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Men's Sportswear for Spring '88 Gets Dressed Up

October 09, 1987|DIANE REISCHEL | Times Staff Writer

How to dress up--but not really?

West Coast menswear designers seemed obsessed with that question last week at California Collections Press Week, when 10 leading West Coast firms showed their spring '88 work, based roughly on a palette of khaki, navy, olive, cream, black and white.

What stood out most was the way relaxed sportswear mimics power dressing when carried out in such uptown fabrics as silk, rayon, linen and sheer cotton voile.

A Cleaned-Up Mood

The cleaned-up mood of the menswear owed much to the ever-present sports jacket, which was tossed atop matching trousers or worn in unlikely partnerships with sweat pants or loose walking shorts.

The West Coast design pack also seemed intent on exploring new jacket shapes, including the campy nostalgia of a four-button lapel style that closes high on the chest.

L.A.-based Leon Max, who introduced his Max Studio Men line at the California Mart show, says all his jackets have that high-gorge look. "The feeling I want to project is very relaxed, gentlemanly and romantic."

Axis designer John Leitch says his motivation for spring was the idea of "refined sportswear."

Through it all, the lines dividing casual menswear from dressy continue to blur--even as the field becomes more complex.

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