points of view
ang onto your hats. If the fall tino's curly Mongolian Iamb jackets
European collections are any have ponyskin collars that are stenciled
guide, fashion's heading for to look like giraffe, leopard, tiger and
a bumpy ride.
It's a time of transition,
Hemlines and tights:
when long established, inter-
Although most designers included
nationally known designers calf- and ankle-length skirts in their col-
are repeating themes from lections, these are clearly options only
past triumphs and newcomers are set- for the faint-hearted. "The" skirt length
ting the trends. It's also a time when of the season is above the knee. Gigli
no single, strong fashion direction and Montana avoided the hemline issue
emerged. Rather, there are disparate entirely by dressing their models in
views, with many designers pursuing pants rather than skirts.
their own vision of fashion. Some find
Even trendier is tights, which are
that confusing; others, refreshing.
worn in lieu of skirts or pants. Gaultier
Names like Romeo Gigli (an Italian and Azzedine Alaia, two French
designer who, for the first time, designers known for their sexy
presented his show in Paris rather than
youthful" clothes, initiated this look
Milan), Claude Montana and Jean-Paul last year. This fall, Karl Lagerfeld,
Gaultier (two French designers with among others, adopted the concept.
reputations for innovation) are sudden-
Lagerfeld shows tights worn with
ly prominent. Of course, unlike the blazers and tailored cardigans.
1960s revival .
dinosaurs, the "older" designers did not
Christian Lacroix is credited with
suddenly disappear off the face of the
earth. Their names alone carry clout starting the "happy hippie" movement
and they still have flashes of inspiration. last year — a nostalgic, rose-colored-
None of this is cheap, of course. glasses image of American hippies cir-
Throughout Europe, haute couture ca late 1960's. On the bottom rung of
prices are up from five to 15 percent this fashion, this revival has resulted in the
year over last. Why, Romeo Gigli's robe- current plethora of tie-dye T-shirts. On
like coats and jackets, made of velvet, the haute couture end, Lacroix con-
brocade and rare embroidery, cost be- tinues to incorporate patchworks and
tween $10,000 and $38,000. A pair of tie-dyes in his clothes. Valentino also
cashmere tights at $495 seems like a shows leather patchwork.
Yves Saint Laurent combines East
Among the many fashion views, a
few ideas are repeated by several and West with ornate fabrics and
folkloric accents. He puts rich em-
broideries on man-tailored jackets, and
Animal prints and fake furs:
The House of Christian Dior favors presents outfits like simple wool
leopard prints. So does Christian sweaters worn with brocade skirts and
Lacroix. But at Krizia, tiger markings pants. Even Giorgio Armani, the Italian
hold sway. And nowadays, fake fur designer known for his understated
does not mean a velour imitation. Gian- clothes and lack of frills, adds raw silk
franco Ferre photocopies the markings boleros, tapestry shirttail jackets and
quilted Chinese jackets to his fall
of ocelet, leopard, tiger and zebra onto
rabbit fur, silk and leather. Mario Valen- collection.