WWDMAGIC All Aflutter with Butterfly Designs, Denim for Fall

Given the frequent appearance of butterfly designs wavering throughout the WWDMAGIC fashion trade show, held in February in Las Vegas, fashion professionals might have thought they were at an entomology convention. At the biannual affair, the butterfly motif was just one of many trends that mark fall 2005 as a season of — to use a phrase echoed throughout the event — “bohemian chic.”

“Butterflies are very hot this year — [they are] very retro,” said Michelle Kim, the creative force behind 213 Industry, a juniors contemporary line from Los Angeles. “And bling-bling is very in this year. Anything glittery with glitz.”Like many of the fall lines exhibited at WWDMAGIC, Kim’s tops were designed to be paired with jeans. “The trend is to wear $200 jeans with a $60 top,” she explained.

The ubiquitous butterfly appeared in an embroidered sequin pattern on at least one of Kim’s “romantic-funky” tops. The light, lingerie-like blouses glistened with sequins, particularly a dainty number Kim called her “glass top” because of the iridescent, mesh and clear sequins that adorn it.
For Kim, mesh is a perennial. “It’s easy to take off, you can wash it, it doesn’t wear out or have a lot of stretch to it. Mesh is in every year, all the time. This stuff is so sexy.”

Butterflies also alighted in embroidered patterns on tops by Los Angeles-based She’s, owned by Erica Chin. Long a fan of butterflies in fashion, Tammy Smith of Los Angeles’ T. Smith & Co., was quick to remind that she’s been using butterfly themes in her work for the past eight years. Used in bold, colorful prints on tunic-like tops, the butterfly has long been a staple for the designer.

“We’ve always done well with a big type of print, and people seem to love the butterfly. Maybe it’s just getting back to nature,” she laughs.
Also getting back to nature is denim, which was represented in a multitude of variations primed for fall.

Josh Dorfman, founder of Brooklyn’s environmentally friendly lifestyle brand Vivavi, was excited to discover an organic denim line called Loomstate.“There’s this whole movement toward organic materials,” said Dorfman. “What’s been exciting now and for the last year or two is that there are a lot of designers who get design and also have this drive to use materials that are better for the planet.” Loomstate’s denim line appealed to Dorfman not just for its ethos but also for its aesthetic. “They look like ‘normal,’ that’s what’s so refreshing,” he said.

Normal, of course, is all relative when considering the distinct directions many designers are taking denim this fall. It Jeans, whose line, according to publicist Grace Hwang, is geared toward “young, very motivated, driven individuals that are working in entertainment, film and music,” was promoting the oodles of features to be found on its denim line.

“We have embroidery, embellishments, stitching details and finishes on the denim,” said Hwang, who added that these elements are “not overdone or too played out. It’s tastefully done. … The jeans are fashion-forward — strong pieces that are offered at a mid-tier price point, which ranges from $50 to $88. The quality is significant.”

Likewise, Paula Haberichter, sales manager for Capital Tailors, a premium denim line with headquarters in Los Angeles, featured French tabs among other signature accoutrements. She also said there is a trend toward more finishing touches in denim. “Everything is finished on the inside and outside of the garment, including the smallest details, like having chambray on the underside of the pocket,” said Haberichter.
Ghetto, a new line that marks singer Macy Gray’s first foray into fashion marketing, is taking denim into an interesting direction this fall in the form of blazers.

The blazers come in classic, fitted cuts and are complemented by matching jeans, also by designer Nonjan McKenzie.“We have a trouser that matches it, so it’s a two-piece suit,” said McKenzie. “It’s like a twist. It goes from your streetwear to your classy classic woman who also goes to the office.

“Macy is a big accessory person,” said McKenzie, referring to the popular singer’s penchant for scarves and other items — hence her line’s ascots that pair with classic silk blouses, all of which can be worn with jeans. “It’s all about the fabrics — all the shirts are 100 percent silk charmeuse. Even our trousers are lined with silk.”

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