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September 24, 1993|ROSE APODACA

Meet Bob

"Bob" is the name of a shirt from Huntington Beach-based Dog Pile that was inspired by the classic and crisp '50s. "It's like those great plaid, button-ups you find in thrift stores," says designer Shawn Peterson. The cotton linen shirt comes in green, black, navy and burgundy on vanilla ($50). An embroidered crown on the front gives it a "clever twist."

Cutting It Close

The big trend in menswear this season: a long and lean look. "Where a couple of years ago the look was very boxy, with extended shoulders, now suits are fitted, with darting at the waistline and shoulders and lapels coming in," says Darrel Done, merchandise director for the ixiz chain. Some of the more avant-garde designers are doing an almost Edwardian look with eight-button, double-breasted jackets. But Done says that four to six will do for the average customer.

Haute Streets

Quilted items are not just perennially fashionable among those who can afford Chanel. Hip-hopping kids are snapping up pieces such as backpacks and vests in such flashy, colorful quilted satins as those from Eurofunk. The Costa Mesa street-wear label couldn't keep its "bulletproof" vest in stock this year. So for fall, designer Randy Mello has introduced a backpack ($45) in forest green, orange, dirty gold, gravy brown, royal blue, silver, white and maroon. "A kid's got to have two things on for sure--a hat and a backpack," notes Mello. "This (backpack) is for going to school and to the nightclubs."

Don't Just Say It

Sometimes you just have to spell it out. D is for diamond. E is for emerald and A for amethyst, R for ruby, S for sapphire and T topaz. Set them together on a 14-karat gold band and it's the "Dearest" ring ($389). The practice of spelling out a message with gemstones began in the 1840s, according to the folks at Signals, the catalogue put out by the Friends of Public Television. "It's become a big seller for us," says a spokesman. "People are attracted to its uniqueness."

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