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Show and Shops Cover a Lot of Territory : Down Under Event Is Downright Fun

Times Staff Writer

It’s not that Australians have to dress for sheep stations in hiking boots, plaid shirts and cowboy duster coats. It’s that they want to. That’s the impression anybody would get watching All Together Australia, a show of contemporary fashions from the land Down Under.

The California Mart sponsored the event, whose choreography alone set it apart from anything seen earlier in these parts. Dancers at a hoedown, hikers marching into the elements: This show had it all. There was even a lingerie segment, unheard of during U.S. and European shows.

By far the best of the Australian fashion was the active sportswear. Rugged, traditional and intended for the great outdoors, it looked as right as Ralph Lauren’s Rough Wear for a certain contingent of California shoppers.

The worst, without doubt, was the evening wear. It came closest in comparison to dowdy English design. The ingredients of sex appeal were there--strapless necklines, fitted torsos, short skirts. But somehow, the recipe failed.

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