Early Fall Trends: Is Retro the New "Fusion"?; ENK Children's Club January Show

For at least ten years food writers threw the word "fusion" around with abandon. A chef serving vegan Chinese and Spanish tapas, offered a "fusion" of different cultures and sensibilities. Another's meatloaf with Middle Eastern spicing, is a "fusion of classic comfort food and Saharan cuisines." Over the past couple of years though, global mixing and combining of eras is so common in our restaurants, that the word "fusion" is rarely employed. What's being served is simply "New American."

So I wonder, with children's wear designers mixing different periods, and pulling influences from so many countries for fall, is the word "retro" the new "fusion"?




The cover up. Long, belly-covering T-shirts double up with short embellished tees or abbreviated sweaters. The boys' equivalent: short-over-long-sleeved tees.

Le Fromage et L'Orange, shows long over short tees.


She's got flare. Skirts, just above the knee or slightly shorter, in tiered, dirndl or pleated styles, continue their reign as the "must-have" garment.

Polished peasant. Some designers took the heavily embroidered, multi-sequined tops of spring and stripped them of ornamentation, leaving just the shape with a single detail - a bow at the neck or at the hip perhaps - then served them up in luxurious silks, tissue-thin knits or wool, and silky cottons.

Trad with rad. Traditional double-breasted coats, pleated skirts and sweaters were shown in luxurious cashmere and butter soft wool, and updated with beading and sequins.

It's in the jeans. Manufacturers exhibited plenty of feminine styling like sprays of floral embroidery, as well as distressed looks.



Tee time, again. Tee's are still going strong. This season they pay homage to sports idols with striping running down the sleeves and sports motifs printed on the front. Also important are layered appliqués that look hand-sewn.

Diamond Jim. Argyles in offbeat color combinations were spotted on woven shirts, sweaters, even pajamas.

Back view of sweater from Ubaldin.


Call him Speedy. Jackets in narrow shapes with a stripe down the sleeves work a sexy, Steve McQueen vibe.



Skirts - a mini report: Just above the knee or slightly shorter, skirts are hot again this season. The richest looks are sewn in luxurious, solid colored silks, wools and velvets edged in lace. Dirndl and pleated styles, as well as Sixties' like diagonal bands are prevelant, too.

Take a hike: The newest silhouette for sweaters and jackets is a higher waist that hits above the navel and below the bodice, accented with a ribbon or buckle.



Plum punch. Deep plums mixed with dusty lilac, or wine and deep purple are an alternative to the still popular reds and roses.

This ensemble from Charabia works several trends: the mix of plum tones, all-over embroidery and stripes formed by rickrack and folkloric ribbon.


A sea change. Last season's favorite hue goes deeper for fall, and looks fresh teamed with lush rose and dark khaki

Sportswear from Jean Bourget


Picking olives. Khaki switches to a cleaner celery-toned olive that looks hip yet ladylike paired with browned-down pink.

Make me blush. Light dusty pink is luxurious in layette and toddler knitwear, and sophisticated paired with chocolate brown or charcoal.

Cream in the cocoa. Dark chocolate, last year's "it" color, takes an elegant turn when the hue is lightened with a spoonful of cream. Some girls' and boys' designers used neutrals such as deep brown, cream and taupe, and gave the subtle trio a shot of heat with a touch of pumpkin, acid yellow or bright teal.

Ice, ice baby. A little glamour goes a long way when girls' parkas are pearlized and colored in frosty tones of pink, celery, light blue and white.

Fireworks. Vivid hues were softened with a tincture of brown, so they're bright not hot.



-Feminine lacy knits for T-shirts and sweaters

-Buttery soft wools

-Velvet and velveteen

-Soft herringbone

-Pinwale corduroy

-Dark but washed denim with a soft hand

-Faux suede, leather and fur



Memoirs of a geisha. Asian inspired prints and motifs printed on cotton, appeared in sportswear and on T-shirts.

Paisley please. Designers are still working this print, either softly blurred and multicolored; small and crisp for shirting or countrified skirts and dresses; or big, bold and monochromatic.

The Laura Ashley type - of floral print, anyway. Diminutive and sweet, for blouses, skirts, even coat linings.

Undercover. Camouflage prints appeared in quirky color trios such as dusty pink, khaki and beige.

Stripes are stars. Stripes made an impact whether they appeared as wide bands across T-shirts, along T-shirt sleeves, as crisp boys' shirting or as areas of pattern on girls' skirts.

All over it. Embroidery covers entire garments, as well as borders along coats and skirts.

All the trimming. Rickrack, the most homespun of trims, gets an urban edge when it's used to form swirls on T-shirts and sweaters, or to create "stripes" around a skirt.



-It's a zoo out there with fur trim, leopard prints and fluffy "furs" in pastel tones.

-Faux suede and leather looks hip covered in photo-montage patterns.

-Girls' parkas have frosty appeal in pastel pearlized tones. Boys' parkas get racy with shots of hot colored trim.

-Luxury is the word for dressy coats, some in soft herringbone trimmed with velvet trim; others woven in modern geometrics and finished with metal closings.



PETA power. Alligator skin, pony fur and leopard stripes made shoes and boots chic. It's faux, of course.

They're baaack. Thought you'd seen the last of Uggs? Guess again. The round-toed, fur-lined boots are making a comeback in pastel tones, sometimes gussied up with laces, embroidery and appliqués.

Cowgirls won't get the blues. Not if they're kicking their heels in gem-covered boots.




-Folkloric ribbon

-Velvet ribbon drawing around a waist or through a collar

-Crocheted lace around collars and sleeves

-Fine, vintage looking lace edged sleeves and was used as feminine inserts in dresses and blouses.



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