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Books for Looks

Slight to Southlanders

December 04, 1987|BETTY JEAN BARNHILL

California Designers: Art and Style by Douglas Bullis (Gibbs M. Smith, Inc.: $24.95).

How can a book that claims to be "the first book to have been devoted to the fashion designers of California" totally ignore such stars as Leon Max, Carole Little, Diane Freis, Michael Tomson, Nolan Miller and Nancy Heller?

"California Designers" offers no explanation, though it does feature many lesser-known creators, the majority of whom reside in Northern California.

The book also provides brief profiles of the California designers it includes, all written in the first person.

While some of these texts contain reflective personal information and even illuminating views on design, others sound like they could have been drafted by the designers' public relations reps. Guess? jeans designer Georges Marciano, for example, tells the readers he "introduced the overdyed 'stone-washed' jean with an initial investment of $100,000 and a great deal of confidence . . . since 1981 we have become the largest women's apparel company in Los Angeles, with 1986 sales expected to hit $230 million."

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