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Fall Styles Paraded on the Streets of Paris

October 21, 1985|BETTIJANE LEVINE | Times Fashion Editor

PARIS — These days Paris seems as close to perfect as a sophisticated city can get. It is young, it is fun, it is clean. And its citizens seem placid and content. There's a mood of mellowness, even gaiety in the streets, as if something wonderful is just about to begin.

Though many well-to-do Parisians say the Socialist regime has put a crimp in their life styles, they also shrug, smile and tell you that this, too, shall pass. Small talk in the cafes seems to be less about politics and taxes than it is about arts and pleasures.

People are talking about Christo, the artist who recently draped the Pont Neuf in burnished, buff-color fabrics. And about the new Picasso Museum, which opened this month in a flourish of civic pride. And about the first French Fashion Oscars, a well-publicized, Hollywood-style awards event that takes place later this week at the Paris Opera and will be televised live throughout France.

No matter how good the TV fashion show turns out to be, it will not compare to the one that takes place daily on this city's streets.

Trends right now include longer hair and looser clothes for men, stirrup pants, layered looks and flat-heeled shoes for women, and elegantly designed backpacks for anyone who is fed up with carrying packages or purses.

October in Paris? What a wonderful title for a song!

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