Fall's Fancies

August 29, 1993|By Vida Roberts

Fashion is of two minds this season -- showy and serene. Dramatic designer styling makes the point by showing clothes as repressed and spare as a monk's tunic or extravagant enough for a diva's curtain call.

That's the message of high-flown fashion. But the woman who wants clothes for the real world can select elements of these romantic notions without forfeiting common sense or her sense of style.

A dandy's ornate vest can be the one touch of costumery for the working wardrobe. An important white blouse with collar and cuff interest can carry a discreetly tailored suit. A trim of velvet or elaborate braid on a jacket has vintage interest without retrograde theatrics.

The neutral color story is spun in rich fabrics -- black velvets cut in lace tracery, soft browns born of natural luxury fibers, polished grays cut from stone colors such as granite and hematite.

It's a season that makes no demands, but suggests a fresh look at old ideas.

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