What they're wearing nowWhen fashion insiders this...


What they're wearing now

When fashion insiders this month descended on New York to preview the next spring's styles, they trotted out this season's must-haves. Fashion editors and buyers may tout avant-garde dressing, but their own wardrobes are a more restrained version of the latest thing.

The spots

The mega-merchandising of Disney's new "101 Dalmatians" isn't just for the kiddies. Spotted fever also affected big girls at the designer shows. Timex, the official timekeeper of the New York collections, even gave out a watch with a Cruella De Vil face -- a face with severe black and white bob and cold stare that looked right at home among the fashion pack.

Big, round, Jackie O-style wrap sunglasses with major designer logos were on everyone in all weather and venue. There were the black frames with gold embossments, but the preferable material now is tortoise shell. Real Chanel double-C logos were doing the Pierre for tea; street vendor knock-offs were doing the delis.

They've been around for a few years, and now luxury fiber stoles and ruanas have become a fashionette staple. They travel, they fold, they can be a blanket or a coat. Black cashmere is the basic favorite, but precious vicuna is the ultimate status symbol.

Skirts have been pushed to the back of the closet and trouser turnouts are the fashion careerist uniform now. Narrow jacket, narrow pants, clean mock turtle or shirt is the way. The more forward sisters like Vogue's Anna Wintour also do the look in pin stripes or leather.

They know to stick with their own style. Ivana is sticking to trophy-wife big hair, big pearls, big lipstick and a tease of lace. Barbara Walters opts for trim prime-time red. Fashion legend Pauline Trigere also wears tailored signature red and huge tortoise glasses.

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