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Half Time Report: Buyers Scout Smaller Shows for Future Trends

Timo Weiland and Alan Eckstein after yesterday's presentation. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for IMG
Timo Weiland and Alan Eckstein after yesterday's presentation. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for IMG

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Since we're a little more than halfway through New York Fashion Week, the Wall Street Journal has taken the opportunity to do some trend reporting based on what we've seen so far on the runways. But as much as buyers are looking for the next big color or hemline, they're also looking for the next big designer. Now's the time for scouting, as it's these few days during the year when fashion directors and buyers hone in on the smaller shows to predict what the future holds.

What have we seen so far? WSJ has noticed tuxedo tails throughout the first few days, at Prabal Gurung, Jason Wu, and Alexander Wang, as well as a more demure version at Derek Lam. Also, "fur trim, sleeping-bag coats, luxe anoraks, ethnic prints, black leather skirts and dresses, and motorcycle jackets are all looks that have shown up on numerous runways so far during Fashion Week's first few days," notes WSJ's Christina Binkley.

She also mentions that there hasn't been an influx of must-see newcomers, but instead, the industry is carefully nurturing the careers of designers who have emerged in the past few years. At the top of the game so far? Mr. Prabal Gurung, whose show this weekend was a media frenzy.

Another one who has garnered much buzz (and the recent CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award) is Billy Reid, whose presentation this week caught the eye of J.Crew's Jenna Lyons. "His stuff doesn't look like anybody else, but it's wearable, which is hard to do in menswear," she says. In fact, the two have teamed up and are working on a line of women's wear, but it's still in its initial stages.

Who else is drawing attention? Bergdorf Goodman's Linda Fargo has been watching Suno, the line of garments inspired by vibrant Kenyan textiles. Also on everyone's radar is Timo Weiland, who, along with his design partner Alan Eckstein, creates "quirky, preppy-luxe" designs for the all-American girl.
· Early Shows Draw Scouts and Mentors [WSJ]

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