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1 May 2, 2011 ON THE INSIDE WITH TINA BARRY Playtime New York: Newcomers for the Spring/Summer 2011 Season The designers below are recent arrivals to the kids' market, several launching their collections at Playtime New York (July 31-August 2, 2010). As you'll see, their lines are diverse, with some reveling in rich color and pattern, while others worked with subdued tones and none or little print and embellishment. What they shared: cohesive collections with a strong narrative. COTTON KNITS: BEQUITA Homebase: Cold Spring, NY DESIGNER: Rebecca Bardes Sizes: 6 months to 6 years; Wholesale prices: $15-$39 What better way to reflect the beauty of a summer flower garden, the abundance of a farmer's market, and that sapphire blue pool beckoning you for a swim than saturated color? Bardes takes jewel tones - roses, scarlet, teal and kiwi - and works them into a collection of cotton knit pieces that celebrate the season.

2 Outstanding pieces: The Quing and Tujia dresses are easy to move in, gorgeously colored and sport touches such as handmade toggle closures. All the prints are exclusive to the line. Tel: SPORTSWEAR: LITTLE LIEF Homebase: Brooklyn, NY DESIGNER: Ilana Anger Sizes: 3 months to 4 years; Wholesale prices: $12-$34 Anger works with the quiet tones of summer: taupe, soft gray, coral with touches of dusty pink and navy. The pieces, crafted from lightweight cotton muslin or gauze, are cut to swing away from the body - perfect for catching breezes. Outstanding piece: The V Dress looks fresh and pretty as is. Later in the season it can be worn as an adorable jumper over a T-shirt or blouse. Tel: LITTLE MAVE Homebase: Nashville, TN DESIGNER: Victoria Ray Sizes: 3 months to 6T; Wholesale prices: $20-$24 Ray's vintage aesthetic was evident in her ruffle-friendly collection of short and long cotton knit bloomers and diaper covers. Outstanding piece: These novelty items need little more than a T-shirt to create a charming outfit. Tel:

3 SAILOR ROSE Homebase: New York, NY DESIGNER: Kirsty Mogensen Sizes: 2T to 12 years; Wholesale prices: $52-$105 An appreciation for vintage fabrics and a modern way with shape add up to sleek yet nostalgic dresses. Mogensen employs Liberty prints and organic cottons and every piece is made in the USA. Outstanding pieces: With a pattern this pretty, the only detail needed is the flirty flutter sleeve. Tel: SWEATERS/HAND-KNITS: BEBE RAVI COLLECTIONS Homebase: New York, NY DESIGNERS: Siamanda Chege and Mary Purcell Sizes: 6 months to 6 years; Wholesale prices: $35-$55 You've seen products that are hand-knit yet have the perfect surface of something made by machine. Bebe Ravi garments are crafted in a women's collective in Kenya, and, while flawless, have the homespun appeal of something grandma made. The shapes are classic and the colors timeless making them perfect, no-risk shower gifts. Outstanding piece: Touches such as the delicate Pointelle stitch and the sweet puffed sleeves made the Tai Eagle a special specialty dress. Tel:

4 SWIMWEAR: MACEO EARTH MADE Homebase: Geneva, Switzerland DESIGNER: Estee Arabian Sizes: 2 to 14 years; Wholesale price: $28 Maceo Earth Made, manufacturers of men's swimsuits, introduced its children's line at Playtime. The swim trunks, made of nylon Spinaker cloth, have a velvety hand and dry quickly. Each item folds into its own pocket making it easy to throw into a bag and go. Outstanding piece: The swimsuits are available in an array of "notice me" shades and are lined in a contrasting color so they're fun to wear. Tel: CHILDREN'S TOTES/DIAPER BAGS: SYM (SOYOUNG MOTHER) Homebase: Ontario, Canada DESIGNER: Catherine Choi Size: 10" x 7.5" x 3"; Wholesale price: approximately $15 Why are there so many diaper bags on the market and so few bags for kids? Sym bags are just the right size for children and their retro-inspired colors and motifs have subtle charm. The bags are fully insulated and the straps allow the items to be worn messenger style or as a backpack. Outstanding piece: The Red Scooter. Great colors, simple lines and that Vespa is tres chic! Tel:

5 KITS/NOVELTIES: WOOL AND THE GANG Homebase: New York, NY DESIGNERS: Jade Harrod and Aurelie Popper Sizes: Baby set 3 and 6 months, sweater 3 to 5 years; Wholesale prices: $85-$129 Wool and the Gang is the perfect gift for folks who love to knit or newbees who have always wanted to learn. A gift bag filled with directions, balls of baby Alpaca, needles and everything else you need for stitching up a toy; hat, sock and bloomer set; or toddler's sweater is included. Tel:

6 SPRING/SUMMER 2012 PLAYTIME NEW YORK REPORT: FROM FAR AND NEAR Designers, who hailed from as far as Hong Kong and as close as midtown New York, gathered at Playtime's art-filled SoHo loft to exhibit high-end collections with a strong, modern aesthetic. Whether the look was nostalgic or futuristic, designers kept shapes streamlined, and patterns, when they were offered, tended to be bold. KICOKIDS Homebase: New York, NY DESIGNER: Tia Cibani and Kitty Pu Sizes: 2 to 12 years; Wholesale prices: $12-$85 Kicokids is having a "Slamapopsizzlesect" kind of season. They're "juxtaposing a dash of street culture, a sprinkling of high-tech, and a pinch of humor" into a skateboards and insect-inspired collection. They're waxing but not waning with linen and denim treated with a wax surface, blending high-tech with artisan techniques in hand knit jute and tulle pieces, and glow-in-the-dark reflective bonding is laser cut and hot fixed to vests and tees.

7 Outstanding Pieces: Color-blocking looks fresh in a waxed denim and cotton poplin wear-with-everything jacket. Ladybugs inspire the camp shirt's bright pattern. No tutus here. Instead the designers weave strips of vivid tulle to fashion a couture dress. In daylight, the jacket is all about subtle color and an unusual cocoon-like shape. In the dark (or shot with a flash), the piping glows like a firefly. Tel:

8 ODE Homebase: Clark, NJ DESIGNER: Rupa Motwani Sizes: 2 to 8 years; Wholesale prices: $17-$41 Motwani employs age-old Indian printing and weaving techniques while keeping the shapes of her dresses, tops and rompers modern and the color palette timely. Outstanding Pieces: Saturated hues and modern shapes blend old and new. Tel: OXANNA BY HAPPY GREEN BEE Homebase: Gouldsboro, ME DESIGNERS: Roxanne Quimby Sizes: 2 to 6X; Wholesale prices: $65-$125 "Our all natural fibers and re-purposed vintage embellishments create a couture look with a playful attitude." Creamy tones of white, eggshell, taupe, beige and charcoal natural linen and cotton make a fresh, modern base for vintage lace doilies and appliqués.

9 Outstanding Piece: A modern shape and subdued coloration equal a newer, cleaner vintage. Tel: SEAM Homebase: Lincoln, MA DESIGNER: Cindy Estes Sizes: 2 to 10 years; Wholesale prices: $16-$49 Cindy Estes debuted with two cohesive groups: one in a palette of pale lilac, lime and sky, and a warmer selection with rose, soft orange and raspberry. Both groups of loose, modern pieces are based on multiple, retro-inspired patterns that are meant to be mixed and matched.

10 Outstanding Pieces: The Tilly dress in the hot maxi length offers tiers of fun Sixties-like prints. Tel: TALA BEE KIDS Homebase: San Francisco, CA DESIGNER: Tala Banatao Sizes: 2 to 12 years; Wholesale prices: $20-$37 Banatao offered two groups: one in denim and seersucker with a classic feel; the other in pastel colors and sweeter, more feminine shapes. Outstanding Pieces: A return to the Seventies with the soft denim romper.

11 Doubling up on the ruffles. Tel: TIKSY Homebase: Arequipa, Peru DESIGNER: Carole Stavart Sizes: NB to 8 years; Wholesale prices: $20-$45 Stavart's collection of organic cotton hand knit pieces is dyed in small batches in Peru using only natural colorants and spices. The tones have the vibrancy of turmeric and the slightly browned shades of crushed rose petals. A perfect gift collection.

12 Outstanding Piece: Variations in the dying process make each piece one-of-a-kind. Tel: ZOLIMA Homebase: Hong Kong DESIGNER: Nicole Andrianjaka de Surville Sizes: 3 months to 12 years; Wholesale prices: $9-$46 "A pleasure for the senses" Indeed it is, with a color palette like a spring garden after the rain. Outstanding Pieces: Unfussy, feminine shapes and colors to swoon over.

13 The lotus blossom, a symbol of good luck, is the company's signature flower. The Showroom New York Tel: Originally published September 1, 2011

14 PLAYTIME NEW YORK: When Happiness is the Theme Spring/Summer 2012 Collections 2012 (July 30-August 1, 2011) If one can roll time back to the late 1970s through the 1980s, you'll remember SoHo not as the high-priced shopping mall it is now, but as a thriving community of artists and designers living and exhibiting their work in lofts and galleries. True to those earlier decades, the founders of Playtime New York did more than promote children's collections: they used the loft for a pop-up store as well as "Trend Spaces," site-specific installations designed especially for Playtime that allowed artists to interpret the season's colors and themes. "Happiness," the theme of the exhibitions.

15 Toffee Apples, by Florine Demosthene "In order to contemplate Happiness, Demosthene has made candy pieces!" Turning the warm tones of hot pink and orange into a "veritable miscellany of sweets: Tagada strawberries, toffee apples, bulls eyes " Garden of Eden, by Jasmine Murrell Using rich, leaf green and indigo as a canopy of "leaves", Murrell "contemplates the world of Happiness with an installation of a young girl sprouting from a tree."

16 Partiers nibble hors d'oeuvres and sip cocktails beneath Karen Hsu's garden of paper flowers. Hanging above shoppers' heads in the pop-up shop "Playtime Loves Japan," is Japanese artist Schoko's "Origamic Sculptures" titled "Garden of Wonders." The installation features "a family of fish swimming among multicolored bubbles from the River of Hope and Prosperity, as in Koinobori, the celebration of Children's Day." All the money raised from the sale of clothing was donated to K.I.D.S., a global charity committed to improving the lives of needy children and their families. Originally published September 2, 2011

17 SPRING/SUMMER 2012 EARLY TRENDS: CHILDREN'S CLUB AND PLAYTIME NEW YORK: A TASTE OF THE SEASON Early Resort/Spring 2012 collections exhibited on the adult men's and women's runways focused on two themes: pretty: as in soft watercolor prints and florals, ladylike shapes and and vintage lace; and bold: think dynamic ethnic patterns, lean shapes in strong, colorblock hues; and in both camps an itch to mix pattern with pattern. At the August 2011 Children's Club and Playtime New York shows, designers took cues from the adult catwalks, scaling down huge florals and subduing some of the hot tones, but were no less inclined to play with texture and pattern. Below is a glimpse of the collections and some of the children's lines they inspired. THERE WILL BE: -Ladylike skirts with simple pleats and little if any embellishment.

18 Carolina Herrara's simple knit top and pleated A-line. Kicokids' pleated A-line in the popular gray and denim blue colorway. -For boys: narrow shapes with a mix of casual and formal, and plaid, lots of plaid! IKKS' plaid vest adds a note of formality to a tee and lean denim shorts.

19 THERE WILL BE: Real saturated tones and gray. Yes, still gray. PAIRINGS AND PALETTES: -Nautical pairings of pimento, white, navy or black. Velvet & Tweed's new take on nautical. -Pimento as a solid or mixed with white, royal (or navy), gray and yellow. Ripe pimento and white at Alexander McQueen.

20 Jill Stuart makes a splash with warm monochromatic shades on a retro styled dress. Stun works similar, albeit softer tones, of the same color family into Seventies-inspired dresses. -Navy with a purple cast, worn most often with white.

21 Purple/navy and white at Eliane et Lena. A mix of gray and white prints and textures from the Acne runway. Playing with gray at Red Wagon Baby. -The "It" pop color: leaf green. Appaman mixes a leaf-toned T-shirt with a seersucker jacket.

22 THERE WILL BE: PATTERN: From pretty florals, to splashes of soft or bold color, to Indonesian and African designs. And don't forget stripes, ginghams and checks, alone or all mixed up. A pretty floral border enlivens a ladylike pleated skirt from Carolina Herrera. Llum's flowers. Lela Rose channels a sunlit garden in this one-shouldered beauty.

23 Kicokids works a one-shoulder silhouette with a watercolor print. Ethnic patterns from Derek Lam. Wati works an Indonesian style design with an unusual taupe and rose coloration.

24 Marni maxes out the stripes. Kicokids' waxed linen and poplin jacket and lady bug shirt. Checks and stripes from Alexander McQueen.

25 Checks and stripes from Sierra Julian. Fearless pattern mixing from Oilily. Originally published September 11, 2011