral prints.

-Ginghams often mixed with eyelets and denim.

-French terry cloth.

-Crinkled gauze and sheer fabrications.

-Nylon and microfibers for athletic wear.


-Butterflies are free and have landed (again) as decorative appliqués on t-shirts, denims and dress detailing.

-Lots of small, vintage inspired florals mixed on patchwork skirts.

-Luau time--traditional island inspired scenics or scaled down Hawaiian florals.

-Americana colored stripes or funky, brightened pastels on pants.


…Glitter, graffiti, toile prints, computer generated icons on t-shirts, hip-hop styling.


















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.