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STYLE : FASHION : The Big Cover-Up

October 13, 1991|BARBARA DENATALE

Mystery. Romance. Intrigue. Thanks to Bogart, Hepburn and Dietrich, the trench coat isn't mere protection from rain, sleet and snow. It's outerwear with drama and panache.

Originally designed for military use during World War I, the trench coat later became an all-purpose cover-up for both men and women. Its mid-calf length, double-breasted styling, loose shoulder yoke, epaulets, slotted pockets and wide, buckled belt were distinguishing features.

Recently, traditional trench coats have given way to short, loose, unstructured styles worn with or without a belt. Colors and patterns run the gamut from bright plaids to muted paisleys. The latest fabrics and detailing have freed the trench coat from its utilitarian past. Look for cutting-edge variations in nylon, vinyl, gabardine, silk, satin, flannel and even shimmering metallics. And don't be surprised to find cuff accents, glitzy collars and pearl or rhinestone buttons.

Photographed at Union Station by Diego Uchitel; hair: David Cox/ Celestine L.A.; makeup: Agostina/ Celestine L.A.; stylist: Jill Sokolec/ Celestine L.A.; assistant stylist: Brian Watson; models: Kim Bordenave, Judy Gillett/ IT Models

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