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Flouncing into a stylish fall Ruffles and flourishes embellish fall collections Fashion from New York


There are flounces galore on the fashion runways here as American designers show their fall collections. Ruffles aren't new; the difference this season is that the frills are borrowed from the men. Romantic men who can brandish a sword or pen a poem.

The pirate shirt or poet blouse, whatever you call it, is basic to fall's dandified turn, with designers lifting it lock, silk stock and snuff box.

Bill Blass did his best with it and showed cascading flounces at neck and wrist with velvet-trimmed redingote jackets, tight cavalry pants and riding boots.

Natty jackets and vests cut quite a figure this week, although they have been seen in other guises in other times.

Nicole Miller showed a black cavalier jacket over a black sateen waistcoat over a dark crest-printed silk blouse.

It looked a tad Blackbeard-the-Pirate altogether, but good in its basic black parts.

Byron Lars cast the dandy in a comic yodel operetta dedicated to Heidi.

He showed loden green jackets with red braid trim and silver buttons topped by oversized Tyrolean hats and platformed, high-heeled Alpine hiking boots. Lederhosen will never seem the same.

In contrast to the fussy dandies, much of the romance in dresses seen here is pure and simple.

The best bring to mind a princess in a medieval fairy tale.

A navy matte crepe with long, flowing sleeves by Joseph Abboud could have been worn by a chaste damsel waiting for her knight to return from the Crusades.

Speaking of crusades, crosses of all shapes and materials -- silver, gold, jewels, plastic -- were on the runways and being worn by the basic-black pack.

The black-clad press brought the idea along from Paris, where crosses are a fashion statement rather than an avowal of faith.

Or maybe they're keeping the vampires away. After all, "Bram Stoker's Dracula" did win the Oscar for Best Costume Design.

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