on the inside with tina barry

Right Now: Early Fall 2003 Trends

What a difference a season makes! Remember the Peasant styling of Spring 2003 with all the multitiered, triple-flounced, embroidery and lace, lace, and more lace?

At the ENK Children's Club show held in the Jacob Javits Center from January 12-14, designers exhibiting early fall collections showed silhouettes with fewer ruffles and colored their lines in sophisticated solids and combinations that strongly reflect a European aesthetic.


-Shapes are no longer as flouncy as spring. Single ruffles replace multi-tiers and simple, above the knee A-lines or straight wrap skirts look modern.

-Pants are still below the waist but not as midriff baring as previous seasons. Infants' and toddlers' styles often ended in a single, above the ankle ruffle.

-Slouchy styled pants with big pockets for boys and girls were popular.


-Warm colors rule. Bright reds and scarlets are still present but many collections exhibited dustier, blue-tinged wines into reddish plums. A combination seen over and over is wine mixed with a dusty, almost mauve pale pink.

-Pinks are still popular, but the fruity fuchsia of spring is now bluer. Every weight of pink from the palest to the deepest appeared in infant through junior collections. A dusted down, mauvey pale pink in infant collections, especially high-ticket items like cashmere sweaters and hats, was everywhere.

-Orange has been replaced with pumpkin that is deeper than in past seasons and has a definite dustier, browner feeling.

-Dusty, light blue with a touch of aqua, a more somber color than the cleaner cerulean and sky blues we've seen in previous seasons, was seen in knit collections and used as a mixer with other dusty pastels.

-Olives mixed with navys and taupes in dark weights lent boys' wear an elegant edge. For girls, olives to lighter khakis to pale, greenish taupes made an impact when the neutral was partnered with dark wine.

-A slightly grayed, very pale bone replaces cream. Cocoas from very light to the deepest espresso mix together, and combine with soft taupes; brown in combination with blue continues to be a popular color combination.


-Denim - bleached and faded, some with embroidery - was seen in some collections, but denim seems to be waning.

-Luxury fabrications like real suede, cashmere and wool were present in upper-market collections. Synthetic versions, especially washable suede were used in shirting, skirts and, of course, outerwear.

-Soft touch corduroy, last years "it" fabric is still around. Embroidery updates the look.

- Fur-like fleece on the collars of jackets, coats, sweaters and edging purses, scarves and headwear is important.


-Romantic florals in dark colorations.

-On boys' t-shirts - sports motifs or old-style labels that have a hand-drawn or one-of-a-kind, hand-stamped quality replace previous seasons' computer generated icons.

-Men's wear-style wool pinstripes in sportswear.


-Hair accessories glittered with sequined clips in pale pastels to deep, jewel tones.

-Lots of headbands covered in rich grosgrain ribbon or crocheted flowers in autumnal tones of wine, pumpkin and more traditional navys and forest greens lent hair accessories a traditional elegance.

-Shaggy, fuzzy looking headbands, covered rubber bands and barrettes updated hair accessories.

-Crocheted bags and hats that resemble grandma's afghans continue last seasons' handcrafted hippy feeling.

-Suede and leather hats, some adorned with suede or leather "modish" flowers looked especially luxurious for girls.

-Close to the head, knit hats looked very Ali MacGraw in Love Story.


….denim, overwrought peasant styling, toiles, glitter.





















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.