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WWD Says....Accessories Go Groovy: Buyers Dig the '70s Vibe

Accessories Scene: Boho Chic lace.

      Janet Deleuse Couture Outerwear  and Italian gold feather earrings.

That’s the consensus of fashion buyers in the accessories world, which is expected to get a boost in spring from all the groovy, Seventies-inspired looks on the runways of New York, London, Milan and Paris. And they are boosting their buys to be prepared.

“I’ve never seen so much fringe,” said Tomoko Ogura, senior fashion director at Barneys New York. “It’s a trend that’s making a strong statement across all categories.”

     Janet Deleuse Brocade Clutch
Sarah Easley, cofounder of New York boutique Kirna Zabête, described fringe as “festive, flirty and artistic,” calling out Proenza Schouler’s handbags and shoes as prime examples. Rochas, Marni and Salvatore Ferragamo were also praised by buyers for their exceptional work with fringe. “From Ferragamo’s bags and shoes this season, we saw the best use of luxury exotic fabrics and a great incorporation of fringe,” said Mary Chiam, Moda Operandi’s vice president of merchandising. “Rochas also had a lively use of fringe in their shoes and handbags.”
                                           Janet Deleuse Silk and Linen Wrap 

Chloé’s handbags were also widely lauded by buyers for their decidedly un-springlike color palette, a trend seen across the four cities. “The color palette was surprising and exciting,” said Pimentel. “All of these spice-market colors — curry, paprika, cayenne, olive — are generally fall colors but felt very fresh for spring. “

   Janet Deleuse Brocade Silk Clutch

Added Easley, “[They’re] not traditional spring colors, but they do look great when you have a tan, so it makes more sense to debut those colors for spring.”

Fivestory’s Claire Distenfeld agreed, stating that she, too, liked the rich palette. “At this point, people are realizing that accessories don’t have to be [seasonal],” she said. “They are kind of forever. 
             Janet Deleuse Neon Fringe Vest/Scarf

While buyers expressed a united front when it came to the season’s color story, footwear proved to be a controversial topic, specifically the resurgence of staggering platform heels. “I’m a giant-platform person until I die,” said Distenfeld. “Its very hard because eight out of 10 people will not buy a giant platform. But, at the end of the day, you have to take a risk on these trends.”


Net-a-porter’s buying manager Sasha Sarokin applauded platform offerings from Victoria Beckham and Michael Kors. Erica Russo, Bloomingdale’s operating vice president of fashion direction and fashion accessories, cited Kors, Prada and Ferragamo, saying, “We are a store that caters to the fashion girl who loves anything that’s new, and a platform offers her both height and fashion.”
  Janet Deleuse Sheer Lace Wraps

Gold Gemstone Bracelet

Those looking to get the Seventies spirit at a much lower heel height praised the resurgence of strappy gladiator sandals, particularly those at Valentino and Chloé. “The high-end sandals were key,” said Jennifer Cuvillier, style director at Le Bon Marché in Paris. “The new Greek-inspired sandal was very important this season, and we saw it developed in many collections. It is a really nice novelty.” Sarokin described gladiator sandals as a “hero moment” of the season, once again calling out Valentino and Chloé. Other popular styles among buyers included those from Paul Andrew, Rodarte and Nicholas Kirkwood for Erdem.
     Gold and Aquamarine Ring

Beyond handbags and shoes, buyers found plenty else to buy. In the realm of jewelry, Céline was widely heralded for its chunky offerings, which Catherine Newey, deputy chief merchandising officer of luxury and accessories at Printemps, described as “modern costume jewelry.”
“I am excited about the long, layered look on the neck,” added Pimentel. “We still see a lot of chokers, but I think there is a lot of opportunity to add onto the neck. I love the long pendants at Céline. We’re going to have a lot of fun with our vendors in terms of developing this look.”


Less traditional categories made an appearance on the catwalk. “One thing that has really surprised me is hats,” said Susan Stone of Savannah in Santa Monica, Calif.

“Wide-brim hats were very prevalent, as evidenced by what we saw from J.W. Anderson, Rosie Assoulin and Gigi Burris,” added Chiam.

Scarves also made a surprise return to the runway. “I haven’t seen scarves have such a prominent role on the runway in a while, but it’s really a category that, I think, is going to have a moment for spring,” said Bloomingdale’s Russo. “We saw some great ones at Gucci, Tom Ford and Saint Laurent, but it was really shown across the board.”


      Janet Deleuse Designer Scarves

Ogura mentioned Paco Rabanne, which Barneys reintroduced for fall. “We are impressed with the evolution of the bags,” she said. “It’s a focused collection, but each shape is strong, and, as a whole, the collection stands out from other offerings. We are particularly drawn to the cabas tote and bucket bag.”


             Cultured Pearl Clutch, Janet Deleuse Designer 

New or old, the message was clear: Spring was a winning season for accessories. “There are lots of new ideas and, ultimately, reasons to buy,” said Larbalestier.

          Janet Deleuse Designer Sequined Wrap and Pearl Clutch

“The Age of Aquarius during the Seventies was a good time for fashion because there were a lot of options,” Atkin said. "our customers love when they can buy things for a variety of lifestyles. This is that moment.”

All Jewelry, Bags and Outerwear are added to the article. Most items are designed by Janet Deleuse and are one-offs.

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rom WWD issue 10/20/2014 DOWNLOAD PDF
By Lauren McCarthy

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