on the inside with tina barry

Say It with Ruffles: Spring 2004 ENK Show

If fashion is a reflection of the times then the collections shown at the ENK Children's Club held in NYC are right on point. Realists exhibited military inspired collections; optimists showed ruffles galore; and the wish for a simpler life was expressed with vintage prints, skirts made for the dance floor and t-shirts for infants with sayings like "Sleeping through the night" that serve to soothe all generations.


DESIGNER: Sunny Donovan
Sizes: 12 months-6. Wholesale prices: $20-$28
Sunny Donovan continues to channel "Leave it to Beaver." The neutral colors she favors - beige, pale blue, khaki and a shot of navy - keep her pleated pants, bowling shirts and windbreakers from looking like the inside of The Beave's closet.
Outstanding Pieces: The narrow silhouette of the plaid windbreaker with its tab collar is so Bing, and those pants beg for a spin on the dance floor.
223 72nd Street
North Bergen, NJ 07047
Tel: 347-512-7877
E-mail: info@acme-boy.com



DESIGNER: Balu Design Center

Hershler, Hershler how does your garden grow? With hand-painted tulips and calla lilies and ruffles three in a row. (Lynette Hershler is the line's U.S. importer/distributor.)

Sizes: infant-14. Wholesale prices: contact manufacturer

Outstanding Piece: The narrow, pink dress with the hand-painted flowers blooming above the blue ruffles. It's a garden of earthly delights.
15400 Milldale Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90077
Tel: 310-472-0442
E-mail: helobalu@aol.com



DESIGNERS: Aimee Pesce and Alisa Neely

Sizes: 2-7. Wholesale prices: $12-$36

Sisters Pesce and Neely hit the scene last year with timely, yoga inspired t-shirts. Now they've added sportswear to their collection. Each dress, pant or coat has the "That's just right!" style that their tees brought to the market.

Outstanding Pieces: The orchid t-shirt with soft, flared pants in pink. The pant's double buttons reference all things nautical; the powder puff pink and the material's soft hand is all feminine charm.
P.O. Box 230509
Boston, MA 02123
Tel: 617-262-8167
E-mail: info@duesorelleonline.com


DESIGNER: Eileen Haber
Sizes: infant-boys' size 20. Wholesale prices: contact manufacturer
Haber's a hippie hold out. She's not letting go of patchwork, halter-tops, tanks, multi-tiered skirts or cowboy shirts.
Outstanding Pieces: The pinwale corduroy cowboy shirt paired with the patchwork skirt. Ride em' cowgirl!
2340 North Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Tel: 323-665-5575
E-mail: eileen@fifiandfido.com



DESIGNERS: Mark and Sissy Caskenette

Sizes: infant-14. Wholesale prices: contact manufacturer

Great graphic printed t-shirts, easy shapes and interesting stitched floral embellishments update the sophisticated Gumboots' collection.

Outstanding Pieces: The loose, rich green t-shirt printed with a Japanese wood block design - plus a surfboard. The trunks with the wave printed ground and swimming turtles sports the hippest print at the show. My favorite boy's set this season.
5640 Tomken Road, Suite 3
Mississauga 14W 1P4 Canada
Tel: 1-877-GUMBOOTS
Email: markc@gumboots.com



DESIGNER: Jennifer Marcellus

Sizes: infant-12. Wholesale prices: $8-$30

Jennifer Marcellus has a knack for designing simple shapes that allow the quirky prints she favors to take center stage. Matching, plastic covered bags complete the ensemble.

Outstanding Pieces: The Seabiscuit inspired print dress with its offbeat pine, cream and black coloring and the flirty polka dot ruffled hem. Could it be timelier?
4174 Sorrento Valley Blvd., Suite I
San Diego, CA 92121
Tel: 858-824-1700
E-mail: jen@jenjenkids.com



DESIGNER: Judith Lacroix

Sizes: infant-14. Wholesale prices: contact manufacturer

One expects to see beautifully coordinated cotton jumpers, pants and jackets in modernist Judith Lacroix's sportswear collection. This season she added silk chiffon.

Outstanding Piece: The pink over aqua silk chiffon slip dress with the cocoa and gold sunflower (or is it the sun?) motif. The piece is unmistakably Lacroix, but with a flirty edge.
15 Rue Hippolyte Lebas
Paris 75009
E-mail: judithlacroix@aol.com



DESIGNER: Celeste Bayer

Sizes: Preemie-toddler. Wholesale prices: $5-$34

Simple shapes and earth-toned colors continue to define the Larenceleste collection. For spring she's added playful Liberty-like florals, some faux lace pieces and pretty embellishments.

Outstanding Piece: The peasant top in beige with tiny, pumpkin colored flowers. The sky blue velvet ribbon that gathers the neckline provides an unexpected jolt of color.
1800 West Larchmont
Chicago, IL 60613
Tel: 1-800-890-7857
E-mail: laurenceleste@earthlink.net



DESIGNERS: Malley Gaulding and Theresa Helms

Sizes: Infant-16. Wholesale prices: $12-$40

Gaulding and Helms were inspired by Provence this season. Their Provençal florals for girls' skirts have a naïve charm, and their bubble suits for infant boys are vintage-inspired.

Outstanding Pieces: For infants: One-pieces like the cream and grass green linen outfit with the shell buttons were de rigueur dress up wear for boys at the turn of the century. For girls: The lilac colored tank with the ribbon trim and the Provençal print mini with the pink and white ruffled hem. The colors are as vibrant as a French farmers' market.
2805 National Drive
Garland, TX 75041
Tel: 972-840-6433
Email: malley@malleyandco.com



DESIGNER: Diana Cheren Nygren

Sizes: infant-10. Wholesale prices: $9-$29

When I spotted Nygren's collection a few seasons back I had the feeling there was big talent behind her little line. This season confirmed my hunch. Nygren continues to find fabrications in colors and textures that are out of the mainstream, now she's added interesting shapes with back interest, and great skirts that layer one stripe over another and still stay slim and simple.

Outstanding Pieces: The t-shirt printed with a single tulip and layered skirt embellished with a single ruffle. Nygren took pink and orange (still popular, yet not the newest color combination on the market) and gave it fresh appeal with a shot of blue.
7 Verndale Street, Suite 5
Brookline, MA 02446
Tel: 617-957-6064
E-mail: diana@pineapplekiss.com



DESIGNER: Sophie Desourdy

Sizes: infant-7. Wholesale prices: contact manufacturer

Large coordinated groups in happy, fashion forward colors are the signature of Romeo & Juliette.

Outstanding Piece: Next to all the mauvey pinks and understated blues, the vibrant red of this simple A-line dress stood out like a ray of sunshine.
371 Deslauriers
Montreal, Quebec H4N 1W2
Tel: 866-331-4001
E-mail: info@romeojuliette.com




DESIGNER: Joy Demchick-Attias

Sizes: infant-toddler. Wholesale prices: $12-$30

Simple with just the right feminine touch is the signature of a Demchick-Attias creation. Spring is no exception.

Outstanding Piece: If the white knit dress with the three tiers of pink-trimmed ruffles weren't hanging in the Joy-ful-lee booth, it'd be on a pedestal in a fancy French bakery. Pure delicious charm.
451 West Waverly Rd.
Glenside, PA 19038
Tel: 215-887-8478
E-mail: joyfulee@voicenet.com


DESIGNER: Malina Gerber
Sizes: infant-4. Wholesale prices: $10-$25
Parents will congratulate themselves for their impeccable taste when they see their babies in Malina's quietly elegant knitwear. Kids will appreciate the comfortable shapes and silky hand of the goods.

Outstanding Pieces: The pale gray knit tunic edged in butter yellow with the yellow and gray striped pull on pants edged in gray. The toggles and trim keep the look from being too serious.
3304 Pico Blvd., Suite B
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Tel: 310-395-5965
E-mail: malina@malinas.com



DESIGNER: Emily Meyer

Sizes: infant-4. Wholesale prices: $10-$30

It's Tea time. Buyers love this line's simple Eastern influenced sweaters in unusual color combinations. Now Meyers has added cotton knit blankets and separates in delicate, Asian inspired prints that coordinate with her cover-ups. The merchandising possibilities are endless.

Outstanding Pieces: The tiny red on cream print tunic trimmed in black with the black boot cut pants. Perfect anytime.
2325 Third Street, Suite 218
San Francisco, CA 94107
Tel: 415-621-9400
E-mail: leigh@teacollection.com



DESIGNERS: Christina Tomas Capps and Danielle Kanter

Sizes: infant-16. Wholesale prices: $9-$27

Is it the happy colors, easy shapes or the 3-D knit floral adornments that make this collection such a treat? Each Zackali design is special enough to hang in a boutique window.

Outstanding Piece: The knit swing top with pants. The bright pink, wine and vibrant green pop-up flowers on this set scream, "Buy me Grandma!"
Central American Imports
1003 East Avenue N
Sarasota, FL 34237
Tel: 941-316-0440
E-mail: CAIHeatwav@aol.com




DESIGNER: Tosha Hays

Sizes: Infant-7. Wholesale prices: $79-$199 for christening wear

Tosha Hays the purist, the woman of the single, well-placed pleat went wild with ruffles.

Outstanding Piece: Hays' multi-tiered extravaganza, aptly named J.Lo, is designed for parents who believe less is less.
520 Elliot Street, Suite 105
Charlotte, NC 28202
Tel: 704-334-2828
E-mail: brad@toshahays.com




DESIGNER: Paulina Quintana

Sizes: Infant-6. Wholesale prices: $6-$20

Color is Paulina Quintana's strong suit. For spring she's added loose, drawstring pants in fun prints to her collection of rich-toned t-shirts and funky diaper covers.

Outstanding Pieces: The chocolate, lap-shouldered tee trimmed in bright sky blue worn atop the drawstring pants printed with bright blue bubbles.
860 South Los Angeles, Suite 219
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Tel: 213-627-9730
E-mail: paulirob@earthlink.net




DESIGNER: Andrea Chafetz

Sizes: infant-14. Wholesale prices: $3-$30

Chafetz' headpieces turn up at society weddings and social events. They're less extroverted than some of her competitors, yet never dull.

Outstanding Piece: The headband with the loosely arranged bouquet of posies. The flowers have a just picked, unset look that's perfect for any big day.
5105 Chevy Chase Pkwy, NW
Suite 300
tel: 202.966.7004
email: info@andreasbeau.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. Tina also teaches a marketing course at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.