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This spring’s fashions are mmm, mmm good

Chocolate gowns, meringue coats — food-themed clothes fill the runway
/ Source: Reuters

Dresses for spring will come in strawberry ice, coats will be meringue and gowns will be chocolate, as designers serve up mouth-watering food names to whet consumers’ appetites for new looks.

High-fashion colors named for food, as many are in collections on the catwalks this week in New York, help sell clothes by making them tantalizing and comforting, especially in unsettled times, fashion insiders say.

“If I was showing a collection, I would make it comforting, feminine and loving,” said Stan Herman, president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

“I think that’s what people want.”

Among the tastiest collections was BCBG Max Azria, with dresses and coats in colors the designer called cream, apricot, soy, vanilla, truffle, cranberry, ginger, guava, lemon, lime, pear, pistachio, mint, meringue, latte and hazelnut, with handbags of toffee and peppermint.

Lela Rose showed gowns in tones she described as malted chocolate, pungent saffron and mulberry, Alvin Valley showed champagne and caviar and Betsey Johnson showed lively frocks in hues dubbed peach, citron, raspberry and butter.

Color is a powerful sales force, said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and author of “More Alive With Color.”

“People have an emotional attachment to color,” she said. “People say, ‘If you don’t show me the color I like, I won’t buy.”’

Rosa Cha’s sexy swimsuits were rum-colored, Cynthia Steffe showed watermelon, honeycomb and blueberry, and Tracy Reese filled her collection with what she called “vegetable-inspired” tones.

Carolina Herrera accented with splashes of blood orange, while Yigal Azrouel added touches of cantaloupe. Nicole Miller served oatmeal and sage, Monique Lhuillier offered plum and chestnut, Naeem Khan showed mocha and tangerine and Reem Acra had pecan.

Of course, it’s all in the name, Eiseman said.

“You can have the same color and give it two different names,” she said. “You can say tan or you can say cafe creme, and that’s the delicious and evocative color.”

Pantone color specialists survey designers and assemble an array of colors they see as popular in the fashion season ahead — strawberry ice, golden apricot and grape mist, with a dash of tarragon for spring.

“You can always tell what mood we’re in,” Eiseman said. “If we’re hungry, for sure every color comes out with a food name.”

Don’t worry, if you’re not hungry. Nicole Miller used a lot of a color she called clay, Max Azria used stone, Carolina Herrera used plenty of chalk and Zac Posen went with fog.