San Francisco -- Louis Dell'Olio, the designer behind the Anne Klein labels and licensees, breezed through the San Francisco Bay Area recently, stopping at Saks Fifth Avenue and showing his fall collection at a luncheon benefiting the American Diabetes Society. He paused long enough to share his thoughts on fashion in general and fall '92 in particular:
Q: What do women want from fashion?
A: "It's simple. Women want to look good. They want clothes to last more than a season, and they want versatility, comfort -- and they want to look good. They also don't want to spend a lot of money."
Q: What single item should a woman invest in for fall?
A: "There isn't any one thing. I'd say she should analyze what she has and buy a piece that's going to update the rest of her wardrobe, whatever that is. She may already have long skirts, so she doesn't need another one, but maybe she needs a vest to put under her blazer to give it spunk. Or maybe a great fringe skirt. Or maybe a new pair of shoes. Or maybe she does need a great, long black skirt to make everything look new."
Q: What are the basics of a good wardrobe for women?
A: "A well-cut black pant, a well-made black jacket, a black short skirt, a black long skirt, a beautiful ivory silk shirt and maybe a simple black dress -- and she can go anywhere. If you have that, everything else is an add-on."
Q: What mistakes do women make in putting a wardrobe together?
A: "Women tend to buy overdone clothes and think that one piece has to make the whole statement. I see movie stars wearing long tight torsos, decolletage, puff sleeves, beading or bows or flowers or all of it at one time. That's what is so refreshing about movie stars wearing Armani for evening. It's so simple and clean, not tacky."
Q: What do you love most about your fall line, and why?
A: "The versatility of it, that it's about options. It's not just one look. It's really sophisticated sportswear, so women can buy different pieces, put them together and look pulled together.
"I don't want to see women every day of the week in long skirts or pin-striped suits. It's about pants one day, long skirts another, short skirts another. It makes women look more interesting."
Q: What are you tired of in fashion?
A: "I'm tired of everything looking like Chanel. I'm bored with it. I see editorially [in fashion magazines] no matter whose clothes they photograph, they add so many accessories it all looks like Chanel. That's so unfair to the individual style of designers, to make everything look like chain belts and tons of pearls and
quilted bag accessories. It's s-o-o-o boring."