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California Connections : The Look Is Gym Dandy as Designers Blend Playfulness With Siren Appeal for Spring

September 25, 1987|ROSE-MARIE TURK

A blitz of spring '88 fashion shows this week made it clear that virtually all roads lead to the gym.

While some California designers leave a bit of room in easy-fitting trousers, circle skirts and trapeze-shape dresses, they also show snug, elasticized waistbands, bra tops, capri pants, flirty little skirts and an '80s suit: either walking or biker-style shorts with a boxy, bolero or fit-and-flared jacket.

The emphasis is on playfulness, siren appeal and executive dressing with a twist. Many fabrics are stretchy, puckery or frothy. And when it comes to color, it's very much a black-and-white spring as well as a time for the softest pastels and uncommon shades, such as celery.

In what seems to be an avalanche of short, tight and sexy, there are options. They include Rosemary Brantley's relaxed, career-oriented dressing and long, romantic styles from Diane Freis, Nancy Johnson and Jessica McClintock.

Those on the prowl for short and sweet will have no trouble finding it. Some of the season's best little dresses, including several by Leon Max, are meant for the ingenues among us.

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