September 09, 2005 New York
To meet the challenge, Chanin's Florence, Ala.-based quilters kicked things up a notch, adding a high-tech material with a sexy drape to the mostly cotton jersey lineup, and incorporating elaborate beadwork and airbrushing into their repertoire. Some piecesa saffron coat reverse-appliquéd in a deeper shade and heavily embroidered with golden beads comes to mindwould make the finest petits mains in Paris vert with envy. But this was Project Alabama's New York fashion week debut, and the moment seems to belong to minimalism, so there were also fitted cardigans devoid of handiwork and full skirts decorated only with narrow vertical bands of contrasting cross-stitching. A few of the colors appeared too "country" from the bleachers of the Bryant Park tents, but Chanin's navy-and-black combinations looked great and, trend-wise, were spot on.