Pants are a sure thing for spring

February 11, 1993|By Karol Stonger | Karol Stonger,AP Special Features

Anything with an inseam is an in thing for spring.

In fact, there were so many styles of pants shown at the spring-summer fashion previews that there's sure to be one to flatter almost any figure.

"Pants are so, so right," says Adrienne Vittadini, whose collection was chock full of just right styles.

But don't look to denim -- or jeans -- for anything other than casual wear. They are barely a whisper as a spring fashion statement among Seventh Avenue designers. Rather, styles are soft, unconstructed.

Waists can be bunched and tied like a paper bag. They can be tied like pajama pants or they can skim the hip. Width is optional, from the close fit of leggings to such fullness that they billow. Just about any length will do -- from shorts (aside from some that show more than they should) to trousers that cover most of the shoe.

Pants styles are so diverse that Michael Kors used many descriptions for his collection: pajama pant, tap shorts, slim pants, boxer shorts, hip pants, slouch trouser, karate pants, short shorts, drawstring pant, jumpsuit, pareo trouser, bias culotte.

Fabrics run the gamut, too. From Mark Eisen's crocheted bell bottoms, which left no room for pockets, seam allowances -- or the imagination -- to elegant lightweight wools by Geoffrey Beene and Bill Blass.

Ralph Lauren relies on pants for daytime, nighttime and playtime. His day suits are fitted jackets over pleated pants, full in the leg and cuffed. For evening, he layers silk knit shawls and kimonos over flowing pants. And, on a playful note, light-as-air silk print floral dresses are layered with black tights or filmy pajama-style pants.

Carolina Herrera included an elegant banker's stripe jumpsuit with wide, fluid legs. Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis opted for awning stripes and bell bottoms as he geared up for grunge.

Alternatives to long fluid tunics or dresses over pants stopped short of the waist, a la ooh-la-la cropped cashmere tees and ribbed tubes.

For the most part, though, you'll not go wrong with well-tailored pants and a close-to-the-body jacket.

Vittadini, in Paris just before the Seventh Avenue shows, said she was somewhat surprised to see so few long skirts on style-conscious French women. "All the ones with great legs are still showing their legs," she says.

But there were oodles of pants. Because even though skirt length isn't so much of an issue anymore, when hemlines do change, it takes a while to effect the just-so look.

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