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Seasonal Changes : Spring Fashions for Men Have Taken a Turn--They're Not All Brightness and Light

March 23, 1986|DIANE REISCHEL | Diane Reischel is a Times staff writer

Spring fashion can be surprisingly moody. Just when we'd expect a batch of squinty-bright hues to arrive in the stores, many menswear designers are turning to the dark, haunting colors of a stormy day.

This deep palette gains its character from the African and batik prints favored at the moment, plus an attention to texture and shine. Silk, rayon and acetate are frequent fabric choices, lending the season its decidedly uptown flavor, and making even a camp shirt look dressy.

But spring's message isn't all serious. Pastels team with white or gray for a more lighthearted color play. A few squeaky-clean brights, especially yellows and greens, also edge into the mix.

Whether dark, pastel or bright, spring menswear has a streamlined appearance. Not much layering. No baggy excess. Jackets have slouchy shoulders with slight or no padding. The look is put-together--but not so rigid as to discourage a little spontaneous pattern mixing.

This is spring, after all. You're supposed to enjoy. STYLING BY SHAWN K. HARPER / GROOMING BY JIM JORDAN, FOR HMS BOOKINGS

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