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The calm before the hemline battle

THE BALTIMORE EVENING SUN

In the musty canyons of Manhattan's Seventh Avenue, all work ceased around noon on Thursday before the Labor Day weekend. One could have heard a pin drop. But no pins were dropping.

Garment executives, with their permanent walnut tans, had long departed for Long Island beaches.

Longer lengths are in the wind, borne by rumors and various fashion editorials. New York designers are tired of short and dropped a few hemlines for resort. But the real test will be in Europe next month at the spring 1992 showings. By making hemline changes for spring, designers have time to test and regear for fall.

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