Spring looks pretty good Fashion: Women will like next year's ruffles and wraps and absence of cutting-edge looks.


October 31, 1996|By Vida Roberts | Vida Roberts,SUN FASHION EDITOR

NEW YORK -- Next spring's fashion trends have been established and they are pretty. That may sound like good news to the average woman, but to the fashionistas trailing the designer shows here and abroad over the past several weeks, pretty is a damning adjective.

What the style mavens want is innovation, edge and shock. What they are getting are replays of the same feminine notes. Those clear notes, however, will make it easy for women to follow fashion into next spring.

These instantly recognizable hits will be available at all price points from designer to discount chains.

Here's an itemized list of what's in store:

One-shoulder treatments. One bared arm hangs out of goddess toga gowns, jersey slinks and even T-shirts.

Posie power. Florals are everywhere from fragile embroideries at Todd Oldham to bold mauve plum blossoms at D&G.

Ruffles. They frame collars, tickle hemlines, bounce on backsides. One of the girlie manifestations of this pretty trend.

Traveling hemlines. They're up and down all at once, some cut on the diagonal from short to long or trailing into a fishtail train in back.

Transparencies. Mesh, net, chiffon, tulle and lace will require a major investment of good underwear. At Ellen Tracy, netting was handled discreetly. Many runway photos will never see print in mainstream publications.

Empire comes back. It may be the "Emma" influence, but romantic and high-waisted princess dresses look timely again.

Wraps. Dresses, tops and skirts wrap to the front side and back with self-ties. Diane von Furstenberg lives.

Pattern. Stripes, checks and optic illusions fool the eye. Bold stripes move every which way but vertically -- a challenge for less-than-perfect figures.

Looking East. Chinese Mao collars, Kabuki kimonos, Susie Wong slinks and Moroccan skirts are the ethnic contributions. Vivienne Tam even prints a Buddha image on evening wear.

Pub Date: 10/31/96

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