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The word "commercial" is a major diss to fashion critics, editors, and Tyra Banks. But to buyers, "wearable" and "commercial" are good things, and with a few exceptions WWD reports that retailers are stoked for spring's accessible styles.
Julie Gilhart of Barneys New York noticed that many designers had their eye on price points, but said: "There is a place for lower price point lines but only if the approach is fresh and new. Lower price does not mean lower quality or less creativity." She was a fan of Richard Chai's new Love line.
Ken Downing of Neiman Marcus liked the "newness" of painterly prints and peep-toe boots with dresses, while Colleen Sherin of Saks Fifth Avenue said the collections provided "a healthy dose of fantasy along with accessible fashion."
Bloomingdales' Stephanie Solomon said, "There are really two dresses for spring — one very fitted with texture of cut-outs and another with foldings or ruffles and a not-in-your-face, less overt sexiness." In addition to Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors, Bloomingdales will be showcasing Prabal Gurung and plans to pick up Kimberly Orvit.
Ed Burstell, buying director of Liberty of London said there were not enough risks, and that "when times are tough you need to give the consumer a compelling reason to buy."
"There was no big revolution," agreed Sarah Lerfel, buyer for Colette, but that wasn't a problem for her. "The designers did what they know how to do. Maybe they started leaning to a new direction, but it was a little bit safe.” Regardless of the "safeness" of the runways, Lerfel says she isn't worried.
"I’m not worried that it will be a good season," she said. "There are strong pieces everywhere."
· Buyers Laud New York Fashion Shows [WWD]