All of the sizzle, the drizzle and fizzle

November 09, 1995|By VIDA ROBERTS

BILL BLASS

He was there, doing that uptown style to perfection, when Anna Wintour was still in knee socks. Ladies who can never be too rich or too thin continue to flock to his shows because a Blass design beautifully covers untuckable trouble spots.

Blass doesn't make waves or launch trends; he just continues to make beautiful clothes.

This spring, as other designers flirt with Sixties influences, Blass polishes his repertory of the American classics he invented. hTC Double-faced wool coats over matching dresses are seam stitched to enhance the shape.

Town suits are shaped without constrictions, but with lots of figure. Shirts become treats of air-spun organza. His cardigans are sexy and his black lace dresses are ladylike. Blass proves that refinement can be exciting.

ISAAC MIZRAHI

Rave reviews for his "Unzipped" movie turn and kudos for his new secondary line may have unsettled the wunderkind. In trying to give the "collection" a serious direction, he came up with plenty of dowdy.

Oh, sure, there were handsome suits, lighter-than-air wraps and coats and chiffon and tulle dance dresses that were rather marvelous.

The convertible drawstring sack dress looked newsy. But only the Queen Mother could love satin evening frocks with matching coats or ball gowns with bugle bead bodices.

One red-and-white floral print shirt-dress had definite hausfrau appeal and too many bows scattered about were a real fashion hazard.

They applauded and cheered because everybody loves Isaac; they just hope he comes around to his old delightful self.

BETSEY JOHNSON

It may have been a Screen Gems version of maturity with a campy, tarted-up point of view, but this spring's collection sure beat the days when Betsey tried to convince us that garter belts were a viable alternative to skirts.

This was a fashion moment.

The hyperactive flower child has calmed down, grown up and decided to try her hand at adult wear. Here was nostalgia, with a wardrobe mistress' vocabulary.

There were peignoirs in lace, trimmed satins and georgettes. There were halter petticoat dresses just right for a seductive picnic.

Rompers and playsuits were styled for starlets who throw like a girl and play games in high heels. Yet underneath the campy hair and hats were pretty clothes. We may have to start calling Betsey "Ms. Johnson" from now on.

TODD OLDHAM

His laces are the most peekaboo, his minis the skimpiest, his stripes the boldest, his patterns the most intricate and his models' hair the highest.

The Todd Oldham show is the most fun you can have during fashion week without doing damage to your diet or lower back.

Behind the flash are wearable clothes for the young at heart. He showed a white knit polo dress with a bold streak of stripes across the bodice. His multicolor, lean granny afghan knits were something fresh to slip into. His denim suits were just dandy.

If a black, see-through, nighttime whatchamacallit combining netting, feathers, rhinestones and sequins seemed a tad over the top, you have to forgive.

He's from Texas, where they believe more is always better.

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