Saturday, November 15, 2008

Welcome Our 'Best in Show' Spring 2009 Newcomers: Laughing Out Loud and Saurette

This season there was a surplus of terrific new collections at Children's Club held October 5-7, 2008 in New York. After much back and forth, I narrowed my choices down to two very different lines. I kept asking: "Which one?" How could I choose? Both collections met the criteria for "Best in Show": Shapes that allow movement while enhancing a child's body; a feeling for color that acknowledges trends yet reflects the designer's sensibility; and we look for someone who understands that a collection must work as a whole - not a gathering of individual pieces - to succeed at the retail level. Both lines exceeded those standards, and more. Each collection possessed that intangible "It" quality, that sparkle, that made it a winner.

Our heartfelt congratulations go to our "Best in Show Newcomers" for Spring 2009 Mila Cole of LAUGHING OUT LOUD and Lisa Kanouse of SAURETTE for debuting unique, beautifully crafted collections.

Cole's LAUGHING OUT LOUD is a freewheeling sportswear line of modern, vibrantly colored Pima cotton knits and wovens. Kanouse's employs a palette of soft neutrals and pastels sparked with deep blue for SAURETTE her collection of elegant girls' dresses and separates.

Welcome to the children's market!


Like Cole, Kanouse left a high-powered job before launching Saurette. The mother of two young sons, Kanouse held the position of director of product development at Saks Fifth Avenue-Off 5th. "I am really passionate about things that I enjoy and believe in. I needed to find a way to continue to fulfill my passion for design and product development while freeing up time to devote to my two little boys [Dakota,5 and Ryder,2] who are growing up way too fast," says Kanouse. This March, she left her employer and, she says, "I've built a strong network over the years. That, coupled with my personal style and belief that I could offer something different, gave me the confidence to do my own collection."

Kanouse describes her line:

"Saurette [French for "swan"] is a contemporary collection targeted to modern parents that are looking for something different for their children. I was inspired by many of the women's spring ready-to-wear lines. I love the details and fabric mixing at Alberta Feretti, the large florals at Roberto Cavalli and 6267. Erdem and Jasper Conran had some wonderful nature prints. Kenzo always has great color. For Saurette, I took that inspiration and designed pieces with floral and tree embroideries and butterfly prints but added something different like metal beading or fabric piecing to make them unique."

Kanouse's favorites:

"I love the Tree Embroidered Babydoll Blouse (which has been one of my best sellers to stores) and the Cabbage Floral Appliqués. That group is the most interesting with fabric piecing in fun colors."


Sizes: 2-10 years; Wholesale prices: $37-$60

Everything about this sweet top works as a cohesive whole: The delicate shape serves as a feminine canvas for the fresh mint green color and the lush cream embroidery. This is one piece that a mother will never give away.

A modern shape and color with a punch form a bold background for original appliqué work.

Like any great piece of art, you look and think, fabulous, never realizing the effort it took to craft such a seamless piece. A few of the details that make this ethereal creation a knockout: Fine, sheer cotton that forms an utterly weightless piece; transparent edging along the collar and armholes that adds textural interest; the sash that defines the waist; and the abundant embroidery along the neckline that lends a jewel-like touch.

Lisa Kanouse, Creative Director
Fielding Productions LLC
71 Broadway, Suite 15A
New York, NY 10006
Tel: 646-729-3528

Originally published November 14, 2008

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