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Fashion : WHAT'S IN STORE

April 14, 1991|MARY ROURKE, Times Fashion Editor

Ask any fashion designer under the sun what's new, and the answer can be summed up with one word: color. Absolutely nothing is subtle about this season's palette. New York designer Isaac Mizrahi says that's because the designers who are setting the trends grew up in the 1950s, watching Technicolor movies.

While today's strong colors are inspired by '50s Hollywood, the leading shapes are plucked from '60s Paris, where avant-garde designers mastered long, lean, Space Age silhouettes.

Color and shape are not the only news. To qualify as cutting edge, skirts clear the knee. Shoes have curved, mid-height heels, with mules or sling-backs often the first choice of many designers. Suit jackets are paired with shorts instead of skirts. And for evening, short, A-line dresses glimmer with pearls or sequins.

Southern California retailers recently provided The Times with spring outfits that reflect all of these elements. The selection included clothes from the top Paris and New York designers, as well as lower-priced variations inspired by haute couture collections. MORE FASHION INFORMATION:

Page 24: Cutler & Gross plastic sunglasses, $135, at Optical Designs, Santa Monica, and Comme Des Fous, Melrose and West Hollywood; Prada structured kid handbag, $730, at Prada, Beverly Hills; Anne Klein patent sling-back shoes, $193, at The Broadway; Carolee faux-pearl earrings, $45, at I. Magnin, Neiman Marcus and Robinson's; Butler & Wilson faux-pearl necklace, $98, at Butler & Wilson, Sunset Plaza; Stuart Weitzman black strap sandals, $135. Page 25: Richard Kerr crystal pave earrings, $135, at Selvaggio, Newport Beach; The Honey Collection silk chiffon scarf, $34. Page 26: Eyevan by Oliver Peoples plastic sunglasses, $150, at Oliver Peoples, Sunset Plaza. Page 27: LaCrasia cotton-Lyra gloves, $15. Page 28: Kokin straw hat, $190, at Privilege, Beverly Center, Melrose and Westside Pavilion; Perry Ellis leather spectator pumps, $175, at I. Magnin; Mercura Designs pearl-studded sunglasses with leash, also at ICE, Beverly Center. Page 29: Barrera metal earrings with faux-pearl insets, $105, at Neiman Marcus; LaCrasia pearlized-leather gloves, $50. This page: Stuart Weitzman suede mules, $150. All hosiery by Donna Karan.

Produced and styled by Michael Eisenhower; hair: Syd Curry/ Visages; makeup: Cheryl Marks for Oribe at Elizabeth Arden; models: Felicia Hernandez/IT Models & OMAR'S Men, Caroline Kreeft/ Bordeaux

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