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125 YEARS: COMMEMORATIVE FASHION SECTION

You Saw It Here First

October 22, 2006|Randye Hoder | Randye Hoder has written for West, The Times' Op-Ed page and Wall Street Journal.

When it comes to fashion, California is more proselytizer than creator. Some of the clothing most identified with the Golden State was actually invented elsewhere--the bikini in France, for instance, or designer jeans in Milan. What California has done without peer, however, is popularize sportswear that is casual yet cutting edge. "It is not French fashion, but it is what people wear," says Inez Brooks-Myers, curator of costume and textiles at the Oakland Museum of California. "California is a casual place, and we have a lifestyle that people admire and want to emulate." All that said, Californians do take credit for dreaming up at least a few fashion firsts--some well known, some surprising and some threaded with a little controversy.

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