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25-Year-Old California Designer Gets Accolades in New York

November 07, 1986|BETTIJANE LEVINE | Times Fashion Editor

NEW YORK — Designer David Cameron, 25, of Santa Barbara, Calif., wowed his New York audience Tuesday night with witty, clean-edged clothes that gave new meaning to the words "young fashion."

Cameron's styles seem born in a time warp: futuristic and sleek, yet sweetly nostalgic. He combined tough with tender, tight with full, Doris Day with Steven Spielberg.

Although his individual components are not ground breakers, the way in which Cameron put them together hasn't been seen in this or probably any other season.

His models, who looked of high school age, all wore black tights and flat black shoes. Their skirts, many with petticoats, were crisply cut at mid-thigh level, sometimes even shorter. This uncompromising length doesn't leave room for speculation as to who can wear it. If you have to wonder, you're too old.

Above this black, leggy bottom half, Cameron offered a variety of brilliantly proportioned tops and jackets. Some stopped above the waistline, others drifted to a few inches above the hem. All were either tough (as in white- or black-leather cycle jackets) or tender (as in Easter-egg yellow or bonbon pink linen dusters like those worn in '50s Technicolor films).

Sometimes Cameron wrapped a black scarf tightly around his models' heads, with a fresh flower placed front and center on the forehead. Colors were either black, white, pink or yellow, sometimes in combination.

Cameron, a 6-foot-2, blue-eyed ex-surfer and a graduate of Los Angeles' Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, trained with New York designer Michaele Vollbracht before going into his own business about a year ago.

This was his third collection. He lists Whitney Houston and Mariel Hemingway among his clients and says his clothes are "very audio-visual. They're inspired by what's happening, what's modern, by TV and rock 'n' roll."

Bernard Oser, the Associated Merchandising Corp. buying office fashion sage, called Cameron's showing "the best collection to date."

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