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A Season Full of Shining Examples

The Spring Collections: New York

November 09, 1995|MIMI AVINS

NEW YORK — There is good news for women prone to trend whiplash: Some of the recurring themes for spring '96 are carry-overs from last season. Here's a rundown of looks that showed up in many collections, with slight variations.

In place of a suit, a dress, usually sleeveless, with a jacket or coat. . . . The shirt dress, sometimes slit to the waist and buttonless, at a variety of lengths. . . . Leather, from stiff '70s styles in garish colors to frosted ice tones to buttery pale suedes as fragile as silk. . . . Bare midriffs, peeking out from under jackets or taking the sun above hip-hugging pants. . . . Hip belts on dresses and A-line tunics. . . . And about those pants--they're slung low, tight through the thighs, usually narrow at the ankle--although designers may ship more forgiving pleated trousers to the stores. (Micro-mini skirts and cropped tops might also grow longer by the time they're hung on store racks.) . . . Halter necklines, a gift to women with pretty shoulders. . . . Wedgie sandals are back, and mules schlump on. . . . Black lace and back interest--racer-back cuts or straps slicing over skin--for evening.

Silk Shantung, in Doris Day coat and dress costumes, full-skirted debutante dresses and tailored pants outfits, is ubiquitous. . . . The '70s Las Vegas-setting period of Martin Scorsese's "Casino" might have inspired designers to dress women in these shiny gangster suits. Iridescence and sci-fi shine isn't reserved for evening wear. Another glistening fabric seen around is glazed linen, often in metallic colors with the glint of mica. Black glazed linen separates at Ellen Tracy looked like fine leather; Michael Kors did his in a yummy chocolate color. . . . Except for those so-bad-they're-almost-good nerdy plaids, solid colors predominate, especially the sort of Day-Glo brights we haven't seen recently. . . . Zippers are a remnant of the Mod revival, still used on dresses, cropped jackets and vests. . . . No belt worn on pants or skirts with belt loops could be a trend. Or it could just be a runway affectation best ignored.

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