Word has it that there's a contingency of European designers that want to start showing regularly in an organized fashion in New York. Hopefully not a rumour, it would be nice if we could get out of the corporate head transpired at the tents last season, and bring back the old hutspa. In the meantime, see Europe through ELLE's eyes. Ready to suspend our disbelief and try, try again, we will march on, encouraged heavily by those champagne receptions to follow.

In addition to delivering some really good wines, California is not only offering inspiration (surf, lifestyle) for autre coast collections, but they're brewing some of their own. San Francisco based NICE are a group of artists, deejays and musicians with a very cool clothing line most notable for the sweater with the star logo that singer Moby's always running around in. Keep your eyes open for names like Josephine Loka, St. Vincent and more from Mantrap.

California based Janet Howard showed some good solid stuff for fall. One way to tell if a collection is viable for sales, is to ask the girls that wear the stuff first. N.Y.'s Time Cafe, right below the Metropolitan agency, and on-the-way-back-to-the-agency in SoHo, tables a lot of girls between shows. Both Koshanna (Pauline's) and Andrea Radutoiu from Company, agreed that they are over wearing skirts so short that you have to worry about covering your bum all the way down the runway. They liked the way Janet's cute and sexy clothes fit so well that they'd even buy some.

California is turning out a whole lotta wearables. The LOOK show headed by the superwoman Megan Griffith in L.A. is recently kicked some sand on the New York fashion world. Advice to trade show novices: Stick to your guns, and don't give your best stuff away. Markets are competitive, and larger companies who manufacture in-house and appear to help start new talent are often wolves in sheep's clothing. Several smaller design companies, have lately claimed to have been courted, canceled and then knocked-off by bigger league Urban Outfitters. Vendor beware...

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October 1996