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HOT PROPS

Fun in Frontierland

October 20, 1994|ROSE APODACA JONES

Western wear--and cowboy boots in particular--is witnessing another phase. Call it the fun phase; after all, industry watchers keep bringing up that word. Scott Downes, vice president of Thieves Market, headquartered in Irvine, says the money being spent on colorful cowboy boots reflects an optimistic view of the economy. "First-time buyers always feel a little radical to buy something pointed and with a top," he says. "A lot of people have already done that, and now they're ready for something fun." And in conservative times, customers want neutral and conservative looks, he says. "Now people are looking for something other than oiled leathers in black or brown." For kicks, boot fans can soon expect a wild spectrum, including salmon, fuchsia, greenish gold and burnt orange.

More Than Just Fluff

It's mohair madness this fall. But it's not all a matter of going with the season. Instead of the traditional neutrals or dark colors, a vivid palette usually only seen in late spring and summer is coloring your favorite cold-weather sweaters. Adrienne Vittadini contributes to the trend with a tank-style halter ($75) and cabled cardigan ($175) in delicious mango, pink and pimento. "A must-have in any wardrobe for fall is a wonderful cuddly, bright mohair sweater for those dreary winter days," Vittadini says. Just as comforting: The shift to brights at this time of the year represents another example of the tossing out of age-old rules.

Fuzzy Legs

The fad for all things fuzzy has spread to legs, with textured knits being stretched from the ankle to thigh-high lengths. Hot Sox reaches for Angora, wool, acrylic, chenille velveteen and sweater cable and rib ($4 to $21). "The idea comes from the popularity of mohair and furry textures for fall that will continue through spring," notes Hot Sox spokeswoman Gayle Goodman. "For leg wear, it's a trend that really hasn't been here before and looks very, very new. It's a natural because you can still stretch it, especially with the addition of Spandex." Goodman adds that sales of over-the-knee styles in every fabrication have run wild this season. Apparently so have fans of their campaign. In L.A. and N.Y., Hot Sox bus shelter posters featuring a hot young thing in an Angora body suit and thigh-highs have become targets of talk and theft. Even "Entertainment Tonight" got in on the act with a spot on the rage last weekend.

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