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Despite of spectacular parade of brands and completely sold out venue, Playtime NY still has some work to do to achieve an iconic status, buzz and traffic intensity of its Paris and Tokyo siblings. Show’s carefully curated brands’ selection, superb style concept integrity and magical installations need to find a location and possibly reconsider dates to essentially increase traffic that was the main concern of participating brands. We definitely appreciated quality time we’ve got to spend with creative geniuses behind seriously terrific collections presented at Playtime NY, but we would have loved it even better had a charming little space equipped with power plugs had been curved out to revive our lifeless cameras and cell phones. Media Lounge, next time, maybe?

Overwhelming magnitude of ENK Children’s Club did not prevent us from spotting limelight worthy new exhibitors as well as paying prearranged visits. An attempt to bundle more sophisticated, indie brands together and away from the mainstream monstrosities of pink ruffles and boring button downs is highly appreciated. Perhaps, clear zoning, marking of fashion trends and styles and subsequent placement (by choice) of exhibitors in the most suitable location would make browsing less stressful and more productive. Bespoke – to the left, to the left… Hip – to the right, to the right… Naturally, the Media Lounge deserves a round of applauses.

Now, when we are done with logistical musing let’s move to delectable topic of key trends we’ve spotted at March 2014 editions of Playtime NY and ENK Children’s Club. Warning: lots of eye candy ahead!

Quilted Mania

If we had to sum up both trade shows in just one word, it would be “quilted”. So profound, versatile, creative and omnipresent was this trend at both shows, expect quilted pieces to pop up across the key trends map. Scales, shapes and directions of quilting as well as fabrics it was applied were out of control amazing with newcomers Pouti Paris and Alivia Simone taking this comfy stitching to the new heights of luxury and sophistication.

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1. Pouti Paris; 2. Suoak; 3. Blune Paris; 4. Pouti Paris; 5. Noch Mini; 6. Alivia Simone; 7. Omami Mini; 8. Blu Pony Vintage

Feathers, Fur and Glamour

A lot of trends rolled over from previous seasons but we can hardly complain, seeing their evolved and edgier versions. Marshmallow soft Sherpa lining reigned supreme; multitude of fur and fur lined vests promised toasty and cozy winters. Shaggy forest green sophistication of Belgian Maan, whimsical edginess of Suoak’s multicolored pieces; audacious refinery of fur collars of Royal Navy inspired Lucas Frank styles, fairytale charm of fur trimmed Je suis en CP hats and absolutely breathtaking Pouti Paris feather skirt deserve induction into  kids’ fashion Hall of Fame.

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1. Pouti Paris; 2. & 3. Lucas Frank; 4. Je suis en CP; 5. Suoak; 6. Talc; 7. Maan

Creative Leather

Leather is not showing any signs of retreat and looks even more appealing than ever, thanks to creative twists applied by designers. We couldn’t get our googly eyes off of metallic, distressed, shiny and matte finishes of MAA, shimmer and sparkle of Maan’s textured leather and silky softness and featherweight lace of laser cut Little Miss Galia’s pieces.

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1. Maan; 2. Little Miss Galia; 3. Maan; 4. Little Miss Galia; 5. Manuela de Juan; 6. MAA Shoes

Gold, Shimmer and Shine

Another massive trend that is not hoisting white flag any time soon. From rich and opulent brocades and jacquards of Rachel Riley and Alivia Simone to merely threads and delicate shimmer of Blune Paris and Wolf & Rita, this noble metal was popping around Playtime NY and ENK Children’s Club like gold veins in Eldorado Canyon.

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1. Lucky Fish; 2. Pouti Paris; 3. Alivia Simone; 4. Rachel Riley; 5. TroiZenfantS; 6. Blune Paris; 7. Wolf & Rita


Twinkle, Twinkle Micro Star

Those tired of the massive onslaught of stars on every conceivable surface and item but not ready to give up on the favorite shape, rejoice! Delicately twinkling, tiny stars reminiscent of the endlessly fascinating night sky are extremely refreshing. Manuela De Juan reached for the stars, as always introducing miniscule holographic stars mini-collection.

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1. MAA Shoes & Manuela de Juan; 2. Talc; 3. MAA Shoes; 4. Talc

Animal Kingdom

The beasts, fierce and cute alike have traditionally been a huge source of fashion inspiration. So huge, indeed we have to introduce subdivisions in this massive forever trending trend.

Animal Heads

Forever present antlered creatures and mighty felines continue glaring at us from every wearable thread but start retreating slowly from the limelight in FW14 season, giving way to wolves (fantastic geo graphics by Blune Paris), super exotic parrots (Munster Kids) and contemplating pandas (Tootsa Macginty). Deer are given fresh twist with luxurious metallic embroideries by Pouti Paris and Little Miss Galia, while lion heads are juzzed up with stars, chains and pompoms (Lucky Fish).

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1. Blune Paris; 2. Pouti Paris; 3. Quinn & Fox; 4. Tootsa Macginty; 5. Munster Kids

Animal Prints

If you hoped these prints will fade into oblivion after years of never ending abuse you’ve underestimate preternatural staying power of these spots and stripes. Whether “snow leopard” version, stylized spots, or mixed with metallic leather and strewn with studs, these prints remain wildly popular.

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1. & 2. MAA Shoes; 3. Petit by Sofie Schnoor; 4. Chupeta Paris; 5. Be Lucky

Cute Animals All-Over Prints

Don’t confuse cute animals, printed all over the garment with animal prints. In this case an obsession with fauna is rendered in adorable prints perfect for adding a quirky, whimsical twist to classic shapes. Golden mice, anyone?

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1. Emma Levine; 2. How to Kiss a Frog; 3. Rachel Riley

Dots, Spots and Polka-Cats

We’ve been buried under avalanche of spots and polka dots for a few seasons but this print got a sophisticated update for FW14. Irregularity and polarity (micro and mini) breathed a new, beautiful life into this classic pattern. New Spanish brand MOTORETA opted for super tiny dots, while The Tiny Universe amped up the adorability factor with giant circles. Chupeta Paris offered irregularly shaped dots, while Petit by Sofie Schnoor played with proportions. We positively can’t get over Omami Mini’s polka-cats, dots created by cute, balled up kittens. We would absolutely, totally welcome this cheeky print in adult sizes. Do you hear us, Omami Mini?

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1. Herschel Supply Co; 2. Chupeta Paris; 3. MOTORETA; 4. Omami Mini; 5. The Tiny Universe; 6. Petit by Sofie Schnoor; 7. Atsuyo et Akiko

Geo-licious!

Triangles and diamonds rule supreme in these kaleidoscopic prints. Colorful or golden, Bermuda Triangle move over! We are ready to get lost in this fashion triangle.

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1. Mini & Maximus; 2. Pouti Paris; 3. Munster Kids; 4. Blune Paris; 5. Tootsa Macginty; 6. Noch Mini

Ethnic Love

Ethnic prints continue going strong with remarkable piece from Boy + Girl, Tootsa Macginty and new brand from Spain Be Lucky.

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1. Tootsa Macginty; 2. & 4. Boy + Girl; 3. Be Lucky

Lesson in Mixology

Getting the best of both worlds, these mixed fabrics concoctions pack a double punch of fabulocity.

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1. Alivia Simone; 2. Suoak; 3., 5. & 6. Little Miss Galia; 4. MAA Shoes; 7. Mini & Maximus

Bold Stripes and Zigzags

Stripes are pretty much a staple of every season but for FW14 designers had an extra fun playing with width and direction, mixing stripes with solid fabrics and indulging our discerning eye with pretty, bright zigzags.

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1. & 7. Noch Mini; 2. & 6. Tootsa Macginty; 3. Wolf & Rita; 5. Noe & Zoe

Long Coats and Return of the Plaid

Long coat trend swept men’s fashion runways for FW14 and trickled down to the Kidland. Fitted, boxy, hip, classic – long coats drew attention by the aura of sophistication. Double breasted coats, jackets and blazers are due for the massive return. Thrilling US debut of British bespoke brand Unruly Blue left the industry reeling with excitement (tune in for the brand’s review). Naturally, bold plaids fit right in with this sophisticated trend. Bonnie Young’s FW14 collection shown at Petit Parade was packed with posh plaid pieces.

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1.  Unruly Blue; 2. Rachel Riley; 3. MOTORETA; 5. Tuchinda

What’s Your Story?

Poppy’s charming storytelling dresses were reinforced by equally charming cityscapes. We loved the groovy view from Je suis en CP designer’s window. Lucky Jade’s skyline romper is a huge hit in the making with the bright future of many, many seasons.

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1. Poppy; 2. Je suis en CP; 3. Lucky Jade

Final Touch – Accessories

It’s practically “mission impossible” to squeeze a multitude of accessories, presented at Playtime NY and ENK, into a few lines but we’ll try. Sons & Daughters’ Class of 2014 Collection sure will be coveted by the kids, parents, fashion editors and kids’ fashion photographers alike. Tic Tac Toe, Pac-Man, cool hexagons… any chance we can get a pair? Oeuf remained faithful to its mantra of “wear & play” packing FW collection with crowns, tails, snake scarves, knit toys, angel wings, cherry necklaces and pure awesomeness. And this is beside the best booth of the season. Adelaide New York’s criminally adorable name tags, gifts and backpacks had us at hello. Wolf & Rita’s tuxedo collar is a game changer! Suoak’s rainbow beanies armed with fluffy pompoms – we are demanding those in adult sizes!

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1. & 4. Sons & Daughters; 2. & 6. Oeuf; 3. Adelaide New York; 5. Suoak; 7. Wolf & Rita

Speaking of pompoms…

The March of Pompoms

Pompoms attack – we surrender. No further comments, except for pointing out fabulous pieces, hand knit in Peru and Argentina respectively –  by Misha & Puff (baby pleated skirt is murderous!) and HBB Industria Argentina ( wireworks of creative knits with beloved grandma’s feel).

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1. Beau Loves; 2. Atsuyo et Akiko; 3. Bla Bla; 4. HBB Industria Argentina; 5. Misha & Puff


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