Designers give vote of approval to spring's billowy bottoms and flesh-revealing tops

November 03, 1992|By Vida Roberts | Vida Roberts,Staff Writer

NEW YORK — There's a spirit of good citizenship in the fashion world. American designers, who are showing their spring/summer collections this week, have their own particular ways of reminding fans and colleagues to get out and vote.

Joan Vass included a straightforward VOTE card with the invitation to her show. Fernando Sanchez, on the other hand, who chose dreamy sherbet colors for his spring loungewear theme, chose to end his show on a note of Americana. He sent out the not-to-be-missed Naomi Campbell in bright red, white and blue feathers formed into a skimpy bra and bikini tutu. She carried red, white and blue balloons. Mr. Sanchez gets the vote on that one.

Drizzling and raw New York weather predicted to continue through Fashion Week makes the prospect of a changing season all the more exciting.

Forget tailoring. Forget structure. Forget perky skirts. Come spring, fashion will be going with a flow.

Even the fashion press will come around. The audience, wearing what it preached for this fall, is peppered with snappy berets, leopard skin prints, and ubiquitous black. Those who write fashion are divided on hemlines. The younger set is wearing their black long and skinny. The mature crowd is keeping it short or dodging the whole issue by wearing narrow pants, usually tucked into ankle boots. They are smart to wear those skinny pants to death now, because come spring, pants will be flapping and billowing around the ankles.

Bill Blass showed them sheer, straight and very, very full. To add volume and flow, he often wrapped the pants with a panel that floated be

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hind much like a reverse apron or he topped the pants with a pulled-up overskirt that looked like a side-saddle bustle.

Carolina Herrera called her full-cut pants "pyjamas," known as "palazzo pants" in another era.

But don't be misled by all the extra yardage in pants. Fabric has nearly disappeared in the bodice. Never have so many lace-ups, cut-ups and tie-ups revealed so much flesh.

Bill Blass exposes shoulders, midriff and sides in a variety of shapely ways. Ms. Herrera sent out a flared, silver-encrusted crop-top held together at the neck by a single button and left two flaps free in back. The effect was not unlike a very short but luxurious hospital gown.

Nicole Miller took '70s love beads a step further and turned them into a body-revealing macrame vest.

When skin is not exposed, the body is revealed. Designers yesterday showed gossamer knits that encased the body in a sheath. Some hemlines even ended in a fishtail or trumpet train to extend the line.

As designers such as Calvin Klein and Donna Karan unveil their spring lines over the next few days, the word is long, straight and narrow.

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